Adda Coffee & Tea House brings together bluegrass and boba

Emma Polen | features editor. Left to right: Luke Crouse, Dan Miller and Set DiBello performed at the end of Adda's Bluegrass and Boba event. Their folk band, the Lost Causes (Instagram: @thelostcauses) was recently created.

by Emma Polen | features editor

April 28, 2022

Adda Coffee and Tea House of North Side hosted its first monthly live music of the season on Saturday with an event they dubbed “Bluegrass and Boba.” 

Since Covid-19, Adda has been careful about hosting indoor events, which inspired them to begin having more outdoor activities. The North Side location is ideal for the outdoor gatherings due to its larger space, according to Kelly Shriane, the Adda North Side manager.

Shriane has been a barista for six years and has a coffee plant tattoo to prove her passion. She plays an integral part in Adda’s social media, event planning and unique beverage menu. 

“Part of being a barista [is] trying new things,” she said.

It was Shriane’s idea to create Bluegrass and Boba after she and her friends failed to find a bluegrass night anywhere else in the city. Shriane enlisted help by sending out a message on her Instagram saying Adda was in need of bluegrass players.

The Lost Causes answered the call. The recently-founded musical trio consists of Luke Crouse on guitar and vocals, Dan Miller on cello and upright bass and Set DiBello on banjo, harmonica and vocals. 

Crouse and DiBello have been friends since elementary school, and have been playing music together for almost as long. They had never been in an official bluegrass band before, so they decided to give it a try for the first time at Adda’s event.

For DiBello, folk music is a little bit of a change up, but he said, “It’s the most spiritual I ever feel.”

Miller is a new addition to Crouse and DiBello’s rotating performance partners, but he credits their newly-acquired friendship to funk music. The group met through “lots of mutual musician friends,” Miller said.

The trio will also be performing on First Fridays at Adda’s Garfield location, and they hope to expand their folk band with other musical acquaintances. 

Rachel Webb, otherwise known by her stage name, the big small, was another folk performer at Bluegrass and Boba. The solo-act guitar and vocalist was joined by her work friend, Candra Jones, at the event. 

“I’ve known her [for four years] and never heard her sing,” Jones said. 

The two met through their job as social workers in Pittsburgh. 

“[It’s] fun to write music and silly songs,” Webb said, since her job often becomes serious.