"Shook Twins' performances feel like a glimpse into a long history of musical discovery—their shows can feel like late-night porch sessions, where the songs are so internalized they stream out like a conversation." – Emilee Booher, Willamette Week
They wowed us in 2014 and in 2015 and now they are back for two sets at the 12th Annual Ogden Music Festival and a free-to-the-public outreach concert on Monday following the festival. If you haven't seen and heard them yet, its time you did!
From Northern Utah, Alternative Folk/Americana band Mama LongLegs delivers an alluring blend of First Aid Kit's intricate harmonies, with the unique character of bluegrass instruments.
Harris and Simper first met in college where they both studied music. They have spent the last few years writing and performing in different music groups, separately and together. They've teamed up to unleash their warm, seamless vocal harmonies and interplay between Megan's tasteful, flirtatious mandolin and Allie's raw and sensitive guitar playing. They've been influenced by other Folk/Americana musicians such as I'm With Her, Shovels and Rope, The Punch Brothers, and The Dixie Chicks.
Bluegrass band Wood Belly is based out of Colorado's Front Rage, and winner of the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition (2018). Wood Belly is the musical collective of Chris Weist (mandolin), Craig Patterson (guitar), Chris Zink (dobro), Aaron McCloskey (banjo) and Taylor Shuck (bass). A Wood Belly song has its own lyrical persona and masterful arrangement; rooted in bluegrass tradition and planted solidly in contemporary innovation.
A nominee in the 2018 IBMA Momentum Awards, Wood Belly has shared bills with Del McCoury Band, The Steeldrivers, Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Jeff Austin Band, Front Country, Wood & Wire, Trout Steak Revival, Steel Wheels, and many more.
Della Mae is a GRAMMY-nominated, Nashville-based, all-female string band made up of lead vocalist/guitarist Celia Woodsmith, 2-time national champion fiddle player Kimber Ludiker, mandolinist Jenni Lyn Gardner, and upright bassist Zoe Guigueno. Hailing from across of North America, and reared in diverse musical styles, they are one of the most charismatic and engaging roots bands touring today. They have traveled to over 30 countries spreading peace and understanding through music.
Their mission as a band is to showcase top female musicians, and to improve opportunities for women and girls through advocacy, mentorship, programming, and performance.
The future of acoustic music: Jubilee consists of some of the top young award-winning acoustic musicians on the scene today. Known for their relentless groove and breathtaking improvisation, they bring a fresh approach to traditional bluegrass, old-time, and even work their genre-bending magic on a little jazz and funk. Ranging in age from 12-15, the musicians have performed at a range of venues including the CBA Father's Day Bluegrass Festival, Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage, the Gallo Center for the Performing Arts, Sacramento’s Crest Theater, The Watkins Family Hour, and just last month were featured at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC.
They have appeared both together and individually with a long list of monumental musicians and mentors including Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, Mads Tolling, Roy “Futureman” Wooten (of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), George Cole (of the David Grisman Quintet), Hanneke Cassel and Mike Block, Sean and Sarah Watkins, and toured with Alasdair Fraser and the Scottish Fiddlers as well as The Bee Eaters. The boys, Miles and Teo, were recently featured on a TEDx Talk with Phoebe Hunt.
“It's a blessing to hear a group of young musicians blending Traditional Bluegrass and Newgrass sounds with such fire and energy. The love they have for the genre means the upcoming generation will be great. Don't miss the musicianship and energy this young dynamic group brings to the stage.”
- Keith Barnacastle, The Bluegrass Standard
Jubilee is Aerie Walker on cello, Tuki Walker on fiddle and vocals, Miles Quale on fiddle and vocals, and Teo Quale on mandolin and vocals. Listen to their new EP Jubilee on iTunes, GooglePlay or cdbaby.com.
Hailed as “the hottest band in the Wasatch” by the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association, Pixie and The Partygrass Boys is composed of lifelong professional musicians drawn together by a common love of bluegrass and skiing in the Wasatch. Featuring soulful, often harmonic vocals and solid strings and rhythm, this tight-knit crew was born out of the belly of a warm cabin after a long day on the slopes- drinking whiskey and singing into the night. With a high energy sound and a love for silly outfits, they travel the land spreading the gospel of whiskey, chickens, and fun for everyone.
The term “Americana” was practically invented to describe The Band of Heathens, a rock n roll band based in Austin, TX. "Duende", the title of The Band of Heathens’ fifth studio album (and eighth overall), marks their tenth anniversary as a group and sits among the other great recording projects The Band of Heathens have accomplished over the years. Americana stalwarts The Band of Heathens recently went into their hometown studio in Austin, deciding to record their own version of the classic Ray Charles album A Message From The People. In a time where the downtrodden need a voice again, the Heathens have delivered the message paying homage to one of the most important voices in American song history.
Chris Jones is a quadruple threat as a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist, and, thanks to his role hosting SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, as one of the most widely heard broadcasting voices in bluegrass music. His immediately recognizable voice, warm sense of humor and abundance of talent have combined to make him one of the music’s most distinctive personalities, and one of its strongest artists. Forming Chris Jones & The Night Drivers in the mid 1990s, he’s led the band through a set of stellar recordings and tours while appearing and recording with some of the world’s most respected musicians including The Chieftains, Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements and Tom T. Hall. He has performed on the The Grand Ole Opry with Laurie Lewis, Lynn Morris, and The Whitstein Brothers. And, while the Night Drivers have made extensive use of his original songs, Chris’ songs have also been recorded by other artists, including the Gibson Brothers, Lou Reid & Carolina and The Chapmans.
Growing up just down the road from Doc Watson, Billboard-charting artists Cane Mill Road rock the traditional bluegrass standards they grew up on, yet boldly tackle writing original music that often walks the lines between Bluegrass, Americana, Old-time, and Folk. Peers in the bluegrass industry voted Cane Mill Road as one of five nominees for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Band-of-the-Year for 2018 — an award to honor rising music stars under 30 years of age. Cane Mill Road’s banjo player, Tray Wellington, was nominated for IBMA’s Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year. IBMA selected Cane Mill Road as a Ramble showcase band in 2017, making the band one of 30 bands in bluegrass to be chosen for the honor. Audiences love Cane Mill Road’s high-energy performances, easy going rapport both on and off stage, and the eclectic mix of originals and standards in the show.
The Infamous Stringdusters are a band that never stops progressing. Pushing the envelope within the confines of the bluegrass genre has garnered the band IBMA awards and nominations, and international success. 2018 represented a high watermark for the quintet as they took home a GRAMMY® Award in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album” for their 2017 release "Laws of Gravity". Since 2007, the band’s ever-evolving artistry and boldly creative collaborations — including Ryan Adams, Joss Stone, Bruce Hornsby, Joan Osborne, and Lee Ann Womack — have pushed them past the edges of traditional acoustic music and carved out a musical niche all their own in the hearts of fans and critics, alike.
Mavis Staples is best known for her energetic and charismatic approach to singing and recording, even as she celebrates her 80th birthday. Staples began her career singing with the family group in 1950.The Staple Singers “Freedom Songs,” magnificent expressions of strength and empowerment, earned the group a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Staples would go on to record two albums produced by Prince (one titled simply The Voice), and to work with Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, and George Jones. In 2017, she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and in 2018 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Arts Awards.
The Fiery Furnace is a mobile dance party. Based in Moab, UT, the band can show up anywhere, anytime and start a rocking party. Their mix of gypsy, New Orleans brass band, and latin music has gotten crowds of young and old folks grooving. Dancers and fire spinners turn it into a full blown show.
With recruitments from both NBC's 'The Voice' and 'America's Got Talent' in the last two years as well as placing in a national song competition for two tracks from her first studio release, independent artist Michelle Moonshine has honed her craft in producing her own blend of Country driven Americana.
With upbeat tempos, catchy vocal lines and heartfelt lyrics; it's still her unique voice that truly engages a listener at a performance. Her timbre can be described as incredibly sweet and whimsical, yet saturated with feeling that draws you in to listening for every word. Since enlisting a group of talented musicians to serve as her backing band in 2015, they've developed a dynamic together which is both a treat to listen to and watch.
Tylor & The Train Robbers debut album "Gravel" is a perfect blend of gritty americana and outlaw honky tonk. This album has been described as honest, inviting and quintessentially western (Micheal Deeds - Idaho Statesman). Released in May of 2017, "Gravel" is a compilation of 10 original songs written by lead singer Tylor Ketchum.
Tylor describes this album as a snapshot of the band just as you’d hear them at a live show. Currently, the Train Robbers are on the road touring throughout the US and are working on recording their second studio album, due out in the summer of 2018.
Sugar and the Mint have become a professional and dynamic young musical group. They play a blend of new old-time, contemporary bluegrass and indie-folk music.
In 2014, they won FIRST PLACE at the Payson Fiddle-in-Band competition and FIRST PLACE at The Old-time Country Band competition at the Wickenburg Fiddle championships. In 2015, they took THIRD PLACE at Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass Festival and were honored to play in the second round on the main stage. In 2016, Sugar and the Mint took FIRST PLACE at the 2016 Pickin' in the Pines Music Festival in Flagstaff, and FIRST PLACE at the 2016 Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival Gospel Band Competition, in Wickenburg, Arizona.
This June, at the internationally acclaimed 44th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Prescott's own Sugar and the Mint swept First Place in the Festival's 2017 Band Contest.
Colorado’s FY5 proudly swim in the deep currents of American music—classic bluegrass, tried-and-true honky tonk, country swing and skillfully spun folk tales. While their sound evokes timelessness, it is a decidedly contemporary, well-traveled 21st century sensibility that informs their songwriting. Their tunes draw on the bumps, bruises and laugh lines earned when we find ourselves in the “bogs” of backroads, dive bars, and long, lonesome nights.
In this stream, a vibrant cast of characters populates their latest album FY5—brave Rocky Mountain snowplow drivers, hard living musicians, housewives, lovers, drifters, drinkers and dreamers. The album was enthusiastically embraced in their home state, coming in as the #1 bluegrass CD on Colorado radio for 2011, with the 2nd most “spins” overall for the year.
Balsam Range’s assent to the top of the Bluegrass world has left a well marked trail of success since the band's inception in 2007. One of the genre’s most award winning artists in recent years garnering ten International Bluegrass Music Association Awards to date with five critically acclaimed albums, Balsam Range has put on live performances across the nation, including multiple Grand Old Opry appearances that have left audiences spellbound.
Nominated for three International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards (Entertainer, Vocal Group, and Vocalist of the Year) for 2016, Balsam Range is offering something that is sure to continue to mesmerize fans of Bluegrass and beyond with their new release Mountain Voodoo, due out November 11 on Mountain Home.
Mandolin Orange is an Americana/folk duo based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.The group was formed in 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and consists of the group's songwriter Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz.
Mandolin Orange has produced five albums of Marlin's original works bearing the stamp of folk, country, bluegrass, gospel and pop, all mingled in a unique melange perhaps best described simply as modern American roots music.
The members of Lake Street Dive—named after an avenue of seedy bars in Michael "McDuck" Olson's native Minneapolis—met in 2004 as students at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music. Powerhouse singer Rachael Price fronted the quartet and drummer Michael Calabrese filled out the rhythm section.
Though they were all studying jazz, their work together took an altogether different shape, informed by their love of classic pop, particularly from the '60s, when pop could mean the Beatles, the Supremes, Dusty Springfield, or the Beach Boys. They recognized the virtuosity—and timelessness—in the efforts of studio musicians like Muscle Shoals' legendary Swampers and L.A.'s Wrecking Crew. Similarly, their original repertoire combined musical sophistication with an easy going groove.
Isaac Horn, Lincoln Mick, and Sarah Wood connected through the choral program at Lipscomb University. Exploring a vulnerability and purity of experience achieved through the use of acoustic instruments, The Arcadian Wild layers thoughtful texts expressed in rich three-part harmony overtop arrangements of guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and banjo.
Tashi (15) and Kaj (12) Litch are brothers living on Orcas Island Washington. Their musical lives began with the local weekly Irish session along with Suzuki violin from the age of 5. Tashi was given his first mandolin at the age of 9 and began busking with it 10 minutes later with Kaj playing fiddle. They were spotted by Brandi Carlile and invited to play with her at Benaroya Hall to a standing ovation. Kaj added the guitar at the age of 9 and quickly fell in love with it. They have been lucky enough to study and play with many of their heroes, Liz Caroll, Chris Eldridge, David Grisman to name a few. They discovered Bluegrass through the music of Skaggs and Rice and this journey began.
With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The quintet, from Missoula, MT, has been hard at work, writing, touring and playing to an ever-growing fan base for the past 6 years. The fruits of their labor recently culminating with wins at the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Best Band and at the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass festival band competition. In 2013 the band also won The Northwest String Summit Band Competition.
Molly Tuttle is a vocalist, songwriter, banjo player and virtuoso guitarist, recording artist and teacher in the bluegrass tradition, noted for her flatpicking, clawhammer, and cross-picking guitar prowess. A Momentum Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in the instrumentalist category rounded out her 2016, after she clinched first place in Merlefest’s prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition. She’s the first woman in the 27-year history of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards to be nominated for Guitar Player of the Year, the only instrumental category that had not yet nominated a woman.
Steep Canyon Rangers affirm their place as one of the most versatile and idiosyncratic bands in all of contemporary American music. The GRAMMY® Award-winning, North Carolina-based sextet has spent nearly two decades bending and shaping the bluegrass aesthetic, wedding it to elements of pop, country, folk rock, and more to create something original and all their own. As they fast approach their second decade, Steep Canyon Rangers are still moving forward, as ever searching for new horizons and musical vistas. As they fast approach their second decade, Steep Canyon Rangers are still moving forward, as ever searching for new horizons and musical vistas.
With her fourth album, Undercurrent, Sarah Jarosz makes a studied departure from her previous records, shifting the emphasis from her skills as a multi-instrumentalist to her songwriting and vocal performance. Undercurrent accentuates the growth and maturity that Jarosz, now 25, has achieved since graduating from New England Conservatory and moving to New York City. The change in approach garnered Jarosz two Grammy Awards in 2017—Best Folk Album for Undercurrent and Best American Roots Performance for “House Of Mercy.” Undercurrent also picked up the award for 2017 Album of the Year from Folk Alliance International.
Sammy Brue embodies the kind of wisdom, talent and natural empathy that are often signs of age and maturity, and yet at 15 years old, he can place himself in the shoes of others, real or fictionalized, and write stories about them. "He's a student of East Nashville, not Greenwich Village, budding from this new folk resurgence in fascinating ways." ~ Rolling Stone Country
The Ogden, UT based songwriter has been writing songs since the age of 10. He signed to New West Records at 14 and now, with his debut album in hand, Sammy takes the next step forward. The forthcoming album, titled I Am Nice, produced by Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes) and John Paul White (former Civil Wars) will be released early summer of 2017. Recorded in Florence, Al, they created a brilliant album with nuanced dimension that provides emotional resonance to Brue's songs which Rolling Stone described as “a collection of devastatingly beautiful songs that touch on heartbreak, jealousy, God and Suicide;” and further declared Brue as “An Americana prodigy."
Though Sammy may appear quiet and unassuming, his songs speak volumes. From busking at Sundance at the age of 10, to opening for Justin Townes Earle, John Paul White, Lucinda Williams and John Moreland to mention a few, and performing at Summerfest, and the Newport Folk Festival, you will be hearing a lot about Sammy Brue as he stands on the precipice of what appears to be a long and ever-evolving creative journey.
Raised in hard-bitten Nebraska, Joshua James’ work reflects a distinctly American ache, a yearning for a big sky and an open road. Beckoned westward out of his heartland home by the voices of Jim Morrison and Isaac Brock, he made it as far as the mountains of Utah, where like the settlers before him, he was stopped in his tracks by the arresting beauty. Here, where the mountains pierce the heavens, some believe a conduit is open between man and the divine.
Sugar and the Mint (Formerly Generation Band) was started by The Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona in February 2011. Students were chosen by audition and initially it was formed as a youth cultural music conservatory. In 2014, Sugar and the Mint (Generation) parted ways with Sharlot Hall Museum, (after the program lost funding) and ventured out on its own. They have since become a professional and dynamic young musical group. They play a blend of new old-time, contemporary bluegrass and indie-folk music. They have performed at venues and events such as the The Prescott Opry, Yavapai College, The Yavapai County Fair, Payson Fiddle Festival, The Raven Cafe, Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Tempe Festival of the Arts, Prescott Farmer’s Market, Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival, Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass Festival, Prescott’s Folk Music Festival, Town of Bagdad, AZ, Arts Prescott Coop Gallery, Acker Night Musical Showcase and many others. They can often be seen playing informally at Prescott's Courthouse Square during various Arts and Crafts Fairs.
In 2014, they won FIRST PLACE at the Payson Fiddle-in-Band competition and FIRST PLACE at The Old-time Country Band competition at the Wickenburg Fiddle championships. In 2015, they took THIRD PLACE at Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass Festival and were honored to play in the second round on the main stage. In 2016, Sugar and the Mint (at that time GENERATION) took FIRST PLACE at the 2016 Pickin' in the Pines Music Festival in Flagstaff, and FIRST PLACE at the 2016 Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival Gospel Band Competition, in Wickenburg, Arizona.
They are frequently employed to play music at festivals, private parties, weddings, fund raising events, local school events, local eateries, art galleries, and church events.
Their third time on the OFOAM stage, The Hollering Pines are a local treasure. We can't wait to have them back.
The original songs of The Hollering Pines artfully present stories of long nights, short lives, and spilled chances. Sisters Kiki Jane Sieger and Marie Bradshaw build on the blood-tight harmonies of the past while M. Horton Smith's mandolin sweetens the sound. Drummer Daniel Young sings as he lays down the back beat, and Dylan Schorer’s electric and lap steel guitar embroidery rounds things out, pulling The Hollering Pines closer to the dim lights and thick smoke of a neon roadhouse.
From his humble beginnings in Alaska, Frank Solivan has built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen.
Solivan, with banjoist Mike Munford, 2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, award winning guitarist Chris Luquette and bassist Jeremy Middleton, simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they were named IBMA’s Instrumental Group of the Year in 2014 and again in 2016.
On the surface, Tim O’Brien’s career seems maddeningly eclectic. But over the years, he’s become a subtle master at mixing the primary musical colors into his own distinct sound. You hear the numerous influences in every note, yet each and every note is uniquely his own.
The Wall Street Journal has characterized O’Brien’s work as
"classic-sounding material stamped with his own perceptive personality."
It has been four years since his last solo recording, but between collaborations with Darrell Scott, the recent Grammy winning recording with Jerry Douglas’s Earls of Leicester, and the rebooting of Hot Rize, he’s barely had time for a shower. Still, somewhere in O'Brien's vivid imagination, the seeds of Pompadour began to sprout, and the fruits of his recent wanderings, music making and worldly observations have blossomed into eleven exquisitely varied, true-to-life and above all musical tracks.
Front Country's dynamic instrumental textures take flight with grace and gravitas while rooted in the relentlessly soulful vocals of lead singer-songwriter Melody Walker.
What started as a group of friends playing bluegrass in San Francisco's Mission District has morphed into a touring powerhouse of song and sound, transcending their humble stringband roots.
Along with mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz, guitarist Jacob Groopman, violinist Leif Karlstrom and bassist Jeremy Darrow, this quintet has been called "passionately intoxicating" and "orchestral" and Melody's bluesy vocals have been described as "rafter-shaking". Seldom traditional, always original, Front Country's new album Sake of the Sound is out now.
Combining a blend of classic country, gypsy jazz, and southern soul, actress and American singer-songwriter Amy LaVere has taken our hearts and ears captive. While LaVere's voice may have the high, breathy tone of a young girl, she brings to her music the emotional peaks and valleys of a grown woman who has certainly seen her share of the world, and it's hard not to believe that her adventurous life has informed her work.
Bryan Sutton is the most accomplished and awarded acoustic guitarist of his generation, an innovator who bridges the bluegrass flatpicking traditions of the 20th century with the dynamic roots music scene of the 21st. His rise from buzzed-about young sideman to first-call Nashville session musician to membership in one of history’s greatest bluegrass bands has been grounded in quiet professionalism and ever-expanding musicianship.
Sutton is a Grammy Award winner and a nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitar Player of the Year. But these are only the most visible signs of Sutton’s accomplishments. He inherited and internalized a technically demanding instrumental style and become for young musicians of today the same kind of model and hero that Tony Rice and Clarence White were for him. And supplementing his instrumental work, he’s now a band leader, record producer, mentor, educator and leader in online music instruction.
It didn’t take long after Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick, Nick Forster, and Charles Sawtelle first appeared onstage together in 1978 for the bluegrass music world to realize that the Colorado band, Hot Rize, was something special. And by the time they bowed off the stage as a full-time act in 1990, they’d not only climbed to the top of that world as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s very first Entertainers of the Year, but their stature was recognized across the board, with a nomination for a then-new bluegrass Grammy, a four-star album review in Rolling Stone, tours across four continents, and a legion of up-and-coming, broad-minded young musicians ranging from String Cheese Incident to mando monster Chris Thile learning their songs and singing their praises.
The reasons for the acclaim were, and remain, obvious. Steeped in bluegrass tradition through long hours on the road spent listening to the genre’s giants—their very name was a knowing nod to Flatt & Scruggs’ long-time flour mill sponsor—Hot Rize’s music was and is equally informed by a taste for the music of Leadbelly and Freddie King, swing, old-time Appalachia and more in ways that mirror the broad sweep of Bill Monroe’s influences. And while their respect for tradition was easy to hear (and, thanks to their suits and vintage neckties, easy to see), the fresh elements they brought, whether in Sawtelle’s guitar eccentricities or Wernick’s deployment of an effects pedal on his banjo, were enough to earn them the suspicion of some audience members—and the devotion of many more.
So when Hot Rize retired, it was natural for members to go on to distinguished careers of their own. For bassist and multi-instrumentalist Forster, that meant building a blend of environmental concern and musical curation into the popular and influential show, eTown; for lead singer, mandolinist and fiddler O’Brien, recognition as an award-winning Americana and bluegrass master of singing and songwriting; for Sawtelle, a thriving career as guitarist, engineer and producer for a host of artists; and for Wernick, acclaim as a presenter of bluegrass and banjo camps, genre-bending bandleader, and 15-year president of the IBMA.
Even so, Hot Rize turned out to be the band that refused to disappear. Rare reunion shows, like the 1996 one captured for the acclaimed So Long Of A Journey CD (2002), kept the flame burning, and when Sawtelle passed away in 1999, the surviving members brought brilliant guitarist Bryan Sutton on board—himself an already-acknowledged master—and carried on with occasional appearances, bringing their classic songs and captivating stage show to new generations.
It’s no surprise, then, that 24 years after their last studio album, the foursome brings an even deeper strength to bear on their new record, When I’m Free (Ten In Hand/Thirty Tigers), out September 30. And neither is it a surprise that, as it was in the beginning, the quartet felt compelled to bring something new to the table.
“We’re too close as friends and longtime collaborators to let Hot Rize just lay fallow. We’ve watched bluegrass evolve in the past 25 years, and while we’ve all been a part of that evolution as individuals, now it’s time to bring a new Hot Rize statement to the world,” explains O’Brien. “Reunion shows are fun, but we got to where we wanted to dig into new material.”
Pete Wernick agrees: “In the years since we brought Bryan in, we would all talk about wanting to be a living, breathing, 21st century Hot Rize, which would mean developing a satchel of new material, then going around and playing it.”
Though half the group lives in Colorado and half in Nashville, they made collaboration a priority, working on new songs, helping one another flesh out lyrics and shape the material into songs that are representative of Hot Rize’s identity. Once they began co-writing, everything else fell into place. “That work was, in many ways, the glue we needed to cement us back together,” says O’Brien.
“Western Skies,” a song written by Forster and O’Brien, epitomizes the band’s Boulder origins and Colorado’s rich history of progressive bluegrass; fittingly, it’s the song that gives the album its title. “There’s something about a wide-open Western landscape – the light, the quiet, the majesty of distant mountains – allows us to leave our troubles behind and be our truest selves, unencumbered by the pressures of life,” says Forster.
Pete Wernick’s barn-burner “Sky Rider” proves why bluegrass music’s preeminent instructor is called “Dr. Banjo,” as he trades lightning-quick solos with O’Brien and Sutton.
The track listing is punctuated by a sharp pair of covers: “I Never Met a One Like You,” a Mark Knopfler original that he suggested Hot Rize record, and Los Lobos’ “Burn It Down,” a stripped-down rock song featuring Forster’s lead vocal. Two cuts reflecting the group’s love for traditional American music round out the album, the haunting “A Cowboy’s Life” and “Glory in the Meeting House,” an old-time tune with switched instruments – O’Brien on fiddle, Sutton on clawhammer banjo, and Forster on mandolin.
With writing and rehearsals placing Hot Rize firmly back in their groove, recording When I’m Free took just five days at the solar-powered Studio at eTown Hall in Boulder. The musicians eschewed booths and headphones in favor of sitting in a circle and recording live off the floor – “the first time I’ve recorded like that since 1971,” muses Wernick. This organic approach resulted in an album that crackles with the energy of a Hot Rize live show, even if the band’s Western Swing alter-ego sidekicks, Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers, aren’t present.
Following the release of When I’m Free, Hot Rize will tour nationwide this fall and into 2015, sure to please not only longtime fans of the band, but countless new fans who’ve discovered bluegrass and Americana music in more recent times. Says Sutton, “Nobody’s been a bigger Hot Rize fan than me, and that’s a perspective I’ve tried to maintain as a member of the band. I’m excited about this new record, and I can’t wait to introduce new fans to the Hot Rize experience.”
At only 23 years of age, Oklahoma native Parker Millsap is quickly making a name for himself with his captivating live performances, soulful sound, and character-driven narratives. Regardless of his age, Parker's enthralling lyrics engrossing storytelling have garnered him attention from the likes of CONAN, and invitation to play with Elton John at the Apple Music Festival. During 2016 alone, a banner year for Parker, he was featured on Austin City Limits and recieved an Americana Music Association nomination for Album of the Year.
Parker's most recent release, The Very Last Day, has received praise from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, LA Times, Austin Chronicle and Rolling Stone to name a few.
“I like to set goals for myself that are impossible to reach,” he explains. “That way, I always have something to aim for, a better song, different characters, new stories. I just want to pay the bills and feed my dog, and maybe buy a new guitar every now and then. That’s all I need. I don’t want to be Elvis Presley, but I wouldn’t complain if a million girls screamed for me, either. Just don’t tell my girlfriend that.” Parker Millsap is ready to share his Oklahoma roots with the rest of the country, and, hopefully, the world.
"Hogslop is the real deal groovilicious honkin old-time string band. Guaranteed old-time awesomeness with these fellas around!" - Abigail Washburn (Banjo Extraordinaire)
The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of five energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California and North Carolina. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabriel Kelley on guitar and Casey "Pickle" McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.
Singer-Songwriter Michelle Moonshine's original songs have an upbeat tempo, catchy vocal lines and heartfelt lyrics; but it's her unique voice that truly engages a listener at a performance. Her timbre can be described as incredibly sweet and whimsical, and is yet saturated in feeling that makes you want to stop and listen to every word. During her four years of performing, Michelle has garnered recruitments from NBC's The Voice in 2014 (which she turned down after being accepted); and from America's Got Talent in Fall 2015 which is still ongoing. Within that time she has put a national tour under her belt and honed her craft in producing her own blend of Country-esque Americana. Regularly performs solo as well as with her band as both a three and four piece with new member John Davis on electric guitar, lap steel and backup vocals. In the rhythm section is Goose on the drum kit and Bronk on the upright bass, who both have some classical training which adds to the dynamic. With a fully funded Kickstarter, they completed their first album and plan to tour their new release this Spring.
“Young bluesmen take up the torch for a musical tradition...the crop of younger black blues musicians who can take the tradition and transform it with their own identity is relatively slim...emerging up-and-comers include...The Peterson Brothers of Austin.” – The Washington Post
For the past five years, since Freeman saw their debut performance at the Pinetop Perkins 97th Birthday Celebration at Antone’s in Austin, Texas, The Peterson Brothers have performed for enthusiastic fans at clubs and blues festivals across the country, including the prestigious Chicago Blues Festival and The King Biscuit Festival in Helena, Ark. They have also opened shows for B.B. King, Los Lonely Boys, Michael Burks, Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Marcia Ball, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Buddy Guy invited them to share the stage with him during one of his shows at ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin and Willie Nelson had them open his show, the brothers being the only nonrelated act on the bill.
Now The Peterson Brothers are releasing their first studio recording. Each cut on this record has its own identity, feel and energy, opening with a strong version of Albert King’s “You’re My Woman,” and on to a Little Johnny Taylor composition, “If You Love Me Like You Say.” Glenn and Alex then provide us with a light swing song of their own, “Hey Baby.” Their version of “I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me),” well known from covers by Bobby Blue Bland and Bernard Allison lead into Tampa Red’s “Don’t You Lie To Me.” Two more originals “I Gotta Go” and “Tell Me Everything” follow, paving the way for a lively version of Earl King’s “Come On,” an instrumental original “Feeling Like Home” and a sensitive arrangement of “Amazing Grace.” The record closes with a swing version of “I Gotta Go.” The entire work takes us on a very personal journey for these two young artists.
“Bastrop blues siblings got their mojo workin’... as long as youngsters like the Petersons keep the flame burning, the genre will never die.” – The Austin Chronicle
Glenn and Alex live near Austin, in Bastrop, Texas the sons of supportive parents Glenn Sr. and Deanna Peterson. There they live as any normal teenagers would, going to school where they consistently receive high grades, play in the school band and do volunteer work. Every other waking hour is spent playing their instruments and working towards their dream. “Music for us is like soccer or football for someone else,” Glenn explained. “We just love what we do and this is our life.”
Glenn, 19 years old, plays guitar and sings lead, delivering the blues with a heavy influence of funk in his rhythm guitar playing. Through a smooth, jazz-influenced style he combines a traditional blues approach to his leads reaching inspiration from blues greats BB King, Albert King and Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Hubert Sumlin, T-Bone Walker and Lightnin’ Hopkins and borrowing from contemporary players like Robert Cray, Michael Burks, Ernie Isley, Eddie Hazel and jazz icons Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell.
Alex, 17 years old, plays 5-string bass, violin and sings. He holds down their sound with supportive bass lines then breaks out with distinctive melodic riffs, often with a funk and jazz style that transcends his young age. Like his brother, he has a wealth of knowledge about his instrument and the musicians who have influenced him. They include Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Jacob Pastorius, Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins, Ron Carter, Ray Brown, Quintin Berry, Louis Johnson, Adam Blackstone, Stanley Clarke, Rocco Prestia Bob Stroger, and James Jamerson.
Together the brothers discovered the likes of B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Stevie Ray Vaughan at an early age around the house. The bond between the brothers is apparent. “It comes naturally to us,” says Glenn. “We just seem to know and feel what the other is thinking instinctively.”