2017 Listening Room Season
Friday, July 21st at 7:30 pm – THE RAILSPLITTERS
Unconventional Bluegrass from Boulder, CO
Fresh off the success of their first album, and taking first place in Rockygrass’ Best New Band Competition, Colorado natives, The Railsplitters got busy touring the US, meeting wider audiences, and of course, spending hours in the tour van! As you can imagine from five members traveling across the United States, the musical array pouring out of the van onto the open highway was wildly eclectic, crossing over genre and time. From boundary breaking trip hop and electronica groups like Gorillaz and Thievery Corporation, to more direct influences like The Infamous Stringdusters and Lake Street Dive, the musical potpourri heard in their time on the road eventually began to seep into the band’s own music. With their new album, The Faster It Goes, they’re using these new sounds to break the bonds of bluegrass and unleash tradition. Lauren Stovall and the rest of the ‘Splitters suggest that using your roots to evolve is really at the heart of the genre, not unlike Bill Monroe, who himself was an innovator. With their finger on the pulse, The Railsplitters are pushing the genre forward with an adventurous spirit, carrying in the tradition of breaking boundaries with their innovative sound.
The Railsplitters’ secret weapon is two-fold: first, the innovative imagination of banjo player Dusty Rider’s songwriting, who writes with the full band in mind, imagining an entire song in his head before it’s even heard it out loud. Second, the powerfully distinct vocals of Lauren Stovall whose voice is as clean as Emmylou, as cutting as Allison Krauss, and carrying some of the attitude of Dolly herself. Lauren’s vocal lines fill The Railsplitters’ sound with something distinct and undeniable. In addition, part of The Railsplitters’ new color is brought on by the band’s newest member, Joe D’Esposito, whose New England-influenced fiddling adds new directions to the band’s sound. With masterfully executed mandolin and banjo by Peter Sharpe and Dusty Rider, and well supported by upright bassist Leslie Ziegler’s innovative style, The Faster It Goes testifies to The Railsplitters’ multipolar and collaborative songwriting, giving voice to the impressive talents of its members and a cohesive character to the sound.
Sunday, August 20th at 7:30 pm – NORA JANE STRUTHERS & THE PARTY LINE
Americana, Country pop, Bluegrass
We were searching for the perfect band to perform the night before the Solar Eclipse. Done !!!!
“Nora Jane Struthers and her group the Party Line give me what I always want from a band: kick-ass music that straddles the boundaries between typical genres, enthralling performances, and the best damn attitude. Bonus points given for being some of the nicest people around. These are folks here for the love of the game – all about creating and sharing, and when you’ve got that, you just know good music is apt to follow.”
“Over the journey of four albums and one EP, Nora Jane Struthers has honed in on an exuberant brand of rock and pop flavored with heavy doses of Americana, country, and bluegrass. We truly came to be full-fledged Struthers devotees after hearing her album Wake. The album appeals to our “the record is as good as the live show and vice-versa” philosophy. It’s road-tested, dynamic as all hell, and with equal parts grit and sheen. What more could you want outta life?”
The band’s newest album, Champion, is being released in a new way. If you sign up, you can download a new song bimonthly for as little as $1 a song.
“Since our Wake Kickstarter campaign in 2014, I’ve been struggling to find the right platform for ongoing support through which I can release new music. I don’t want to wear my fans out with a major fan-fundraising campaign asking you to PREORDER the NEW RECORD every time I make a new record. More to the point, I don’t want to need to launch a fan-fundraising campaign IN ORDER to release new music.
So now, you can join me on my Patreon page and get my new album in bi-monthly increments starting TODAY, for as little as $1 per song. This is the best thing I’ve ever made, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Check out the complete details and subscribe for your bi-monthly harvest here: https://www.patreon.com/norajanestruthers”
Friday, September 8th at 7:30 pm – PIERCE & GRACE PETTIS
Pierce Pettis, adored by both critics and public alike, is one of this generation’s most masterful songwriters. His music is distinguished by his uncanny ability to capture universals in human experience by drawing on the humor and trials in daily life. Pettis’ music can simultaneously pull on our hearts and keep us laughing. The beautiful harmonies, inventive yet subtle percussion, strong guitar, and Pierce’s rich vocals are a constant throughout his body of work.
Grace Pettis, from Lookout Mountain, Alabama, has songwriting in her blood. The daughter of a poetry scholar and a troubadour, Grace comes by her love of words honestly. Her father, Pierce Pettis, is a critically acclaimed songwriter and performer who penned the Garth Brooks hit “You Move Me.” Both Grace’s brothers Rayvon and George (100 Watt Horse) are songwriters and musicians.
In her short career, Grace has already lived up to her birthright, winning numerous songwriting awards (Kerrville New Folk Contest; NPR’s Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, etc.) and garnering praise from critics, fans, and industry alike. What sets her apart in her talented family is her distinct, unaffected voice, described as a “wide open prairie, full of waving golden grains before menacing, dark thunder clouds” (Sirius XM Program Director, Mary Sue Twohy).
Grace’s latest Kickstarter campaign has succeeded at 120% of its goal, with the help of 350 backers, raising over $24,000 towards the making of Grace’s third album, produced by Dan Barrett, of the Austin-based band,PorterDavis (exp. 2017 release ).
Saturday, October 21st at 7:30 pm – THE TALBOTT BROTHERS
Folk, Rock, Pop
The Talbott Brothers are an Alternative Folk/Rock band based in Portland, Oregon. Nick and Tyler form an alternative sound that balances sibling-blood-harmonies with their instrumental ensemble of guitars, mandolin, harmonicas and percussion. Their entertaining effect onstage is embraced by multiple generations, as they are known for charming and energetic performances that blend singer-songwriter styles with folk, rock and pop.
2017 marks the release of The Talbott Brothers’ third full-length studio album- GRAY ( February 2017). Honest, organic and vulnerable, the album is driven by warm, melodic vocals, diverse instrumentation and authentic storytelling. With the album’s release, the brothers experienced more deeply what it means to submerse themselves in their songwriting, spending four months off the road in their new home base of Oregon.
Friday, November 3rd at 7:30 pm – PETER MULVEY
Modern acoustic, singer-songwriter
Over the past 20 years, Peter Mulvey has pursued a restless, eclectic path as a writer and musician- immersing himself in Tin Pan Alley jazz, modern acoustic, poetry, narrative, and Americana stylings. Relentlessly touring as a headliner- his attitude is, “when you love what you do, you can work all the time,”- he has also shared the stage with luminaries such as Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Ani diFranco, Indigo Girls, and Greg Brown, and has attracted an audience that stretches from Anchorage to Amsterdam.
His early years were spent in Dublin and then Boston, where he took to playing in the subways as a full time occupation. The seven hour sessions playing to passers-by and commuters not only strengthened his accomplished guitar playing but also sharpened his innate gifts as a communicator. Lucky for us, he took his show on the road. He resettled in his hometown of Milwaukee. Peter has recorded 14 albums, including two collaborations with fellow songwriters Kris Delmhorst and Jeffrey Foucault, titled REDBIRD.
In every aspect of his career, Mulvey draws on an extremely broad swath of influence; he is always reading, listening, and eager to hear new poetry, modern minimalist composers, old-time fiddle tunes. Argentinean trip-hop, or top-shelf bar bands. Said the Irish Times: “Peter Mulvey is consistently the most original and dynamic of the US singer-songwriters to tour these shores. A phenomenal performer with huge energy, a quick fire, quirky take on life, and an extraordinary guitar style. A joy to see.”
Peter Mulvey’s latest record, produced by Ani DiFranco for Righteous Babe Records, is called “Are You Listening?” The record is his personal reflection on our personal and political lives in 2017 under the Trump administration.