future-proofing old-timey music

Meet the Musicians

Note from Justin:

I'm frequently asked if I'm going to form "a band". And maybe I will, at some point.

For now: I place a high premium on working with, and learning from, a wide variety of musicians. It's particularly important to feature musicians who are local to the venues where I'm performing, especially at technology and crypto events - after all, putting new money into the hands of artists is one of the primary goals of the crypto movement.

I've had the blessing to work with musicians who are not only excellent players, but who are also excellent people. I think it's fair to say that my music features some of the best bluegrass musicians in the world, and I'm grateful for the friendships that have come out of those collaborations.

Jakub Vysoky

Jakub and Fibonacci during the Vowel Sounds session.
A long-time contributor to several open-source crypto codebases, and serial Ethereum Foundation fixer, Jakub and I have been jammin' together since PyCon 2011. Jakub is a multi-instrumentalist - previously he mostly played Cajon and Ukelele in our casual jams. But at DevConnect Amsterdam in 2022, I told him of my desire to get more serious about our music, and to learn the ways of bluegrass, and he agreed to switch to mandolin. 0xwhatever

Cory Walker

I had of course heard of Cory Walker from his tours with Sierra Hull and The Steeldrivers, as well as his work with David Grier, but I remember the exact moment it dawned on me that he was a generational oddity on the banjo: he took the stage with Billy Strings in St. Augustine, and played John Hardy with Billy and the boys. I've never seen, before or since, someone steal the show like that It remains one of my favorite Billy Strings moments.
A couple of weeks later, I saw Cory play with this brothers and Billy Gilmore in a band they called 'The Suwannee Mountain Boys', and I noticed that he was making some truly bizarre sounds come out of that banjo, without even using an effects rig. That was when I knew he was my banjo guy, and I asked Andy Lytle to introduce us. Since then, Cory has appeared on two studio sessions with me (with another upcoming), as well a video session and a few live shows. He's busy these days with East Nash Grass and sometimes Sierra Ferrell, but we still get together whenever we can. 0xwhatever
Cory (right) with me and Skyler in St. Pete.

Pepa Lopera

Pepa and Jakub at night 2 of our Ethereum devcon VI show in Bogotá, Colombia.
When I found out I was going to play two nights at devcon VI, the search was on to find the best fiddler in Bogotá. And when I put feelers out as to whom that might be, I got one answer back from multiple friends who were in the know: Colombian country sensation Pepa Lopera. Pepa nailed almost every song we played; I think many of y'all remember her epic solo on Nanny State Fiddler. For me, her vocals on our cover of Manu Chao's 'Clandestino' will always be a source of pride. We've been trying to play again soon, but it's been a challenge to get Pepa cleared to come to the US to play for y'all. Soon. 0xwhatever

David Grier

Grier is, I think we all agree, one of the very best acoustic guitarists playing today - a true musicians' musician. I lobbied him for over a year to cut a session together. Flatpicking next to him... you feel the steel sharpening steel. 0xwhatever
Grier and I after his show in St. Pete in 2022.

Skyler Golden

Skyler (right) with Fibonacci, myself, and our friend Andy Lytle.
Y'all probably know Skyler more from his involvement in my production and engineering (and being the disembodied voice behind the screen for a lot of our tech talk sessions). But he has also been playing bass and dobro on stage with ym more and more, and he'll appear on bass on my upcoming record as well. I met Sky in May of 2022 after Andy Lytle introduced us. He has been a near-daily ally in my question to become musician first, programmer second. 0xwhatever

Harry Clark

When we were putting together the ensemble for Vowel Sounds, Cory Walker was quick and adament in suggesting we bring his East Nash Grass colleague Harry Clark on the mandolin. I knew of Harry from his work with The Wooks and The Dan Tyminski Band, but I forgot that we had personally met at IBMA in 2022. It still embarasses me; Harry is now a friend for sure. He'll be on the next record also. 0xwhatever
Harry with Fibonacci at a music store in Nashville.

Bios to come: