Born from a bluegrass jam in Rhinebeck NY in the winter of 2007, Grass Fed is a five piece band performing at Hudson Valley venues. Playing traditional bluegrass tunes as well as originals, Grass Fed is sharing an old sound with new ideas that local audiences are loving.

Original band member and songwriter Dan Budd is relatively new to music and bluegrass since his beginning at the 2007 house jams.  Dan's approach to sticking to the roots of the music while writing songs that touch the heart
and play on family humor are capturing local fans.  "I went to Pete Wernick's (Dr. Banjo) bluegrass jam camp in the summer of 2007 at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival having played guitar for about 3 months prior.  The people and the music were so inviting that I knew then that playing and singing bluegrass would be part of the rest of my life." 

Grass Fed has gained praise from their audience because of the depth that the members bring to the band.   Grass Fed plays bluegrass music to carry on the tradition and to share music and life stories.  Ultimately its all about having fun!   

  • Dan Budd: Guitar, Vocals

    Originally from Vermont, Dan is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and spent 10 years as a cook and pastry chef in NYC as well as training in France.  He worked at such notable establishments as The River Café, The Peninsula Hotel and Park Avenue Café.  Dan gained national fame for his pastry work in the mid 90's. He was named twice as "Top Ten Pastry Chef in America" by Chocolatier magazine, and was nominated for pastry chef of the year by The James Beard Foundation.  Chef Budd taught Baking and Pastry Arts at The CIA for 6 years while opening his own business, Taste Budd's in Red Hook, NY.  Married with two children Dan also likes to train the family dog Max for agility trials.   Dan is now managing Taste Budd's Café, 50 employees, and a mobile bakery that attends festivals all around NY, including Bluegrass Festivals! Playing music at work, with family, on vacation and with Grass Fed is Dan's agenda.  He hopes to keep writing songs, learn more about music, sing stronger at every show and eventually be able to flat pick more solos on his guitar.  

  • Jeremy Robbins: Banjo, Vocals

    Jeremy purchased his first five string banjo at the Stormville Flea Market when he was fourteen.  Jeremy also acquired a copy of Pete Seeger's How to Play the 5 String Banjo, which proved to be an indispensable resource, but he did not begin taking lessons in Scruggs-style picking until college.  As a senior at Wesleyan University, Jeremy co-founded a bluegrass band called Middletown, playing at various frat houses and receiving in compensation pitchers of beer and bottles of whiskey.  Jeremy joined the Riverbank Banjo Band in 2001, and became a student of Roger Sprung.  He has also taken lessons with Joan Harrison and Tony Trischka.  Jeremy's vocal training has been in the context of musical theater and burlesque performance.  Jeremy joined in jam sessions with Dan Budd, which ultimately led to the formation in 2008 of Grass Fed.  Jeremy and his wife Melissa live in Hopewell Junction with their two young sons, Sawyer and Emmett.

  • Peter Conklin: Mandolin, Vocals

    He has a joyful spirit in rehearsal and on stage that is like the smiling musical glue that holds the band together.  Pete considers every musician one to hear and respect, and is always out to help the sound.  Keeping a perfect mandolin chop and flying into solos Pete also finds the harmony notes with his voice.
    At age fifteen Pete showed up at his first band practice expecting someone to bring an electric lead guitar for him to play.  It ended up being an electric bass guitar.  Ever since that day he has been playing electric bass with his friend’s rock band.  Pete had an acoustic guitar and started joint lessons with Jeff Belding.  Jeff became Pete’s mentor and teacher for twenty years and first introduced Pete to bluegrass and flat picking.  At age 18 Pete heard the song Beaumont Rag and found a passion for bluegrass that has never left him since.  He has been a member of a number of Hudson Valley bands including Synergy and The Rude Boys.  In 2007 Pete attended the Grey Fox festival and remembers hearing Dan Budd on stage with the Jam Camp performers announcing he was from Red Hook.  Pete decided that day that he would start playing mandolin, and wondered if he would meet Dan since they lived close.  In the spring of 2009 Dan heard Pete playing mandolin at a HVBA jam and invited him to join Grass Fed.  Pete also currently sings and plays mandolin for Out of The Blue Grass and Rich Hines & The Hillbilly Drifters.  A graduate of Marist College, Pete worked for Ballantine Sound and is currently an Audio Video technician for Vassar College.  He is an active member of the board of the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association.

  • Terry Ghee: Fiddle

    Terry Ghee has been playing music all his life.  Terry's experience with music and playing with other bands keeps a strong ear to Grass Fed rehearsals and has helped the band grow musically.  Terry's fiddling as well as his quick wit on stage are known to keep listeners smiling.

  • Lynn Lipton: Bass

    After teaching nursery school for many years, Lynn retired and picked up her dusty fiddle that had been sitting in a corner for over 40 years. In 2006, her 17 year old grandson encouraged her to try playing his upright bass while he was away at camp for the summer; it was was instant LOVE. Although the bass is strung the opposite of a fiddle, it did not stop Lynn from quickly mastering the basics (no pun intended) and she has progressed to become a vital member of the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association’s jams. Lynn Lipton drives the bass with a passion and obvious respect for bluegrass music. She also manages the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association’s website and is also known to love a song sooo much that Grass Fed has to play it twice!

“Sonny Side of Life"

“Black Slurry"

“Your Place"

Photos by Catherine Sustad


January 31, 2013
On behalf of the board of directors of che Friends of Elmcndorph, I want to thank you and your band for your generosity and a fantastic GrassFed performance last Saturday night at our Soup Night. Clearly our audience was enjoying the music since they didn't want to leave! We truly love having you in the Inn and your music transforms our event which has grown to be a sell out!
We look forward to hosting GrassFed again soon!
Warmest Regards,
Beth Jones
January 30, 2011
Thank you so much for such a wonderful evening.   Everyone was raving about the evening.   It was a great success and you and Grass Fed played a very large part in the overall picture.   
It was almost like a step back in time with the Inn functioning as it was when it was first built.  People came together, chatted, had a little food, and enjoyed some fabulous local musical entertainment.  

I don't know how we can thank you for your talent and generosity.  I know that I will tell everyone what a great sound you folks have and if anyone is looking to hire music, I will certainly give them your name and e-mail. many people said they had an evening that was beyond compare.  

I say not too shabby for a cold winter's night in Red Hook!  Please thank everyone in Grass Fed for their time, efforts and talent. 

Dee Karpel

I must email you and tell you how much I enjoyed my experience to Taste Budd's this Sunday. My wife and I rode my motorcycle up for the afternoon specifically to listen to your band Grass Fed and enjoy dessert before we headed out to dinner. This was a special trip as it was the first time my wife rode with me. The dessert was fantastic and we really enjoyed your band. And we both couldn't believe you played my favorite motorcycle song...Black Vincent. 
The comfortable atmosphere and your openness with exposing yourself as a musician playing your own songs like the one for your sister made the experience one I will not soon forget. And despite living down in Poughkeepsie...I will be back up again and will be looking for you to perform again.

Chris Dayger

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Taste Budd's Café
40 West Market Street
Red Hook, NY 12571

Grass Fed - The Sonny Side of Life

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