Donna The Buffalo
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
The Town Pants
Maddy Walsh & The Blind Spots
Aaron Lipp & The Slack Tones
Ponder the Albatross
Uncle Ben’s Remedy
8 Ball Aitken
Sun King Warriors
The Steel City Jug Slammers
Rose and the Bros
The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers
The Oak Hill Drifters
Jeb & Tara
Tiger Maple String Band
Black Rock Zydeco
Max Garcia Conover
Ken Hardley & Mandy Andrews
Rolling Hills Radio
Bill, Amanda & John
Big Hat No Cattle
Donna The Buffalo
Los Straitjackets are the leading practitioners of the lost art of the guitar instrumental. Using the music of the Ventures, The Shadows, and with Link Wray and Dick Dale as a jumping off point, the band has taken their unique, high-energy brand of original rock & roll around the world.
Clad in their trademark Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling masks, the ‘Jackets’ have delivered their trademark guitar licks to 16 albums, thousands of concerts and dozens of films and TV shows. Viva Los Straitjackets!
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band has built its reputation the long, slow, hard way. After 12 years of playing as many as 300 shows each year, Rev. Peyton, the world’s foremost country blues finger-style picker, along with the biggest little band in the country has pieced together one of the most dedicated followings out there. This following is sure to eat up the band’s latest offering, Poor Until Payday, (the second on their own Family Owned Records label through hip Nashville indie Thirty Tigers) out October 5th, a country blues record that was made the right way — two feet on the ground and both hands getting dirty.
With all the power of a freight train, the Big Damn Band is known for its live shows. Rev. Peyton delivers guitar pyrotechnics the old fashioned way — ten fingers, a 6 string and an amp cranked at full tilt. In the country blues style, he plays the bass with his thumb, while picking the lead with his fingers at the same time. When he lifts the guitar behind his head to play there’s nothing but skill and 16 gauge nickel strings to make the sounds coming out of the speakers.
Beside him on stage are just two other people. His wife, “Washboard” Breezy Peyton playing with all the nuance and percussive power of a New Orleans drum line, and keeping the train moving is Max Senteney on a lean drum kit including a 5 gallon maple syrup bucket. Together they play Peyton’s wildman country blues that’s as much ZZ Top as it is Bukka White.
On Poor Until Payday Peyton wanted a sound as live and electric as the records made in the heyday of 45 rpm blues classics from Chess, Stax and Sun Records. Playing his beloved custom-made National steel resonator, a 1949 Harmony Archtop, a 1954 Supro Dual Tone and a 1955 Kay Speed Demon through a 1949 Supro amp, Rev wanted to restore the “warmth, pops and hisses” mostly eliminated by modern-day compression. The band played in a room together with minimal micing (using only the best classic pieces they could get) with the main effect being tape saturation.
The result is an album that is direct, soulful and demands to be played loud.
The themes of songs like the title track, “You Can’t Steal My Shine” and “I Suffer I Get Tougher” offer the antidote to today’s hard times by touting “perseverance, inspiration and hope… being your authentic self despite everything lined against you, a light at the end of the tunnel.” With a vocal style reflecting both the soulfulness and bite of his idols, Rev has added world-class singer to his already-renowned skills as a finger-pickin’ guitar phenom. Breezy and Max also contribute background vocals to most of the songs, with “The Miss Elizabeth of Country Blues” actually taking the spotlight with a sultry call-and-response showcase on “Dirty Swerve,” in which she also contributed to the writing.
Peyton’s blues pedigree is well established. Woodshedding since he was 12, Peyton has kept alive a tradition of finger picking pioneered by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt. However, Peyton plays with the energy and attitude of a Howlin’ Wolf. Indeed if it has strings he can play it whether that’s a custom-built National, a cigarbox, an axe or even a shotgun (seriously, Google it.).
He’s done his homework and been given the blessing of the gatekeepers of the tradition — even befriending and touring with some of the last of the great Delta Blues and Hill Country blues legends like David “Honeyboy” Edwards, T-Model Ford (whose grandson calls him Unk), and Robert Belfour.
Rev and Breezy make their home in rural southern Indiana near the adopted home of bluegrass legend Bill Monroe, among national parks and forests in what began as an artist’s colony. “Most of the people here can both paint a picture and skin a deer,” laughs Breezy.
There’s nothing dusty or sentimental about Peyton’s music, though. There’s no songs about picking cotton. They aren’t a museum piece. The Big Damn Band have taken nearly a century of blues songsmanship and crafted a thing all their own. There is not a single act out there that sounds like this.
The Big Damn Band make friends and fans every place they go — and there are few places they haven’t been, having performed in 37 countries. After Poor Until Payday, the only people who won’t be on the big damn bandwagon will be people who haven’t heard or aren’t paying attention.
This is real, from the heart, handmade music made by people, for people who don’t have time for BS.
əkoostik hookah incorporates many genres of music into their own style, from folk to psychedelic rock, bluegrass to blues, extended jams to concise rock-n-roll, əkoostik hookah’s style includes many musical genres for a sound that in the end is distinctly “hookah”. With well over 100 original songs, and a large catalogue of cover songs to choose from, you will never hear the same show twice. The band is known for its live shows and its ability to feed off of the crowd’s energy, using it to fuel the improvised set lists that create unforgettable musical experiences.
Founding members, Dave Katz (keys, vocals, acoustic guitar), Steve Sweney (guitar), and longstanding drummer, Eric Lanese, have been the mainstays, providing the foundation and longevity that few acts have been able to maintain. Eric Sargent (guitar, vocals) arrived in 2010 and Matt Paetsch in 2018 (bass).
Beginning in a 1991 in a smoky basement bar in Columbus, Ohio, əkoostik hookah has become one of the most recognized and influential acts on the touring music scene. Hookah, as they are known by their incredibly faithful fans, has played thousands of shows in over 40 states. They have performed at infamous venues, including The Wetlands Preserve in New York City, The House of Blues in Chicago, The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, and Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Hookah has shared the stage with music greats, such as Bob Weir and Ratdog, The Allman Brothers, David Crosby, Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Hornsby, and many more. Home grown and independently run, əkoostik hookah helped to pave the way for scores of bands all over the country to be able to head out on the road and do what they love. Just play music.
əkoostik hookah has also been host to one of the longest running music festivals in the country. Hookahville, sometimes known as The Ville Music Festival, began in 1994, and has catered to music fans of all ages twice a year ever since. Beginning as a little get together of 800 people in the woods, by 1999 the festival was regularly drawing between 8000 and 15000 people. Long time veterans of the festival stage, Hookah has had the pleasure of playing Bonnaroo, Gathering of the Vibes, High Sierra, Wakarusa, All Good, and many others. To this day, at any festival, if you listen closely, you stand a good chance of hearing a call of “hooooooookah” ringing out through the night.
The Town Pants
With a decades worth of headlining Roots and Celtic festivals to selling out nights at rock venues The Town Pants own brand of Celtic roots rock rebel spans five albums so far, backed up with a legendary live show that’s garnered them fans internationally from New York to Norway.
And while The Pacific Northwest may not be the first place you would expect to hear rollicking Celtic roots music, but The Town Pants are determined to change that. TheVancouver,Canada based band combines aspects of Irish traditional, folk rock and rootsAmericana, fusing their signature dual lead vocals to create their own unique brand of high energy “West Coast Celtic.” that remains in the heart and head long after the music stops. There are lots of Celtic folk rock bands out there, but rarely does a band has this combination of passion, energy, animation and spirit that makes for some of the most imaginative songwriting you’ll find in the genre.
With performances in hundreds of cities and over a dozen countries, The Town Pants have become a consistent audience favorite at Celtic, Folk, World, Irish and even Rock festivals throughout the United States, Canada and in Europe.The bands latest release, titled “Something to Say”, contains 9 songs and is set to be released in the summer of 2018.
Anyone familiar with the Americana music scene knows this Upstate, New York-based band has
cut their teeth on a killer live show. With a never-ending tour schedule and a steady buzz, they
have built a very solid underground fan base. “The game has been live shows and nose to the
ground since the beginning,” says guitarist/songwriter Dan Forsyth.
As well as a devout following and a sizable discography, the band’s hard work has also been a
huge part of the inspiration for their music. The songs and arrangements have grown out of
time spent on the road, growing closer, learning with and from each other and weathering the
up’s and down’s of the journey together. “We have a truly special bond creatively and
personally. It’s the driving force behind the music,” violinist/songwriter Claire Byrne adds.
It is with this bond, patience, determination and undying mutual love and respect for music, the
road, and their friendship, they have approached their latest offering, ‘Tree of Shade.’
“I’m struck by the gratitude that making music with my best friends/my other family brings,”
says guitarist/songwriter Joe Kollar. “Even our producer (Simone Felice) and the engineer (Pete
Hanlon) became brothers in this process. Laying out some of your most intimate moments and
showing the rawest version of yourself is both scary and exhilarating but more importantly, it
reminds you why you chose music as the vehicle. It’s the ’66 Corvette that will always take me
back to the beauty and power of a group of people setting out to make something together.”
Their first album with a major producer, ‘Tree of Shade’ is a testament to the essence of a song.
Working alongside Felice, the band found themselves stripping things back way more than they
normally would. “Simone was all about finding the essence of the song and doing our best to
bring it out without distorting it or taking the arrangement too far.”
The first single off of the Spring 2019 release is ‘Lay Like You Do,’ a stripped down
heartbreaker. “This was one of those songs that came out faster than I could write it down and
seemed sort of like plucking an apple off a tree,” admits Forsyth. “The melody and chorus came
out of a dream and when I woke up, I wrote the rest real fast.”
With the addition of drummer Will Sigel in April 2018, Driftwood feels like a new band. “Will
has elevated our sound without changing the intimate dynamic that is Driftwood,” observes
bassist Joey Arcuri. With this added momentum and a new album, a nationwide tour is set in
support of ‘Tree of Shade.’
Voice as a weapon, words as bullets, spreading the universal message of peace, love, and justice through music. Sure, there’s a cynical cultural tendency to make certain assumptions when you hear the word “gun” associated with rap music, but this seven-member live hip-hop band from Ithaca, NY, runs contrary to that image with their positive message and uplifting performances.
Since the band formed in 2008, their stellar catalog of albums and dedication to an ever growing and energized fan base has helped propel them to the top of the Central New York music scene. In addition to being one of the top homegrown acts in their musically rich hometown, Gunpoets have become staples at regional festivals such as the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance and the Great Blue Heron Music Festival. Progressively, over the band’s eight years together, they have also become in-demand headliners at clubs and concert series across the Northeast.
In July 2016, Gunpoets released their third studio album, Bombs Away! The new album’s title plays off the hard/soft juxtaposition that underlies the band’s name and creative identity. The album is a call to the world to lay down all weapons of war, and to replace them with love, peace, and compassion. This powerful new release exemplifies the true definition of what it means to be a Gunpoet.
The Probables are a rhythm-driven, folkcana/roots rock band from Jamestown, New York. The band formed in March of 2016 and hit the ground running by releasing their EP in July of the same year. The Probables follow-up release, “Cumberland Line,” brought to fruition in June of 2018, expanded their music scope. With influences of Americana, Folk, Contemporary, Bluegrass and Rock, The Probables result was a fusion of a unique blend.
The Probables consist of 5 members: Steve Johnson – Lead Singer/Acoustic Guitar, Matt Gronquist – Accordion/Fiddle/Vocals, Adam McKillip – Mandolin/Vocals, Ryan Ecklund -Bass, and Nick Campbell – Drums.
The group’s distinctive name was decided upon during a booking exchange with the organizer of the annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival in Sherman, NY. The band had not yet chosen a name when they expressed interest in making a debut at the annual festival. The organizer of the festival responded, “I’ll probably book you, so I guess we should just call you ‘The Probables’.” The rest is history…
So much great music comes from the great state of New York that it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes to wade through all the new releases. The Probables broke though the stack for me and made an impression with their new EP, “The Home.” They call it Folkgrass and I tend to agree. Songwriter and singer Steve Johnson gives us some great folk lyrics but I think it’s Matt Gronquist on Accordion, Fiddle, and Mandolin who crosses it over into that wonder blend of Bluegrass and Folk that makes this band an instant fave. The songs “I’m Home” and “Homeward Bound” were instant standouts for me and should be added to any Bluegrass or Folk radio rotation. Written by Angela Miakoda ” Roots Music Report”
In an age when independence is idolized and every person seems to be seeking their own lone wolf career path, Seattle-based roots band Western Centuries believes that the way forward is better together. Collaboration, inspiration and mutual admiration are what Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton, and Jim Miller cite as the heart of their project. Western Centuries celebrates their third album as a “band’s band” with the release of Call the Captain, (a tongue-in-cheek reference to the band’s lack of hierarchy), due out April 3 on Free Dirt Records. Unsurprisingly for such an egalitarian outfit, the collection offers harsh criticism of dogmatic belief systems, all while leading by example with a unique, genre-defying sound.
Morrison and Lawton met in Seattle, where Morrison was playing primarily as part of acoustic duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, and Lawton was working with Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers. The two began playing together casually, and bonded over their love for a few Dirk Powell records which featured Jim Miller’s singing. When they heard that Miller had moved to Seattle they made a point to connect with him and the three found a shared artistic outlook as well as a burgeoning friendship. Each an established musician in his own right, Morrison, Lawton and Miller (a founding member of roots-jam band Donna the Buffalo) share lead singer and songwriter duties, while swapping instruments onstage with ease. “I had been in Donna the Buffalo for 20 years and my role in that was rhythm guitar and harmony singing,” says Miller. “I didn’t want to be the backup dude anymore. My thought was, if I’m gonna’ do this, I want to contribute to the material in a more meaningful way.” Thus, Western Centuries was born—a band without a leader; a ship without a captain.
On Call the Captain, all three songwriters express sentiments that reject dogmatic authority. On the gospel inspired ballad “Long Dreadful Journey,” Lawton sings “Self-righteous stand up and they raise up their cups / Claiming all great victories and spoils / But the power and the greed brought the meek to their knees / Left not a thing to inherit at the end of the world.” The song is a powerful message about means and ends. “To me, religion is a false framework, which makes the terrible things that are done in its name that much worse,” says Lawton.
The band expresses similar scorn for misguided missionary work in Morrison’s “Dynamite Kid.” The song describes a land grant battle in Northern New Mexico, with the chorus proclaiming “Here comes the Dynamite Kid / He’s got a box of wooden matches and a shit eating grin / Just like his daddy did.” Colonialism takes on a whole new geographic context in Miller’s satirical “Space Force,” an imagination of President Trump’s proposed sixth branch of the armed services. “ I want to join the Space Force / And wear a silver suit /…We’ll cruise around the galaxy / Taking all the bad guys down / Our crimes will be forgotten / Cause the Space Dogs are back in town,” sings Miller. The song’s nostalgic 1980s-influenced production hearkens back to a decade known as the Shuttle Era and American pride in the space race.
Throughout the album, three part vocal harmonies add heft and meaning to each song, with a distinct rhythmic agreement among the singers, revealing a shared belief of just how music should be made. “Even if there are drums, electric guitars and synthesizers, we all like to come at the music in a similar way as we would approach a bluegrass song. Supporting the lead singer, singing three part harmonies, and letting the instrumentalists be featured; it just feels natural,” explains Morrison.
Lawton, Morrison, and Miller are joined on the record by a world-class cast of musicians, many of whom have made a name for themselves outside of Western Centuries. Nokosee Fields, who plays bass on the album, is better known as an old-time fiddle player, having won first place on fiddle at the 2019 Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival in West Virginia. Thomas Bryan Eaton, known for his work with Miss Tess, plays inspired pedal steel on all 12 tracks of Call the Captain while Oliver Bates Craven, formerly of the Stray Birds, plays fiddle, crossing a range of styles and emotions from mellow and melancholy to downright aggressive. Jim Lauderdale, a name almost synonymous with the Americana genre in Nashville, sings harmony vocals on two tracks, as well as lead on the final verse of “Space Force.” Additional cameos include John Pahmer on keyboards and Tara Nevins (Donna the Buffalo) on tambourine. The record was recorded and mixed in the studio of GRAMMY-nominated producer Bill Reynolds, former bass player for Band of Horses, and one of Nashville’s most innovative roots music producers. “It’s refreshing to work with a band that puts in the work to create a sound together; something a plug-in or a computer can’t replicate,” says Reynolds of the process. “It’s a damn blast to record; the 2-inch tape machine just eats it up.”
Although Lawton, Morrison and Miller all have a deep respect for and fluency in old time, bluegrass, and country music, they aren’t afraid to break the rules when it comes to instrumentation, arrangement, or sentiment. “There is a lot of pride in who you are and where you come from in roots music, and that’s not something that we want to discount necessarily,” explains Lawton. “But I think you can make music that comes from these amazing and rich places, and still be hyper critical of those places.”
On Call the Captain, Western Centuries offers an embarrassment of musical riches. The band demonstrates what is possible when ego steps aside in favor of collaboration. From the searing imagery of “Every Time It’s Raining,” to the lovesick “Heart Broke Syndrome,” to the profound and existential “Before That Final Bell,” the virtuosity of the group is understated. Nonetheless their ability to perfectly complement one another reveals the finest in each songwriter along the way.
“What a relief! Country music is alive and well. Great players, fine songwriting, and honest singers. These guys are doing it right.” —Willie Watson
“This record and band hits the spot. The songs are cool, smart, deep and fun (the way I like my swimming pools). They’re rooted in classic country with a twist.” —Jim Lauderdale
“The new album by Western Centuries is proof that country is alive and well. If you’re a fan of classic country, you’ll love this album.” —Gary Schwind, The Examiner
“Western Centuries comprises a terrific blend of what we love at WNCW: good ole’ rock-n-roll, a healthy dose of honky-tonk twang, and some great songwriting courtesy of Cahalen Morrison, Jim Miller, and Ethan Lawton.” —Martin Anderson, Music Director & Morning Host, WNCW-FM, Spindale, NC
Maddy Walsh & The Blind Spots
Maddy Walsh & The Blind Spots, a tenured, original, five-piece moxy rock band steered by magnetic songstress and force of nature Maddy Walsh, recently celebrated its ten-year “bandiversary” with a sold-out show at Ithaca, NY’s Hangar Theatre. The event was paired with the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Talk, which they have been actively touring the country in support of. The new album brings forth a wide range of emotions and a matured grasp of songwriting, paired, as always, with the band’s signature high-energy performances and incessant penchant for FUN.
The band also known for its sparkly aesthetic, from Walsh’s signature sequins and white go-go boots to the Blind Spots’ Thrift Shop (a big rack of wild re-purposed / secondhand clothing with the band’s logo printed on) to their collection of music videos created to accompany songs on all four albums. Their current equipment trailer, stenciled with human hearts, has a giant dent in the back with quite a story: …
MW&TBS has shared festival and event bills with the likes of Lake Street Dive, Silversun Pickups, Valerie June, Rubblebucket, Jukebox the Ghost, Amy Helm, Donna the Buffalo, Sharon Jones (rest her soul), The Punch Brothers, Steve Earle, Anders Osborne, Blues Traveler, Eddie Money, and Rusted Root, among others, and with the recent addition of two new, very talented musicians, they continue to show exponential growth, as they expand their touring radius, gaining new fans and momentum with each electrifying live performance.
Company Townes is a country & western band from rural Northwestern Pennsylvania. Following their debut album Canyon(2016) Co.Townes released a collection of reimagined Townes Van Zandt classics entitled, “Van Zandt” in April of 2019.
Aaron Lipp & The Slack Tones
Aaron Lipp & The Slack Tones is a powerhouse Rockabilly/Americana Roots Music ensemble made of regional all-star musicians. Singing Heartfelt original songs on top of infectious train boogie dance rhythms with world class guitar playing is just one of the soundscapes they have to offer. With players coming from deep backgrounds in bluegrass, old time, swing, country, rockabilly and more this band crafts a new sound while paying homage to the traditional aesthetics we all get nostalgic for. With searingly smooth lap steel slide guitar licks from Gary Meixner, doghouse slap-style upright bass from Brian Williams, rock solid musical drumming from Will Sigel, and fire flatpicking with powerful vocals from Aaron Lipp, this is not an act to be missed!
ReggaeInfinity brings to you authentic, original Roots Reggae from the US Virgin Islands. Band members are talented, seasoned professionals who have toured with some of the foundation artists of Reggae .
With a firm spiritual foundation, these dedicated musicians and singers share the message of Roots Reggae and believe strongly in advancing equality, justice, consciousness, brotherhood and universal love.
However, the heart and soul of ReggaeInfinity is its leader Ras B who was born and raised in Butler’s Village, Nevis, W.I. He is mainly self taught and proficient on drums, bass and keyboards. Ras B also writes most of the band’s original music and lyrics as well as putting together the arrangements.
Aside from performing with ReggaeInfinity, Ras B has performed with many legendary Reggae artists including The Meditations, Haile Maskel (The Rastafarians), Johnny Osbourne, Brigadier Jerry, Admiral Tibet, Harry Mo, Inner Visions and Mystic Vibrations. He is currently working on a 2nd CD.
ReggaeInfinity’s music is suitable for all ages and will have everyone listening and dancing to the word, sound and power that is Roots Reggae.
Their first CD, Vision, is now available through CD Baby, Amazon.com, iTunes and www.reverbnation.com/reggaeinfinity.
Ponder the Albatross
Somewhere in the eternal vastness of space and time, somewhere upon a westward wind, there is a point where Gypsy Punk, Jam Band, and New Grass collide with cosmic force.
That point is Ponder the Albatross.
The “Ponder Phenomenon” is given its drive and force by Josh Bower’s ecstatic mandolin, guitar and vocals, Luke Lindholm’s searing fiddle; ably abetted by Eric Vrtis’ whisking wave of bass & vocals, and Will Schiesser’s symphonic symmetry on the drums.
Every song, every show, every performance, is masterfully executed with the frenetic abandon of a Dervish whirling in a swirling mystical haze that impels audiences to engage and become active participants in the shared experience.
Since the band’s formation in 2015, Ponder the Albatross has lived for the road, playing live throughout the US and the Rocky Mountains, steadily gaining ground and breadth with every step. Playing upbeat Rock/Gypsy/Grass and getting mountain bars and festivals up and dancing with a strong connection to the music, Ponder the Albatross is a Mountain Band, through and through. You can hear the inspiration of the road, the sea, and the trees in their words and from their instruments – Music that speaks to spirit of wanderlust, to the flight of the Albatross.
Performance Formats: seven or nine-piece band, as well as other combinations
“Sure to turn anyone into a dancer. …vibrant and never repetitive. …Soulsha is truly unlike any other jazz or Celtic band out there.” — Kathryn Leeber, The Noise Boston
“Multi-talented and visionary, Soulsha is more than a fresh breeze blowing; it’s a tsunami of hope and high energy intercultural awareness… DANCE and ACT now!” — Alasdair Fraser, Scottish fiddler
Soulsha is a party, a revolution, and an adventure through different traditions. It brings together some of Boston’s top musicians in Scottish, West African, and funk music to create a sound you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.
Soulful call and response singing, masterful improvisation, traditional Senegalese and Scottish dancing and incredible energy make every Soulsha show an unforgettable live experience. Intricate rhythms, soaring bagpipe melodies, and New Orleans-infused horn lines come together seamlessly, and the joy of music rises above all differences, reminding us that we’re all in this together.
The band formed through a series of serendipitous meetings in the thriving and intersecting multicultural melting pot of Boston. Many of the members are virtuosic and highly esteemed tradition bearers in their styles. In Soulsha, they saw a chance to bridge divides. The music they’ve created is a conversation between cultures that breaks down all the boundaries, moving the audience to abandon their assumptions as they lose themselves on the dance floor.
Soulsha will delight lovers of everything from jam bands to bluegrass. While it shares obvious roots with Afro-Celt Sound System’s electronic fusion, the funk-inspired sound of Soulsha puts tradition and interchange center stage, bringing the party energy of Rebirth Brass Band, and the cultural gravitas of masters like Malian Toumani Diabaté.
The sound is fun but deep, fresh but familiar, immigrant and yet deeply American.
For several years, Soulsha has been developing their sound while bringing audiences to their feet at a string of northeastern US festivals including Outside the Box Boston, Tartan Day New York City, South Hadley Falls Fest, Wake Up the Earth, Glasgow Lands Highland Games and Boston Celtic Music Festival. Now they are ready to take the party further afield. Look out 2018, here comes AfroCeltic funk Nation!
Uncle Ben’s Remedy
“These are story songs. Songs about the people we grew up with; grew together with and grew apart from. This music is medicine.”
Roots grow deep in fertile soil. The sound of Uncle Ben’s Remedy is rooted in the small towns of western New York, where community still matters and music is a part of every event. The boys learned to play and sing in this small town atmosphere, giving their music the honest, back porch feel of the country music they love. Uncle Ben’s Remedy is Ben Westlund, Harmony Griffin, Shawn Huestis, Brendan O’Connor and Jimmy Royce, playing all sorts of traditional and rock n’ roll instruments and stomping the floors; all while singing their hearts out in service to the song.
Available on iTunes and Google Play and available for streaming on RDIO, Spotify and other outlets, the band released their debut EP “Yesterday’s Clothes” in 2015 and followed by releasing their full length album, “Not Far From the Tree” in April of 2016. Spurred on by local airplay of their single “Fire in the Field” on Buffalo’s Country, Classic Rock, and Alternative stations, UBR quickly sold the first 2500 copies of their record out of their converted school bus, playing every small town and honky-tonk they could find.
UBR won the Summer 2014 Battle of the Bands at the Canalside Concert Series in Buffalo before taking the 2015 Battle of Original Music (BOOM) competition, which landed them a slot at the sold out Kerfuffle on the Lake. In 2017 UBR piled in the bus and hit the festival circuit, including headlining the annual Sportsmen’s Americana Festival and the opening of the Great Blue Heron Music Festival. A finalist in the national Taste of Country Riser contest, UBR brought a huge crowd, filling the venue to capacity with chanting for the band that lasted long after the final notes of their raucous performance. As word of mouth about their performances spreads, Uncle Ben’s Remedy has been filling clubs on their own as well as sharing stages with Shooter Jennings, Pure Prairie League, Lake Street Dive, Frank Turner, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Artimus Pyle, Cake, Gaslight Anthem, July Talk and others.
About the Boys
Ben, Harmony and Jimmy grew up hanging out at family band practices, soaking in the sounds of John Prine, The Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Merle Haggard. Even today, every family party ends in a big traditional sing along, often with Ben and Harmony’s grandmother taking the lead.
“We sort of took the long way home” laughs Westlund when talking about UBR. “We all paid our dues in rock bands while coming up”, he adds. This rock and roll background is front and center in Uncle Ben’s live show and the audience reaction. “we’ve always dug the old time country sound”, says Jimmy; “but that rock and roll energy kind of gets in your blood and it ain’t easy getting out. So we just mixed them up like a drink.”
Westlund, Griffin and Royce knew what sound they were looking for and they knew what they needed. “We knew Shawn was the best piano player around”, says Harmony. “The fact that he played 27 other instruments was a nice surprise.” There was no way they could do this without an upright bass player. “I knew Brendan from a punk band we used to play in and I knew he could sort of hold his liquor.” Shawn later admits, “to be honest, after one practice, we knew he was the guy and basically kidnapped him”
For UBR, the real magic happens when their blend of original songs and cover tunes bring audiences to their feet to dance and clap their hands. So join them – and I’ll bet you can’t resist stomping your feet and singing along. The band’s enthusiasm is contagious and at some point, you’ll realize you’ve stayed way too long!
8 Ball Aitken
Sun King Warriors
“Jim Donovan and Sun King Warriors are one of the most eclectic and exciting bands to come out in some time…” -The Washington Times
“Sun King Warriors channel unabashed enthusiasm into a series of songs that are both rowdy and rejuvenating…” -Relix magazine
The Sun King Warriors are best described as a blend of rhythm heavy roots rock, with a strong dose of big barreling drums. Think bluesy Zeppelin-esqe bombast, Santana style percussion with wild Avett Brothers energy.
At a Sun King show, you can expect to dance, sweat and hopefully have the time of your life.
The band’s music has garnered radio airplay throughout the US and Canada, and has appeared on Billboard’s Americana chart multiple times.
The band plays regionally at festivals and clubs throughout the mid-atlantic and have opened for 10,000 Maniacs, Donovan’s former band Rusted Root and many others.
Jim Donovan, the band’s founder and writer brings almost three decades of experience to the Sun King Warriors. As a member of the popular 90’s band Rusted Root, he helped shaped the group’s sound and toured with legendary including The Grateful Dead, members of Led Zeppelin, Carlos Santana and the Allman Brothers.
He also co-authored the band’s biggest hit, “Send Me on My Way,” which has been streamed over 100 million times on Spotify and used as the wakeup music for NASA’s Mars rover.
Listen on: Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2m3mGkp
Listen on Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/SKWSoundCloud
Watch on YouTube: http://bit.ly/SunKingWarriorsLive2019
The Steel City Jug Slammers
Jug Band, Country Blues, String Band. Four piece ball of ruckus from Alabany. Established: 2012.
Rose and the Bros
Rose & The Bros began as a collective dream. Rosie Newton, Steve Selin and Paul
Martin wanted to have a band together playing rockin’ music people just couldn’t help
but dance to! Starting in 2015 the trio began collecting songs and searching for the
perfect rhythm section. Greg Evans, Angelo Peters and Sally Freund fit the bill and
made the band complete. Together they specialize in Cajun and Zydeco music from
South West Louisiana. They also include sweet vocal harmonies and a few crooning
country classics in the mix. Their goal is to breath life into the young dance music scene
and have a great time doing it.
Rosie Newton is an internationally touring fiddle player and singer with her Old-Time
duo, Richie and Rosie, but enjoys playing accordion when she is home or in Louisiana.
Steve Selin is a Cider Maker under his label, South Hill Cider by trade but has been a
vital member of the Ithaca music scene, and avid music collector since he moved there
over decade ago. Paul Martin is an organic fruit and vegetable farmer in Trumansburg,
NY where he owns the well loved Sweet Land Farm. He toured with Indie Rock bands in
the early 90’s and has fallen in love with Cajun and Zydeco music over the last few
years. Angelo Peters is the leader of the innovative and wildly popular dance band, Big
Mean Sound Machine. He grew up dancing to Zydeco music at the Grassroots Festival
and it is part of his soul. Greg Evans is a professor at Ithaca College and is a sought
after Jazz drummer in the Ithaca area, playing with the Mike Titlebaum Trio and the
Tenzin Chopak band. Sally Freud is an accomplished rub board and triangle player who
visits Louisiana frequently and knows the dances like the back of her hand. She plays
locally in the Old-Time band, Long John and the Tights, as well as the Zydeco Trail
The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers
Hailing from the mountain towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland, The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers draw freely from Old-Time, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, and Swing music to create their own brand of high energy, Appalachian Bluegrass. Gary Antol (guitar/vocals) and Libby Eddy (fiddle/vocals) founded the band in 2014 with a very simple goal: write good songs, honor the music, and take it to the road. Their music, described as heavy and traditional with stirring harmonies, powerful instrumentation, and a progressive originality, has been experienced on festival stages including Delfest, Grey Fox, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival, Darrington Bluegrass Festival, and others across the country. JFS was honored to be an Official Showcase Artist at IBMA Bluegrass Ramble 2018.
In 2015, the band released their debut album, The Lane Change, a collection of both original and traditional songs focusing on journeys through personal relationships as well as life in the coal mining towns of central Appalachia. The album was well received by fans and critics alike. “Mannington #9,” a searing tale of lives lost in a 1968 mining disaster in Mannington, WV, was featured in the Relix Magazine 2015 Summer CD Sampler. Written by West Virginia storyteller and old time musician, Keith McManus, the song’s driving rhythm and haunting melody capture the loss suffered by 78 families in this tragic accident. The Lane Change also featured the powerhouse harmonies of Antol and Eddy on titles such as “No Ash Will Burn” and “Blue Diamond Mines.” Summer of 2016 saw two major highlights for the band. In addition to playing The Emerging Artist Showcase at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, the band released its sophomore effort, White Lightning Road. The title track, written by Fort Wayne, IN songwriter, Darren Hunt, follows the path of a moonshiner trying to survive in a dying coal town. The song’s soaring vocals showcase Libby Eddy’s uniquely Appalachian voice, steeped in the cultural traditions of her rural West Virginia upbringing, with the strength of a people ready to fight for survival. Hunt also contributed to Ray Steven’s inspired and instantly familiar, “Get Along Gone.” WYEP FM Pittsburgh listed White Lightning Road as one of the top ten bluegrass albums of 2016. WYEP has also featured two of Antol’s compositions on their “Local 913” program: “The Legend of Gandy Grey” (The Lane Change) and “Smokestacks” (White Lightning Road).
In 2018, the band released their third studio effort, Poison River, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Will Shenk at National Media Services in Front Royal, VA. Poison River features original music written by Antol, Eddy, and mandolinist, Ray Bruckman. Along with the addition of Bruckman on mandolin, the album features Jody Mosser, lending his soulful dobro playing to the sound. Appalachian Jamwich’s review of the album called it “pure musical magic.” The album’s lead single “When the Redbud Blooms” received national airplay including a premier on Annette Grady’s The Bluegrass Jamboree.
The Slyboots Circus is a multicultural experience like none other. Under the direction of Slyboots School founder, Griffin Brady and featuring master musicians, dancers and performers from around the world, The Slyboots Circus is an interactive, entertaining and inspiring collective of some brilliantly creative and talented artists.
Combining elements of traditional West African music and dance, Chinese acrobatics, Contemporary Dance, Puppetry, magic, Indonesian Gamelan and Jazz – patrons can expect an engaging experience that is guaranteed to make bodies move and get hands clapping. Promoting the mission of the Slyboots School in Buffalo, NY- positive social change through cultural arts education and performance- the Slyboots Circus performs at festivals, schools, universities and clubs across the US annually in an attempt to educate, entertain and inspire.
Learn more at www.SlybootsBuffalo.com
RustBelt Reggae! We are into mood changing and changing the moods of peeps around the region and country. We like to shift and boogie any given direction at any given time and make nights stick out in your memory left and right. Come out and experience the live show that keeps your spirit flying and your body driving!!!!
The Oak Hill Drifters
The love of early 20th century American roots music is very apparent with Oak Hill Drifters, who are based out of Orlando, Florida. Their music and performance echos the 1940’s – 1960’s paying homage to some of the great music pioneers of rockabilly, western swing, jump blues, country and the foundation of R&B. The band’s current iteration was formed in 2014 where its founder, Tommy Cooper recruited an all-star Central Florida cast of performers including Rachel Decker, Craig Roy, George Dimitrov and Tom Pearce whose collective resumes include work with The HoneyBees (Chicago), Nick Curran, Hindu Cowboys and Rocket-88 (Orlando). The band is fronted by the powerful vocals of Rachel Decker who has drawn comparisons to the likes of Patsy Cline and Janis Martin.
In 2016, the band released its debut 11 song compilation, “Fly Off The Panhandle.” The band’s sophomore recording, “Lied To Me” was released in June 2018.
Vicious Fishes is a four piece band made up of friends from Trumansburg, NY who love to play rock & roll of all types, but draw most of our influence from punk rock.
Donna’s alter ego, often joined by special guests. A Heron Friday night tradition that can stretch well into Saturday morning as they’ve been seen on stage as late as 8am. Zydeco all night, yeah, you right!
Jeb & Tara
The Donna Duo, Jeb and Tara showcase some of their favorites at in intimate set at our Tiger Maple Stage at The Cafe in the Woods. Get there early if you want a seat, this set always brings a crowd!
The seeds of Dirty Blanket were planted in 2013 at the meeting of lead guitarist
Max “Dirty” Flansburg and lead singer/songwriter Kevin “Blanket” O’Leary.
Combining an array of unique musical influences with a shared passion for
creating new original music, the two began playing as an acoustic duo. Utilizing
what free time their other musical projects allowed to book gigs across Upstate
NY, they eventually found themselves opening for acts as large as Jeff Austin of
the Yonder Mountain String Band and beyond. The summer of 2016 saw the
duo’s sound take a shift toward a more heavily bluegrass-influenced style, with
Max and Kevin crafting new originals and taking to the stage to cover the music
of such Americana legends as Hot Rize, Newgrass Revival, the Del McCoury
Band, and the like.
In the months that followed, the two were joined by longtime friends Richie Colf
on the mandolin, and Joel Fedkiw on the five string banjo. By December of 2016,
local Finger Lakes musician Aaron Oldweiler had joined the ranks on upright
bass, rounding out the band as a 5-piece, fast-picking bluegrass quintet. The
group continues to garner the attention of folk music lovers and festival goers
from the Finger Lakes Region and across Upstate NY.
Tiger Maple String Band
“Stewed Mulligan blends the old backwoods sound with clever Country Rock to create music that could have been birthed in a basement by the illegitimate sons of The Band. If Fat Albert’s Junkyard band had an Appalachian bizarro group, they would be called Stewed Mulligan.” – Listen.com
Black Rock Zydeco
Black Rock Zydeco delivers infectious rhythms spiked with Louisiana funk and jazz. Bringing you a mix of stand-out original songs and Cajun/Creole favorites from classic and contemporary performers. Vocal harmonies, inventive arrangements, and an energetic stage presence all come together for a musical experience that gets crowds moving.
Max Garcia Conover
Max grew up in western New York and started writing songs while making his living as a busker in Puerto Rico. He releases music both independently and through the Barcelona-based label Son Canciones. He’s toured North America & Europe, sharing the stage with Cat Power, Justin Townes Earle, Lake Street Dive, The Weather Station and many others. He also tells stories and has been featured on The Moth and Stories From The Stage.
“Timeless and utterly current…as much Woody Guthrie as Chance the Rapper.” — We Are: The Guard
“Man this is some gorgeous stuff. Conover is a hell of a fingerstyle guitarist and he has an arresting vocal style, with a ton of presence.” — The Portland Phoenix
“Springsteen-esque at points, yet soaked in an almost John Hughes sense of romanticism…These are songs with real heart and character, that demand repeated listens.” — Crack In The Road
“…Genuine and true and [hits] home in a way similar to other folk greats such as Iron and Wine.” — We All Want Someone To Shout For
Photo by Shaw Photography Co.
Ken Hardley & Mandy Andrews
Ken Hardley is a musician, entertainer, traveler, and socialite from Upstate New York. From decades of
rock and roll, Hardley moved gracefully into the Americana/singer-songwriter genre. His music remains
unpredictable, cerebral, wry, edgy, attracting such notables as John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band,
Mollie O’Brien, Mary Ramsey and Jeff Erickson of 10,000 Maniacs, and more to appear on his album and
singles. Joining Ken at the Blue Heron is cellist Mandy Andrews, recognized as a fine musician, having
played in symphony orchestras and other classical situations for years. Her love of Americana music led
her to Hardley, and together they create a sound you will never hear anywhere else.
“Ken sings with a voice that delivers the poetry and … some really great phrases that give listeners a
3-D image.” Diedre Flint
“Whether standing alone in front of a microphone stand or performing with his band… we’ve long ago
run out of superlatives to commend him to you.” – Word Magazine
Rolling Hills Radio
Rolling Hills Radio is an ongoing series of video and radio episodes featuring live musical performances
from regional, national, and internationally recognized artists exploring grassroots Americana music. It is
recorded in front of a live audience.
In addition to performing their music, performers engage in lively onstage conversations with Ken
Hardley. Hardley’s manner and interview style bring out the humor, pathos, motivations, and
idiosyncrasies of the artistic mind.
Rolling Hills is broadcast nationwide from coast to coast as well as internationally in places like
Capetown, South Africa.
Bill, Amanda & John
Big Hat No Cattle
Big Hat, No Cattle! Blues, Soul, Rock n Roll and a lil bit of Country to dance to. Mark Bunce-lead guitar, Jim Foti-bass, Billy Kates-drums, Jeremy Bunce-lead guitar and Marla Harris-vocals.
Nestled in a world between folk and jazz, McIlvain is a native Western New York singer songwriter with roots that extend down the east coast to Vero Beach, Florida. She has been honing her craft as a solo performer for the past 12 years, since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from the University of North Florida. With a hauntingly honest lyrical style, McIlvain has a knack for reinterpreting classic jazz and folk standards as well as writing songs that are relative to the times and environment of today.
Her vocal qualities have been compared to the likes of Billie Holiday or Astrud Gilberto and her guitar playing, which is self-taught, is in syncopated rhythms with an alternating form between plucking and strumming.
The Ukuladies is a trio of young ladies, ages 11-13, who play various instruments, especially ukuleles, and sing in 3 part harmony, with a set list of contemporary and classic “folkafied” acoustic covers, showcasing songs about love, activism, friendships, a little angst and lighthearted tunes ranging from covers by Hot Hot Heat to Billie Eilish and are working on originals to round out their setlist. They have performed at the Whirlybird festival 2019 and Inspire Fest 2019, where they drew the most substantial audience attention while playing simultaneously with 2 other popular professional bands on other stages at the festival. They are the children of professional local musicians and are quickly following in their parent’s footsteps while inspiring confidence in other young people to pursue and express themselves through musical creativity
In Crowd is a Newgaloo band from Western NY That also specializes in popular music from the last 100 years to today.
Newgaloo is a new twist on Latin Boogaloo Music with Sole, Rhythm and Blues, Rock n Roll, and Salsa mixed with modern elements
The band originally formed in March of 2016 for a one night only performance of 5 songs but was soon sought out to play for the Downtown Jamestown Cruise-In so the band quickly put together a 5 hour set of no-repeat 50’s 60’s and 70’s covers. Noticing that some of the most well received songs were Latin in nature, singer and front man Angelo thought it would be fun to perform Desi Arnaz’s rendition of Babalu. So, he searched the world trying to find a cone shaped shoulder strap conga like Desi played. When he discovered that it’s called a Boku, (descendant of the Ashiko) uniquely ingenious to Arnaz’s hometown Santiago De Cuba and is all but extinct, he decided to teach himself how to build his own Babalu drums. In the process, he delved deeper and deeper into the world of Latin music, it’s history and influence on our culture. It became an obsession and started to affect his style of composing music. Thus, came the birth of Newgaloo.
The group is called IN crowd because they we formed as the “IN” house band for the INspire Development Center IN being short for InSpire. And they will InSpire you.
“With a heartbeat rhythm section and wailing horns, you can’t go wrong.”
They still play every year for the 8k+ visitors to the annual downtown Jamestown Cruise In and still serve as the InSpire Development Center’s house band.