“Music has always been a big part of my life and I know what it does for people. I know that it is magical, I know that it is the universal language, I know that it enriches the soul…I think that the world needs more of it. It brings people together…it eliminates the barriers that we set up for each other. We are all one under music.”- Ron Atencio
Wake up to a beautiful Sunday at the Ogden Music Festival with Austin & Kassie Weyand. Austin Weyand is passionate about music and is sought after as a performer, composer, arranger, and educator of Fingerstyle guitar. He has run the gamut of performing situations from playing guitar concertos with symphony orchestras, jazz jam sessions in Chicago, bluegrass and Celtic music on a tour through Europe, a pop/rock band throughout the inter-mountain west, to Spanish Flamenco for an 8 week run of the U.S. Premiere of Zorro the Musical. He has recorded 2 solo albums and is the 2014 State of Wyoming and 2012 State of Utah Fingerstyle Guitar Champion.
With Austin’s wife Kassie on bass and vocals, together they create a truly diverse and awe-inspiring experience with stellar arrangements and compositions that fascinate audiences wherever they perform. Kassie has broad experiences in music and theatre, is an excellent pianist and keeps Austin on track in their duo performances. With her sly grins as gentle hints Austin remembers to lock into her bass grooves a little tighter. They have a blast performing together.
"When I hear Run Boy Run, it all comes back to me, why I started doing that show back then. I hope they go on forever." - Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion
Existing comfortably in the tension between tradition and the musical frontier, Run Boy Run's all-acoustic format blends bluegrass, folk and the old timey American vernacular with touches of classical and jazz. Their music is rooted in the traditional music of the Appalachian South, but is also definitively present in the 21st century.
OFOAM has a tradition at the Ogden Valley Roots and Blues Festival of showing our roots on Friday night. The HillBenders in 2013, The Black Lillies in 2014 and 2015 will be no exception as we're excited to present The Brothers Comatose!
The Earls of Leicester, a tribute to legendary bluegrass artists Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, was released by Rounder Records on September 16, 2014 to overwhelming critical acclaim. "This record is something I've been waiting my whole life to do," veteran Dobro master Jerry Douglas says of the self-titled debut by the new all-star dream team combo that he has assembled, organized and produced.
Roll Me, Tumble Me, the Deadly Gentlemen's third album and Rounder Records debut, boasts ten winsome examples of their playfully irreverent, vibrantly rootsy songcraft. Although the Boston-based quintet employs acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and double bass—a lineup that's usually associated with traditional bluegrass—their music defies conventional genre restrictions, filtering a bottomless assortment of influences through their own decidedly distinctive songwriting sensibility and uncanny instrumental rapport. The result is timelessly resonant music that's rooted in tradition, yet effortlessly contemporary and boundlessly entertaining.
Facing West is a Northern Utah band made up of young musicians ranging in ages from 12 to 17. Their musical style is primarily rooted in Bluegrass but spans many different genres including Celtic, Old-Time Appalachia, as well as Country, and includes influences from today’s pop and modern music styles. The bands unique musical talents shine through as they fiddle, strum, and pick their way through old Bluegrass classics as well as tunes you’ll recognize from some of today’s popular musicians. Their youthful energy combined with their love for performing on the live stage is sure to entertain audiences of all ages!
Flint & Steel Bluegrass: A Utah based group of amazingly talented thirteen year old musicians playing an assortment of bluegrass, country, jazz and pop music. Since organizing in December of 2012, this young group has delighted audiences throughout Utah, playing at the Ogden Music Festival and the Old Capital Arts Festival in Fillmore, among others. They have opened for Silver Creek, The Bar“D” Wranglers, Trotta & Ronstadt and Ryan Shupe And The Rubberband. These kids are becoming the rising stars in Utah's acoustic scene, so check them out and hire them, YOU CAN'T GO WRONG!
Sammy Brue is a 13 year old folk singer from the Portland Oregon area. In 2011 after he and his family moved to Utah, his father bought him a guitar so the reclusive preteen had something to do while passing the time. Wanting to play songs by the late Woody Guthrie and acts like Bob Dylan he started learning chords to emulate these great musicians. Within 2 months he wrote his first song “The Woody Guthrie Song” and from that day forward the 10 year old didn't look back. Now at the age of 13, Sammy Brue has a couple of albums worth of original songs under his belt and has opened for acts like Joe Fletcher, Lukas Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Lydia Loveless, John Moreland, and Hayes Carll. He finds inspiration in the Folk/Americana genre of music and has made some great friends in its community. As a one man band, this young Troubadour has made friends all over the country and especially the Northwest where he travels around to play.
The original Songs of The Hollering Pines artfully present stories of long nights, short lives, and spilled chances. Sisters Kiki Jane Buehner and Marie Bradshaw build on the blood-tight harmonies of the past while drummer Dan Buehner 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.
“Sometimes as darkly damaged as Lucinda Williams, at others as defiant and teasing as prime Peggy Lee and always authentically Americana in the Gillian Welch tradition…. She’s mighty good.” - Los Angeles Daily News
Featured in the youth-produced, directed and edited documentary "Generation Bluegrass" (2012), OFOAM is thrilled to present the Snyder Family Band on the Ogden Music Festival stage!
Releasing their first album with the Mountain Home Music label in March this year, the Snyder Family Band hails from Lexington, NC, and features 16 year old Samantha on fiddle and 19 year old Zeb on guitar. They are joined by their father Bud on upright bass. Their mother Laine often joins them on stage to sing three part harmony. Nine year old Owen makes occasional stage appearances singing and entertaining the crowd.
"The best bluegrass-rock-country-soul-gospel-anything goes hybrid band" -The Bluegrass Situation
Mountain Heart is thrilled to announce their new partnership and an upcoming studio album, their first since 2010!
"The simple fact is that James McMurtry may be the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation..." - Stephen King | Entertainment Weekly
James McMurtry is an American rock and folk-rock/Americana singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor (Daisy Miller, Lonesome Dove). He performs with veteran bandmates Daren Hess, Cornbread, and Tim Holt.
"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 are back for two sets at the 8th 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!
Some folks are just happier when they've got a serious case of the blues — that's the way it is for Fabio Barbosa, Jim Derrickson, Gary Tada, and Brad Wheeler, who make up The Rockin' Jukes band.
"Gary likes to play a lot of swing blues and jump blues," said Wheeler. "I like to play a lot of Mississippi blues and Chicago blues. Jim likes Chicago and soul blues, and Fabio is happy to play drums on whatever we're doing."
The Rockin' Jukes, based in Salt Lake City, have been together as a group for three years, but as friends for longer. Barbosa says he and Tada, the guitar player, have known each other for at least 15 years. He's known Wheeler, a former Ogdenite who plays harmonica and slide guitar, for eight to 10 years. Derrickson, the bass player, is the newest member of the group.
"We do a lot of blues jams," said Barbosa. "We know each other because of that, and we have a lot in common."
Blues may be the common link, but each of the musicians has a different take on it.
"When you say 'blues,' a lot of people think it's one genre. 'There are at least 500 shades of the blues,' " Wheeler said, quoting poet and performer Gil Scott-Heron. "I believe there are 500 kinds of blues music, too."
The band starts each gig with a written play list, but they don't always stick with it.
"I would say that if we got to where maybe we could be pigeon-holed on one song, we would probably drop it," Wheeler said. "Part of the thing about playing the blues is that you're always growing, learning and improvising ... we're going to push each other to play the best we can."
Joe McQueen is a legend among Jazz enthusiasts and the Ogden crowd. Making his way through Ogden in 1945 he was stranded and has pretty much stuck around ever since. Unpretentious and honest in his musicmanship, Joe plays from the heart and strives to share his soul through the wail of his saxophone.
Since his 1987 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (Timbuk3), pat mAcdonald has continued to write, perform and reinvent himself releasing 7 critically acclaimed albums--5 with worldwide distribution. The evolution of his solo acoustic works such as Pat MacDonald Sleeps With His Guitar, Begging Her Graces, Degrees of Gone, and Strange Love: PM does DM led to his more amplified sound found on In the Red Room and Troubadour of Stomp which some describe as "Gothic Americana Swamp Rock Blues."
mAcdonald's latest release Purgatory Hill--recorded with partner melaniejane--features an amplified Lowebow cigar-box guitar. The Shepherd Express hails the record as "...nothing less than a shocking reinvention of blues and rock music..."
In addition to his solo career, mAcdonald has been a highly sought-after songwriting collaborator working with such artists as Stewart Copeland (of The Police), Imogen Heap, E (from the Eels), Oysterhead, Keith Urban, John Parish (P.J. Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse), Ryuichi Sakamoto, Eric McFadden and Jackson Browne who describes mAcdonald as "...one of the great lyricists in the English language..." Artists from Aerosmith to Pavoratti have performed his songs.
Other endeavors include Steel Bridge SongFest, The Holiday Music Motel and a pending book deal...
pat mAcdonald and melaniejane team up to create dark, sexy, hypnotic low-end grooves. The two of them onstage have an arsenal of instruments - pat: guitar, cigarbox slide guitar, stompbox and harmonica; melaniejane: electric cello, keyboard, accordion and variety of hand percussion. These two carry the weight of a full band. Although comparisons as far reaching from The White Stripes, Morphine and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to the recent Robert Plant/Alison Krauss collaboration would not be out of line, mAcdonald's song-writing sensibilities coupled with his stomp-board invention and modification of his instruments creates a sound which appeals to music-lovers of all genres yet has a unique stamp unto itself. The two tour regularly throughout the US.
melaniejane has performed throughout the U.S. and has appeared with or opened for such artists as Sam Llamas (The BoDeans), Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes), The Silos (Bloodshot Records), Sigmund Snopek and Dick Parry (saxophonist from Pink Floyd) to name a few. Currently, she has two solo recordings — "Flower" and "Billets Doux," which showcase her talents as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and arranger.
Mad Max & the Wild Ones is a rockin' family band from Springville, Utah. It all started when Wyatt asked for a guitar for his eighth birthday. Not too long after that Cole, at age 4, asked Santa for a drum set so he could play along with his brother. After a couple of years of lessons, the two were getting really good at figuring out songs together when they got Duke, at age 4, to start singing along. Duke also started guitar lessons and taught himself how to play harmonica. It wasn't long before the three of them had quite a few songs going down in the basement that they would play for anyone that happened to come over to the house! Max (Dad) started feeling a little left out, so Mom bought him an upright bass and Wyatt taught him how to play it. They started having so much fun playing music in the basement that that is how they were spending much of their time! A dear friend, car builder and customizer Bo Huff, of Bo Huff Customs, came over to the house and heard them play. He invited them to play at his yearly car show in Dragerton, Utah in 2006 and the rest is history! Since then they have performed all across the country and overseas!
Better Off With The Blues began life as an acoustic blues band with roots in Delta Blues, Country Blues, Folk Blues, Rags and Jug Band music. Members include Lou Borgenicht (harp and vocals), Ken Critchfield (bass), Jim Poulton (guitar and vocals), and Paul Rasmussen (guitar, mandolin and vocals). Playing music from such diverse artists as Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Mississippi Fred McDowell and more, BOWB performances feature a tour of the roots of the blues from the earliest decades of the 20th century. Add in songs by more current composers (including Delbert McClinton, Bob Dylan and members of BOWB themselves), and BOWB becomes a compendium for an entire century of blues approaches and styles.
A musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time.
"One of the most impressively powerful voices recently heard anywhere, regardless of sex. Able to boon, cajole, promise and growl with equal power, she plays guitar with much the same forcefulness!" -Matt Weitz, Dallas Observer
"Carolyn Wonderland is the real deal! She's an amazing guitar player. She whistled a solo. She even played the trumpet! And damn, can she sing." - Los Angeles Times
Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Henry Butler, R.L.Burnside, John Jackson, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Mattews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, Natalie Merchant, and others.
Marley's Ghost is nothing less than a national treasure, the capable inheritors of the archetypal Americana blueprint drawn up by The Band. As the L.A. Weekly aptly put it, "This West Coast [group] deftly, and frequently daffily, dashes across decades of American music to create a sound that's steeped in tradition but never bogged down by traditionalism." These guys can sing and play anything with spot-on feel, from reggae (hence the double-entendre moniker) to blues to stone country, which is what they've been doing - to the ongoing delight of a fervent cult that includes many of their fellow musicians - throughout their first quarter century as a working unit.
"The band has always been eclectic, and that's one of the reasons we've stayed together for this long," Wheetman explains. "I've said this before, but instead of having to be in a Delta blues band, an a cappella singing group, a country band, a reggae band, and being a singer/songwriter, I'm in one band and we just do all that. It's very convenient."
Dan Wheetman (vocals, bass, rhythm guitar, fiddle, harmonica, banjo, Dobro, lap steel) came to the group after a long career during which he played in the '60s Simi Valley, Calif., teen rock group the Humane Society, Fresh Air (with Don Heffington), the Honky Tonk Swamis and '70s country-rockers Liberty, who spent years on the road with John Denver and Steve Martin. Danny's showmanship and unique sense of humor, combined with an uncommonly powerful and resonant baritone, provide the focal point for the group's upbeat performances.
Mike Phelan (vocals, lead guitars, fiddle, Dobro, bass, lap steel), who's been performing as a singer/player since he was knee high to a grasshopper, has lived all over the U.S., playing, recording and performing in many styles, including bluegrass, rock, folk and blues in countless bands. Phelan cites guitarists Steve Cropper, Eldon Shamblin, Doc Watson, Jimi Hendrix and B. B. King, and vocalists Tommy Duncan, Ralph Stanley and William Bell as major influences. Like Wheetman and Wilcox, he's also a deft and prolific songwriter.
Jon Wilcox (vocals, mandolin, rhythm guitar, guitar, bouzouki) has solo recordings on the Folk-Legacy, Sierra-Briar and Sage Arts labels and has toured internationally as a singer/songwriter and interpreter of traditional American and British Isles music. He's also intimately familiar with the groves of academe, having graduated from Stanford Law School and later teaching high school history.
Ed Littlefield Jr. (vocals, pedal steel guitar, Highland bagpipes, keyboards, mandolin, Dobro, lead guitar), a product of the Northern California folk scene, relocated to Washington State in the early 1970s. He toured extensively with the well-known Seattle Western swing band Lance Romance before founding Sage Arts, one of the Northwest's premier recording studios, where he functions as a producer and engineer. Littlefield is one of the most innovative of the new breed of pedal steel guitarists; among his influences, he counts Ian & Sylvia, Bob Dylan, Flatt & Scruggs, Hank Williams, Doc Watson, Ernest Tubb, the Grateful Dead, The Band and the Rolling Stones.
Jerry Fletcher (keys, accordion, vocal arranging), who's long the band's secret weapon and unofficial fifth Ghost, appearing on albums and gigs from the outset, became a fulltime member in 2006. A teen rock rival of Wheetman's and later his cohort in Liberty, Fletcher lays down a thoughtful groove that grounds the band and completes the musical puzzle.
The original Songs of The Hollering Pines artfully present stories of long nights, short lives, and spilled chances. Sisters Kiki Jane Buehner and Marie Bradshaw build on the blood-tight harmonies of the past while Corinne Gentry's fiddle sweetens the sound. Drummer Dan Buehner sings as he lays down the back beat, and Dylan Schorer's electric and lap steel guitar embroidery rounds things out, puling The Hollering Pines closer to the dim lights and thick smoke of a neon roadhouse. Inspired by Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch and Buddy Miller, Their brand of Americana draws on the strength of a tube driven radio signal, parting the sea of static, bouncing off of heaven and back to earth.
The Sweetwater Crossing Band has been playing together since December of 2010. Ranging in age from 14 to 17, these kids play a wide variety of bluegrass, old-timey music, even including songs from the top ten pop charts. The band features fiddles, guitar, mandolin, frailing banjo and bass, and has played at numerous church and community functions, major art and music festivals, delighting audiences with their youthful enthusiasm and stage presence.
Jeff Scroggins & Colorado is a high energy, high mountain "bluegrass explosion," that features the amazing banjo playing of Jeff Scroggins. Jeff's fiery style and lightning fast licks have earned him many fans worldwide, and have left many a first time listener in stunned disbelief! It also features the award winning mandolin playing of Jeff's son Tristan Scroggins. Tristan is also an accomplished songwriter, and his and Jeff's original instrumentals play a large role in the band's unique and energetic sound.
The band also features incredible bluegrass vocals, led by the powerful voice of frontman Greg Blake. Greg has twice been nominated for SPBGMA's "Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year" award, and his phenomenal bluegrass guitar playing has earned him 9 nominations and an amazing 5 consecutive wins as SPBGMA's Guitarist of the Year!
Annie Savage brings strong vocals and an aggressive fiddle style that is well suited to the band's high energy approach. She is a conservatory trained musician with 15 years teaching experience a great instructor as well as performer! KC Groves founded the all girl band Uncle Earl and is truly a force to be reckoned with! Having recorded with such greats as Charles Sawtelle and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and touring internationally for many years, KC is an internationally renowned musician and song-writer. She teaches through Planet Bluegrass and is a fabulous addition to the project.
Bluegrass Rising are:
Richard Schmeling - Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
Richard Schmeling originally hales from Brooklyn, New York, but has been playing bluegrass and other genres of music for many years in the Salt Lake valley. Along with guitar and mandolin, Richard is an accomplished piano player and loves performing the ballads of old time cowboy music and he loves the romance of the old west. Richard played guitar and mandolin with well-known Salt Lake band Ridin' the Fault Line for the past 18 years. He also played with Lonesome Ridge, filled in with the Backwoods Cowboy Band, and is currently a member of the Red Desert Ramblers, and the American Irish Duo.
Tim Morrison - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Tim Morrison, originally from Salt Lake City, has been involved in the acoustic music community in Salt Lake for over 20 years. He is a former president of the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association, and president of Utah Friends of Bluegrass. He has also served as a co-director of the Utah State Instrument Championships and is currently in charge of judging. Tim formed Lonesome Ridge in the 90's and joined the Stormy Mountain Boys in the early 2000's and has played with them since. Tim has filled in with many bands across the intermountain west including Ridin' the Fault Line, the Red Desert Ramblers, and Hammer Down. Tim also played with the Backwoods Cowboy Band and played many old time cowboy variety shows around the Salt Lake valley. He also played and toured with national recording artist Ron Spears and Within Tradition.
Jake Workman - Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, and Vocals
Jake Workman, from Draper, Utah, hit the bluegrass scene in Salt Lake when he was about 15 years old, when he joined Hammer Down as their banjo player. Since that time he earned his place as one of the most respected players in the bluegrass community, and has gone on to take 2nd place in the National Banjo Championships in 2010 and 2011. Jake started playing guitar at about age 17 and has since placed 4th in the National Flatpicking Championships at Winfield, Kansas. Jake has also won the Utah State Instrument Championships in guitar, banjo, and mandolin, and won the Texas State Guitar Championship in 2010. He has also won Guitar Center's King of the Blues competition nearly every year he competes. Jake also plays mandolin with intermountain favorite Cold Creek, and is the featured guitarist for Driven, a well-known bluegrass band from Kansas.
Rebekah Workman - Fiddle, Vocals
Rebekah Workman joined the bluegrass scene in Salt Lake when she met Jake Workman just a few years ago. She hales from Oak City, Utah. Rebekah and Jake would show up to the local bluegrass jams and while he was lighting it up on the guitar, Rebekah would light it up on the fiddle. Rebekah and Jake married and have been playing music together as a duo as well as in bluegrass bands and other settings. Rebekah's fiddle talent is the current driving force in Bluegrass Rising. She has also added her fiddle and voice to Hammer Down, Cold Creek, and Driven.
Blaine Nelson - Banjo
Blaine Nelson joins Bluegrass Rising as one of the finest 5 string banjo players in the state of Utah. His outstanding skills earned him the title of 2003 Utah State banjo champion. His unique and flawless banjo picking drive the sound of Cold Creek. He has played at numerous venues throughout Utah, both with his former band, Gift Horse, and as a solo act, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Founders Title Folk and Bluegrass Festival, and the Birch Creek Bluegrass Festival.
Triggers and Slips music is steeped in the psychology of relationships. Like so much great country music that came before, theirs originates in personal mistakes and stepped on hearts. While the band's music is a blend that's not quite country and not quite rock n' roll, and not quite alt-country either, fans of both types of music have come to love their sound.
Triggers & Slips is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. They have spent the last two years playing local venues and national music festivals. Lead by singer/songwriter Morgan Snow, he incorporates insightful, poignant lyrics, with a powerful, and soulful voice reminiscent of traditional country music like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, while pulling from other influences such as Pink Floyd, The Who, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Blind Melon, and Nirvana.
Triggers & Slips started in living rooms, and campfires for close friends, and the occasional new stranger. The music and performance has developed into something that is every bit as powerful in small intimate venues as it is at larger venues such as national music festivals with Snow playing solo, or as a duo with multi-instrumentalist John Davis, who adds lap steel, lead guitar, tenor guitar, as well as sharing the singing duties, which blend well with Snow's simple vocal and instrumental style.
Triggers & Slips also plays as a full 5 piece band that brings people to their feet with their blend of rock, honky tonk country, and psychedelia. Their ability to play to any crowd, and any venue, has provided them with opportunities to share their music to an eclectic group of people from events catered towards anything from EDM, jam bands, and country fans, to small coffee shops, and everything in-between.
Black Lillies front man Cruz Contreras knows a thing or two about the road.
After co-founding Robinella and the CCstringband with his wife, he spent nearly a decade traveling the road and making music from coast to coast. When his marriage – and the band – dissolved in 2007, he returned to the road ... this time, as the driver of a truck for a stone company. It was here, over a year spent rolling down the highways of East Tennessee, that the songs and sounds that would form the nexus of The Black Lillies were conceived.
And "Runaway Freeway Blues," the band's third studio album, was realized exactly there ... on the road. When the Lillies weren't playing their 200-odd gigs during 2012, they were in Wild Chorus Studio in their hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., working with Scott Minor of Sparklehorse to craft a beautiful ode to restless spirits and rambling hearts. Rooted in the mud-rutted switchbacks of Appalachia, "Runaway Freeway Blues" is the sound of a band that's becoming something of a phenomenon across the country.
Contreras and his bandmates – harmony vocalist Trisha Gene Brady, multi-instrumentalist Tom Pryor, bass player Robert Richards and drummer Bowman Townsend – have grown from a few friends sitting around campfires and living rooms to a band that shows up in far-flung cities where folks to whom they've never played before already know the words to the songs. Eschewing record labels, they've still managed to conquer the Billboard Top 200 charts (Runaway Freeway Blues debuted at #43), put three tracks in Country Music Television's top 12 requested videos, and film a nationally broadcast commercial for Twizzlers. They've been featured on numerous television specials and played festivals as widespread as Bonnaroo, Rochester Jazz Festival, MerleFest, and CMA Fan Fair. Despite trafficking in a richer, more authentic brand of country and Americana than what gets played on mainstream country radio, they've still been invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry more than twenty times – a record for an independent act.
The Black Lillies, in other words, have come a long way from those early days, when Contreras channeled heartache and regret into a stunning debut. "Whiskey Angel" was the sound of a man drowning his sorrows, and an introduction to someone who had languished behind the scenes for too long. As the guy who loaned out his initials to Robinella and the CCstringband, which flirted with national fame a few years ago with a hit ("Man Over") on Country Music Television, an appearance on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" in 2003, and albums on both Sony and Dualtone, he was known best as a mandolin virtuoso and bandleader.
Starting over, he stunned friends and peers in the East Tennessee music scene with a voice that makes you think of Randy Travis or Dan Tyminski or even the great Ralph Stanley in his prime: steeped in regret, seasoned with pain and tempered in the fires of hard times. It served "Whiskey Angel" well, and when "100 Miles of Wreckage" was released in 2011, the band seemingly burst onto the national stage – spending five solid months in the Americana Music Association's radio charts (four of them in the top 15).
That record was the sound of a man taking stock of his life and his past, regarding the pain and the turmoil with a measure of wistful acceptance. Which brings us to "Runaway Freeway Blues," which finds the band focused on the horizon, filled with the nervous energy of excitement at the unknown future waiting on the other side of that distant hill, enthusiastic about the journey as much as they are about the destination.
The emotional arc of the new record is brilliant, so vivid and detailed with lush harmonies and instrumental virtuosity that's as powerful in the quieter moments as it is explosive during jubilant ones. You can cherry-pick any number of songs from "Runaway Freeway Blues" and find gold. Banjo, pedal steel, piano and everything else lift this record up on wings of uncommon grace and stunning vitality, and when Contreras and Brady combine their voices, it calls to mind classic duets from times long gone: George and Tammy. Gram and Emmylou. Johnny and June. From gentle Laurel Canyon folk rock to the honky-tonk heartache of classic country to winding jams, "Runaway Freeway Blues" is an album that defies easy categorization.
It was conceived on the road, inspired by the road and completed there as well: Contreras mixed the album while on tour, by phone and email, coordinating overdubs and guest instrumental appearances (Josh Oliver, formerly of the everybodyfields; banjo player Matt Menefee, who's toured with Mumford & Sons, Levi Lowery and Big & Rich; and a host of Tennessee's finest musicians on horns, harmonica and percussion) while playing into the wee hours of the morning, driving all night and setting up in the next city to do it all over again.
It's breakneck, brazen and beautiful. It's the sound of a band that's rooted in East Tennessee but more at home piled into a van stacked with gear, windows down and aimed toward the next gig. It's an album that lets long-time fans as well as relative newcomers to the Black Lillies phenomenon know that this train isn't stopping anytime soon.
"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
Born and raised in Sandpoint Idaho, Shook Twins are an Indie folk-pop band now hailing from coniferous forested Portland, Oregon. Identical twins, Katelyn and Laurie Shook, Kyle Volkman and Niko Daoussis form the core quartet. Central elements of the Shook Twins' sound are a wide range of instrumentation, including banjo, guitar, electric and upright bass, mandolin, electric guitar, electronic drums, face drum (beatbox), glockenspiel, ukulele, banjo drumming and their signature golden EGG. Beautiful twin harmonies, layered upon acoustic and electric instrumentation coupled with Laurie's inventive use of percussive and ambient vocal loops, and Katelyn's repurposed telephone microphone, set their sound apart, creating a unique and eccentric blend of folk, roots, groove and soul.
The twins are the main songwriters but they have recently started backing up their band members, Niko Daoussis (Cyber Camel) and Anna Tivel (Anna and the Underbelly) and adding their stunning songs to the mix.
Each Shook Twins song tells a story, distinctive, sharp, genuine, and well – sometimes quirky. Drawing from their life experience, select subjects include, being potters' daughters, imagined superpowers and a chicken named 'Rose' they befriended. Shook Twins also pull out unexpected takes on classic hits, retellings of their musician friends' songs, heartfelt ballads and rhythm driven dance numbers.
It can be argued that it was Booker T. Jones who set the cast for modern soul music and is largely responsible for its rise and enduring popularity. On classic Stax hits like "Green Onions," "Hang 'Em High," "Time Is Tight," and "Melting Pot" the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee and GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient pushed the music's boundaries, refined it to its essence and then injected it into the nation's bloodstream. In June of 2013, Sound the Alarm, the new album from Booker T, finds the Hammond B3 organ master looking ahead yet again, laying down his distinctive bedrock grooves amid a succession of sparkling collaborations with some of contemporary R&B's most gifted young voices.
Back for a second time to the OFOAM Stage, both at the festival and our free outreach event at the Downtown Ogden Amphiteater on Thursday, August 21, that mad man on the accordion, Jeffery Broussard!
One of the most influential accordianists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffery Broussard continues to be one of the genre's most dynamic performers. He has continually been an innovator, beginning his career with traditional Creole Zydeco music playing drums in his father's band, Delton Broussard & the Lawtell Playboys, then moving on to develop the nouveau Zydeco sound in Zydeco Force, now returning to the more traditional Zydeco sound with his own band, Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys.