Bering Strait was a country music band from Russia whose style was sometimes called "redgrass". In 2003, the band was nominated for a Grammy Award and appeared on the TV show 60 Minutes. The group disbanded in 2006.
Bering Strait was the band's third name, beginning with Cheerful Diligence. In 1996, they recorded in the US under the name Siberian Heatwave and were guests on Prime Time Country on the Nashville Network. The band dissolved in late May 2006, but the announcement was not made until June 1, 2006. At the time of its dissolution, the band comprised five musicians: Alexander Arzamastsev (drums), Natasha Borzilova (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Sergei "Spooky" Olkhovsky (bass), Alexander "Sasha" Ostrovsky (dobro, steel guitar, lap steel), and Lydia Salnikova (lead vocals, keyboards).
Ilya Toshinsky played electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and banjo on the band's first album but left the band after recording the second album. Other former Bering Strait musicians included Sergei Passov (mandolin and fiddle), and Andrei Misikhin (bass). Chris Pandolfi, of the bluegrass band the Infamous Stringdusters, played banjo on their tours. Natasha Borzilova is the daughter of a nuclear scientist who died from the results of the Chernobyl disaster.
Bering Strait's self-titled debut album was released in 2003 on Universal South Records. The song "Bearing Straight" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental but lost to the Dixie Chicks.
A documentary, The Ballad of Bering Strait, chronicled the band's career over two and a half years and was released to theaters and broadcast on Country Music Television. Band members were featured on 60 Minutes, and several songs from the album were used in the television shows Animal Planet and Alias. The album sold about 150,000 copies.
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