Previous NCBMF Musical Guests, 2011 – 2013

 

Greensky Bluegrass

www.greenskybluegrass.com

If you're familiar with bluegrass music, then you're tuned in to some of what Greensky Bluegrass does. They're also known to throw a great party, rock n roll, and (if the critics are to be believed) they have great songs. They are unquestionably a team of friends that traverse the country making music they enjoy. What makes Greensky different than Bluegrass? Poignant rural ballads about real people? Dobro tone that Jerry (Douglas or Garcia) would love? Distortion Pedals? Grit and attitude from a whiskey soaked card game? Indeed, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

This quintet from Michigan has been staying up late at all the coolest festivals and stopping to play your favorite clubs and theaters across America for 11 years now. Nearly 175 shows per year has prepared them for the rigorous task of continuity. Greensky Bluegrass isn't slowing down. "They're coming to your town to help you party down." Yeah. Really. Like you never thought possible.

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Big Daddy Love

www.bigdaddylove.com

Big Daddy Love's ‘Appalachian Rock’—a unique and natural blend of rock, roots and grass—has landed this Western NC quintet on the radars of music lovers all over North America and beyond. Their new CD and DVD Live at Ziggy’s captures them with the lights on and the volume up at a hometown show at the venerable North Carolina music hall. Big Daddy Love (BDL) stretches the music out with top notch pickin’ and grinnin’ and delivers a stompin’ good time rich with authentic Carolina soul. Twang, rock hooks, psychedelia and lyrical complexity work together seamlessly to create a refreshing, original sound. Like a typical Southern rock line-up, the interplay between the lead instruments—Stratocaster riffs and soaring Allman-esque slide guitar on the one hand, and electric and acoustic 5-string Scruggs / Fleck style banjo picking on the other—leads the charge. Supported by a rhythm section that is equally at home in a groove or driving the bus with country, swing, funk or straight ahead rock, the band creates a striking dynamic that ranges from bombastic assaults to soothing grooves. Above the mix, the fiery vocals of Scott Moss, BDL’s new lead singer, calls attention to the good-natured yet thoughtful and sincere lyrics.

 

Sol Driven Train

www.soldriventrain.com

Sol Driven Train's music weaves through genres like a Tom Robbins paragraph.  The band's sonic schizophrenia absorbs American influences like Jon Prine and Paul Simon, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms into honest songs about life, love, loss, and long johns.  The 5-piece band, based in Charleston, SC, features 4 rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, and percussion.

"Believe," the band's 8th independent release in 10 years (including a live album, a live concert DVD, and two studio albums for children), is getting national airplay.  The band stays busy on the road, averaging 150 shows per year, and is appearing this summer at festivals and clubs across the country.

 

Jesse Dee

www.jessedee.com

Jesse Dee writes timeless songs that resonate as both humble tributes and clever updates of the classics. He brings them to life with a compelling voice that will lift you up as sure as it will lay you down.

As a youngster in the Boston suburb of Arlington, Jesse was fascinated by the doo-wop groups and rhythm and blues artists he heard on the oldies stations. Since then, the singer/songwriter has drawn inspiration from everywhere he can; the raw and righteous Stax legends and the steam rolling electric grit of the Northern soul icons have ended up front and center.

Some of Jesse’s heroes have picked up on his raw attack; he has performed with the likes of Al Green, Solomon Burke, Spencer Wiggins, Bettye Lavette, and his personal favorite, Etta James. Having shared the stage with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, James Hunter, Raphael Saadiq, and Nikka Costa, Jesse is also recognized as an important player in soul music’s modern era.

 

Spirit Family Reunion

www.spiritfamilyreunion.com

Spirit Family Reunion play homegrown American music to stomp, clap, shake and holler with. Ever since they started singing together on the street corners, farmer's markets and subway stations of New York City, their songs have rung-out in a pure and timeless way. When Spirit Family Reunion gather to sing, there is communion. Strangers and neighbors come to rejoice in the sound, and there is no divide between performer and spectator.
In a strange barroom or a grand music hall, at a barn dance or on the sunny street corner, Spirit Family Reunion keep the book open, and that old familiar feeling that was almost lost is again new.

 

Jon Stickley Trio

www.jonstickley.com

Jon Stickley Trio plays a style of music that defies description. Jon’s guitar style has evolved from bluegrass flat-picking into his own sound that spans from soft harmonic chimes to straight-up shredding. The band features Lyndsay Pruett (Futureman) on violin, who conjures up bewildering sounds reminiscent of Stephane Grappelli, yet not unlike the modern dubstep of Lindsey Stirling. On percussion, Patrick Armitage (Atmosphere) brings the heat with a hiphop groove that is unstoppable. The band comes together to create their own sound that can get big enough to shake the walls or intimate enough to draw tears. After a busy year of touring and playing alongside groups such as The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Leon Russell, and Leftover Salmon, the Jon Stickley Trio is primed and ready to go. Don’t miss this mind-blowing musical experience.

   

The Reckoning

www.thereckoningdead.com

Based in beautiful Charleston South Carolina, The Reckoning offers a fresh new approach to the seemingly infinite library of songs and soundscapes that can only be defined as "Grateful Dead". Celebrating the band's entire catalogue of material as it developed and danced through the decades, The Reckoning leaves no leaf unturned, and the music never stops!

 

Hit or Miss

Hit or Miss is a multi-instrumental duo of singer-songwriters, Ward Buckheister and Joel Timmons.  These lifelong friends explore the songs of their musical heroes and perform raw originals with soaring vocal harmonies, guitars, banjo, percussion, trombone, and the occasional synth freakout.  Their live sets draw from a catalogue of originals and folk, rock, and pop songs, from Paul Simon to John Prine to Dylan and Bowie.  The duo's long musical history, from middle school band to present in roots rock band, Sol Driven Train, is reflected in their sonic dexterity and playful spirit onstage.  Bred on back porches and bar rooms in Charleston, SC, this is an experiment in progress, and it's up to YOU to decide if it is a Hit or Miss.