Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy(KS)
A high-energy "Brass 'n' Grass" sextet from Wichita, KS. The band, whose sound has been described as “...a stagecoach in overdrive”, has brought their eclectic blend of bluegrass, ska, punk, and dixieland to packed clubs, basements, and festivals across the US since their inception in the spring of 2007.
CNS has built a solid following playing 47 states and 5 countries with their energetic live show and ability to fit on the bill with acts ranging from bluegrass to rockabilly; punk to ska. As the banjo rolls over rhythmic guitar, breakneck mandolin solos melt into blaring trombone and trumpet lines, while the standup bass and feed-bucket-trap-set churn out driving rhythms that carry the force of a Kansas freight train.
The Tillers(OH)
The Tillers got their start in August 2007 when they started thumping around with some banjos and guitars and a big wooden bass. Their earliest gigs were for coins and burritos on the city’s famous Ludlow Street in the district of Clifton. The songs they picked were mostly older than their grandparents. Some came from Woody Guthrie, some were southern blues laments, and many were anonymous relics of Appalachian woods, churches, riverboats, railroads, prairies, and coal mines.
Their look didn’t fit the stereotype. They were clearly recovering punk rockers with roots in city’s west side punk rock and hardcore scene. The punk influence gave their sound a distinctive bite, setting them apart from most other folk acts- a hard-driving percussive strum and stomp that brought new pulse and vinegar to some very old songs. But their musical range soon proved itself as they floated from hard-tackle thumping to tender graceful melody, all the while topped by Oberst and Geil’s clear tenor harmonies.
Joseph Huber(WI)
Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist Joseph Huber was a founding member of the .357 String Band--a group that, despite its abrupt break-up, still continues to gain popularity and is known as one of the most influential groups in the recent insurgent underground country and bluegrass movement. Having moved from .357, Huber has honed his songwriting abilities immensely and now continues moving onward and upward captivating folks with his sincere and well-crafted songs under his own name and with his backing band. Whether it's irresistible, fiddle-driven, dancing tunes or honest, heart-wrenching "songwriter" songs, Huber spans the spectrum of 'Roots' music while preferring not to stay within the boundaries of any strict genre classification.
His lyricism and introspective writing style has received high acclaim from many Americana enthusiasts looking for a more substantive substitute to much of today's modern country. Maintaining a solid touring schedule, playing all throughout both the U.S. and all around Europe, Huber continues to gain positive press, including being listed on L.A. Weekly's '10 More Country Artists To Listen To (2014).' Blue Ridge Outdoor writes, “Songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Chris Smither, and John Prine can marvel listeners in the simplest of acoustic settings,...From time to time, I stumble upon a new singer/songwriter whose work warrants comparison to the luminaries on this list. ...Huber’s songwriting has me comparing him to my favorites above.”
Hooten Hallers(MO)
Columbia, MO trio The Hooten Hallers are known for hard-traveling and wild, energetic live shows, criss-crossing their way through North America and Europe with their seemingly endless tour schedule. They continue their decade-long search for their roots, drawing from the surrounding agricultural lifestyles, the river communities, the college kids and the tweakers that roam Columbia, Missouri, all in the looming foothills of the Ozark Mountains.
The myriad of influences in their music range from pre-war blues to punk rock to dark Americana, with a thematic penchant for the strange and the unexplained. In the same vein, the Hooten Hallers’ music isn’t quite Americana and it’s not quite punk, but a bit of both, fused together in a drunken tangle.
Husky Burnette(TN)
Ever since 2011, when Brian “Husky” Burnette released his first solo album, the mission has been clear: play for fun, respect the art, tour heavily and keep the music real. Not your average blues man, he blends dirty blues and raw rock n roll with a punk energy, rough and gritty, hauling a truckload of tone. If blues-influenced rock n roll is a religion then he’s sho nuff preaching.
Chicago Farmer(IL)
“My favorite discovery of last year, Chicago Farmer was near the top of my festival must see list. His songs feature a warmth and a sense of humor that recalls Arlo Guthrie along with many other of the greats in the singer-songwriter genre, though he truly does stand on his own. Featuring a sense of lyrical energy and quirky word play that can bring a smile to even the most jaded of music aficionados, his Saturday afternoon set was a highlight of the weekend. If he is ever anywhere near your hometown, I cannot urge you strongly enough to go.” -Rex Thompson
Urban Pioneers(TX)
Traveling near and far, The Urban Pioneers are a trio of road warriors that spend their lives playing music to please anyone anywhere. There isn’t one word or feeling to describe this band because they stretch in every which way bringing to the table a wide variety of old time, western swing, and folk tunes that are all toe tappin and dancin goodness. Just sit back, buckle up, and prepare to be driven on a journey of blistering fast highs and lonesome lows.
James Hunnicutt(WA)
I am a singer/songwriter/musician from Washington State, USA... I believe that the most powerful & universal languages in humanity are love & music... I do what I do because I love it. My love for life & music empowers me & I have learned that what I do empowers others from time to time as well & this realization is invaluable in my opinion... It brings an inner wealth along with it that $ & material possessions can't even come close to comparing with...
"On 'Some Part of Something,' their fifth album and "strongest" (Austin Chronicle) release yet, Whiskey Shivers hit their stride, refining their unique sound in the studio while still capturing the infectiously chaotic feeling of their live shows.
Dusty Rust(MO)
Dusty Rust is a Neo Honky Tonk performer crawling out from under the hidden music hub of Kansas City, MO. His sound brings a lot of twang to the urban streets and taverns where he's often heard, one such place being The Westport Saloon. Every Thursday night you can hear him paying homage to the greats that harken back to the golden days of country music, filling singing breaks with fiery telecaster solos while doubling on lap steel.
With a strong DIY work ethic, Dusty has self-produced two full length albums in the last two years, and is currently in the studio working on the third. Starting out with a residency at The Landmark Saloon in Portland, OR, it wasn’t too long before it paid off with opportunities to open shows for acts such as: Dale Watson, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, Luke Bell, and The Calamity Cubes.
Rock Bottom String Band(TX)
Rock Bottom String Band is a high energy band born from a series of backyard jam sessions in January of 2013. Many different musical styles inspire our group: Traditional Bluegrass, Punk, Roots, and Folk just name a few. We are driven by a Do-it-yourself spirit that has sent us to venues ranging from the rowdiest of dive bars to family festivals. Through hard work, dedication, and sheer stubbornness the band continues to spread our sound across the states,and we hope to share it with you!