On this program we regularly get stories from NPR correspondent Don Gonyea about politics, but sometimes Don finds something a little different for us,like this story about a touring Bluegrass band from the Czech Republic in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Sometimes in this job you just stumble into something pretty cool. That's how I know a band called Druha Trava.


DRUHA TRAVA: (Sung in foreign language)

GONYEA: This recording is from my first time hearing them. It was April, 2009. I was covering President Obama's trip to the Europe. There was a big outdoor speech in Prague. And there was this band playing Czech versions of Dylan songs.


TRAVA: (Sung in foreign language)

GONYEA: I did a short postcard story back then, figuring it was the kind of experience that every music fan knows. You stumble upon a great band playing live somewhere and never see them again.


TRAVA: So now it's the fall of 2011 and I'm chasing candidates around Iowa, and who should be doing a show at the Czech and Slovak Hall in Cedar Rapids.


TRAVA: (Singing) Crying home to the lord, crying home unto the lord. Oh, if I could I surely would stand on the rock where Moses stood.

GONYEA: This time there was time to say hello.

ROBERT KRESTAN: I am Robert Krestan, Robert Krestan in our language and I am a singer and a mandolin player.

GONYEA: Others play guitar, bass, dobro and banjo. Inspiration comes directly from Bill Monroe and other American bluegrass greats. But Krestan says they don't just mimic the sound.

KRESTAN: I don't just do American music. I write my own songs. I write my own songs since I was 12 years old. So, it's kind of natural for me and it's natural for me to combine American influences and my Czech roots.


TRAVA: (Singing) I hear nothing, just a barking and a seagull's cry. Bells are ringing, friars humming, and the crows whiz by.

GONYEA: On this tour, Druha Trava is promoting its first ever English language CD. This song is called "Shuttle to Bethlehem." But there are also old favorites, including the Rolling Stones.


TRAVA: (Singing) I was born in a cross-fire hurricane. And I howled at my ma in the driving rain. But it's all right now, it's all right now.

GONYEA: Druha Trava, on the road in the U.S. They play tonight in Wichita, Kansas tonight. Don Gonyea, NPR News.


ROLLING STONES: (Singing) I was born in cross-fire hurricane....

WERTHEIMER: You're listening to NPR News.

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