As a part of Treefort 10’s Deep Dive Series, we’re diving into Treefort 10 artists that our team recommends if you like (RIYL) Treefort Alums Charles Bradley (2016), Nathaniel Ratecliff (2015), Sharon Jones (2013) + Lake Street Dive (2021).
Who was at Treefort 2013 and saw Sharon Jones perform? And who could forget Charles Bradley‘s heartfelt set at Treefort’s Main Stage in 2016? We had an amazing time groovin’ to Lake Street Dive on the first day of Treefort 9!
If any of this rings a bell or pulls on your heart strings, you won’t want to miss the Treefort 10 artists below.
SHANNON AND THE CLAMS
( oakland , california )
Wednesday, March 23rd 5:30p – 6:30p @ Main Stage
Thursday, March 24th 12:00a – 1:20a @ Sonic Temple Blue
“I am terrified of spiders,” says Shannon Shaw. “My mom always told me that they’re drawn to me. Like, they would drop down and dangle in my face as a baby, or they’d get in my bed.”
But the powerhouse singer-bassist of retro-rock band Shannon & The Clams had bigger fears when she went to an astrologer two years ago. Shaw was at an emotional tipping point — willing to try anything — because everything she loved was falling apart.
“It felt like the end of an era,” Shaw says, which began to unravel in 2016 with the tragic Ghost Ship warehouse fire in the Clams’ DIY community in Oakland. In 2018, the California wildfires in Napa almost caused her parents to evacuate their homes. In 2019, a lurking intruder drove Shaw out of the beloved apartment she’d lived in for 14 years. And then, right as her band was getting invited on big tours with bands like Greta Van Fleet and The Black Keys, her father was diagnosed with cancer. “The idea of leaving my family was agonizing — it was torture,” Shaw says.
The astrologer told her to summon Durga when she felt powerless, a Hindu goddess who holds a weapon in each of her eight arms. Shaw saw the connection. “The symbolism of the spider made a full turn in an interesting way,” she says. “I was getting protection from the thing I feared the most.” Plus, she says with a laugh, “Spiders destroy the bullshit bugs. Like mosquitoes. Who needs ‘em?”
Year Of The Spider, the band’s sixth studio album, rages against death and disease with the power of a thousand angry Ronettes. Songs like “All Of My Cryin’,” “Mary, Don’t Go,” and “Year Of The Spider,” pulse with girl-group elegance and punk ferocity. On a Clams record, you always get both.
( portland , oregon )
Thursday, March 24th 10:30p – 11:30p @ Sonic Temple Blue
Every working musician has had their life turned upside down by Covid-19. For The Shivas, who had recently released a new LP and normally keep a rigorous touring schedule, it was a particularly screeching halt. “We were about to go to SXSW, the following weekend Treefort, and then we were going to open for our friends’ band on a US tour before going to Europe,” Jared Molyneux remembers. Then everything just stopped.
“It forced us to adapt or just quit,” Molyneux says. “The reality is that shows are our job.” In truth, live shows aren’t just The Shivas job: they are the band’s greatest love. Shivas shows are bombastic, explosive and thoroughly communal live rock & roll experiences and in 15 years as a band, The Shivas have grown tight-knit. Guitarist/singer Jared Molyneux, bassist Eric Shanafelt and drummer/singer Kristin Leonard have been with the band since its earliest days; guitarist Jeff City joined in 2017.
In 2020 after a settling realization that live music would be grounded for the foreseeable future, The Shivas booked significant studio time with Cameron Spies, who also produced the 2019 Dark Thoughts LP. They also transformed their lives: three of the band’s four members found work with a local nonprofit serving unhoused Portland residents. They became engaged in protests and fundraisers for social justice. They spent a whole summer actually living in Portland, settling into the city they had always called home, but that sometimes felt like a temporary stop between tours. “We got into a more community-minded headspace,” Leonard says. “And that did give us some purpose. It felt cool to see everybody come together to stick up for what they believe in. It feels like an incredibly formative last twelve months.” The album that emerged from this new moment finds The Shivas reborn as a band seasoned and perfectly at home with itself. The Shivas didn’t write or record the album with a particular theme in mind, but one seems to have emerged: where Dark Thoughts was about confronting your demons with fearless self-examination, much of Feels So Good / Feels So Bad is about what happens once you find that peace: how being honest with yourself changes your relationships and your priorities. “I do think it’s about acceptance,” Leonard says. “There’s a weird relaxation that comes with being at peace with things you can’t control or have regrets about.”
DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS
( usa )
Friday, March 25th 8:30p – 10:00p @ Main Stage
Durand Jones & The Indications are equally beloved for their energetic, joyous shows, dual lead singers, and thoughtful songwriting. From an Indiana basement (where the band recorded their 2016 self-titled debut LP as college students), the band has catapulted into the soul limelight and onto an international stage. Pushing beyond the boundaries of the funk and soul on their previous releases, The Indications’ third album, Private Space, unlocks the door to a wider range of sounds and launches boldly into a world of synthy modern soul and disco beats dotted with strings. Anchored by a crate-digging sensibility and the high-low harmonies of Aaron Frazer and Durand Jones, Private Space shows The Indications’ mastery at melding revival sounds with a modern attitude. It’s an organic, timeless record that’s as fresh as clean kicks and familiar as your favorite well-worn LP.
( chicago, illinois )
Thursday, March 24th 10:40p – 11:40p @ El Korah Shrine
Neal Francis’ sophomore album ‘In Plain Sight’ offers up a body of work both enchanting and painfully self-aware, recorded entirely on tape with his bandmates. Mixed by Grammy Award-winner Dave Fridmann (Spoon, Tame Impala, Flaming Lips), the album spotlights Francis’s refined yet free-spirited performance on piano, an instrument he took up at the age of four. The album came to life over the course of a tumultuous year spent living in a possibly haunted church in Chicago. The result: a portrait of profound upheaval and weary resilience, presented in a kaleidoscopic sound that’s endlessly absorbing. ‘In Plain Sight’ ultimately reveals the possibility of redemption and transformation even as your world falls apart.
THEE SACRED SOULS
( san diego, california )
Saturday, March 26th 8:10p – 9:00p @ El Korah Shrine
Sunday, March 27th 1:50p – 2:50pm @ Main Stage
San Diego’s Thee Sacred Souls are riding high on a retro-soul movement bubbling under in Southern California. Inspired by the soul classics on which they were raised, multi-instrumentalists Alex Garcia and Sal Samano discovered instant chemistry when they began cutting rhythm tracks together in 2019. Garcia migrated from guitar to drums, where he would discover the unique pulse of the band’s sound, while Samano learned to carve tasteful bass lines, rounding out the band’s clockwork rhythm section. Though what they created together had enormous promise and an undeniable groove, it wasn’t until they connected with vocalist Josh Lane that the real sound of the band came into focus. Lane had recently relocated to San Diego from Sacramento where he had studied singing, honing his voice into an instrument that could effortlessly carry Smokey Robinson-inspired lyrics and smooth melodies reminiscent of Marvin Gaye. The band’s connection was immediately electric — Thee Sacred Souls was born.
W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend To Cause Havoc)
( zambia, africa )
Saturday, March 26th 2:50p – 3:50p @ Main Stage
Saturday, March 26th Music in Motion #2 5:00p – 7:00p @ Boise Centre East (Room 430) for Filmfort
Sunday, March 27th 9:00p – 10:00p @ El Korah Shrine
W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend To Cause Havoc) were the biggest rock band in Zambia in the 1970s and spearheaded a new genre dubbed Zamrock, fusing influences that ranged from the Rolling Stones to Black Sabbath and James Brown and mixing them with traditional African rhythms and bush village songs. At the peak of their popularity, the band often needed police to keep fans at bay while their lead singer Jagari – whose name is an Africanisation of Mick Jagger’s – riled up crowds by stage diving from balconies and dancing manically as the WITCH’s blend of psychedelic rock and African rhythms permeated the surrounding atmosphere.
( oakland, california )
Saturday, March 26th 6:50p – 7:40p @ El Korah Shrine
Sunday, March 27th 9:00p – 10:00p @ The Hideout
Shaina Shepherd is a Seattle-based vocalist whose dynamic range features the raw power of rock, the richness of soul, and the tender introspection of American folk.
Shaina grew up around gospel music and not much else. She would watch her mother sing with the church choir and emulate the steady richness of her tone. Her passion for vocal technique led her to both opera and musical theater — and eventually led to Shaina’s obsession with anthem rock artist Queen, Led Zeppelin and Heart.
( los angeles, california )
Friday, March 25th 11:50p – 1:10a @ Egyptian Theatre
Joshy Soul is an artist who finds his stride amongst the things he knows best: art and soul. As a performer, writer, producer, art director, stylist, fashion model, and roller-skating provocateur, his medium traverses first note to the last, first thread to final seam, and curtain draws to fall. His craft of art and soul varies as much as the clothes he struts. Through Joshy’s love of skating and fashion, he has planted himself in the modeling and influencing zeitgeist as one that evokes feeling through the way he dresses and the way he moves. About the new single “Dreams” Joshy says, “‘Dreams’ is a song about an alternate reality with a lover. Almost a “what if” story. Hence the line, “we’ll spend the rest of our lives on 40 acres.” I wrote it from the standpoint of knowing I am dreaming, but I don’t want to leave this dream.”
GHOST FUNK ORCHESTRA
( oakland, california )
Wednesday, March 23rd 9:00p – 10:00p @ The Hideout
Thursday, March 24th 7:40p – 8:40p @ El Korah Shrine
Ghost Funk Orchestra is notoriously hard to categorize. Since 2017, they’ve made a name for themselves as an exciting new soulful & psychedelic big band. Some say it’s like a 60’s girl group on acid. Three part vocal harmonies and a bombastic horn section have become staples of the live experience.
In 2018, GFO joined the Colemine Records family, sharing the roster with such Treefort veterans as Monophonics and Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. The first two LP’s GFO released on the label received praise for being equal parts funky and genre-bending. In the words of Bandcamp editor J. Edward Keyes, GFO’s “primary need is to leave no funk-adjacent genre unexplored.”
( austin, texas )
Friday, March 25th 2:40p – 3:30p @ Main Stage
Saturday, March 26th 11:00p – 12:10a @ The Olympic
Jackie Venson is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter known far and wide for her beautifully complex music and blazing guitar skills. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Jackie has played to crowds across the world. With the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancellation of her entire tour schedule, and the wave of social change sweeping across the country, Jackie committed herself to releasing more music than ever before, connecting with her fans directly, and speaking up about the change she wanted to see in her city and country. On April 20th, Jackie released a new EP titled “jackie the robot vol 1” composed entirely of remixes that re-imagine Jackie’s critically acclaimed catalogue, showcasing her growth as both a musician and producer. In October 2020, Jackie released her latest studio album ‘Vintage Machine’, her first studio follow up to 2019’s ‘Joy’. Music from “Vintage Machine” was featured heavily on Jackie’s taping for Austin City Limits’ 46th season, and she released the full set on “Live at Austin City Limits” in December. Her latest album “Love Transcends” released in September 2021, her first collection of music that, for the most part, stays within a single genre. With the uncertainty of the times we’re living in, one thing holds true for Jackie Venson- she’s going to play her music, speak her truth, and spread as much joy as she can doing it.
!!! (CHK, CHK, CHK)
( brooklyn, new york )
Saturday, March 26th 12:20a – 1:40a @ El Korah Shrine
Combining punk abandon and tightly-coiled dance music has always been bonded into the !!! (chk, chk, chk)’s DNA. It’s this core plus their growth and mastery of songwriting that has seen them outlive the mid-2000s ‘indie/dance punk’ tag and has allowed them to consistently grow lyrically and sonically from album to album. As If is their most transcendent collection of songs yet. “Each album we’ve made has gotten closer and closer to our live set and this, we’re proud to say, is the closest we’ve come yet. We were heavily influenced by current dance music — Nina Kraviz, Moodymann, Paranoid London, Rrose and Delroy Edwards were frequently referenced — and philosophically by the early ’90s house records we love on labels like Trax and Dancemania and by artists like Romanthony and Green Velvet. Those records sound great because they’re fairly raw attempts to use the technology of the time to ape the New York and Philly disco records that those producers loved. We figured, if those old house records sound like they do because the artists manipulated disco samples with MPCs, why couldn’t we just sample ourselves and manipulate the tracks with Ableton Live? The more raw it came out the better it felt, not only because that’s what excited us about those old records, but because it felt more punk, which always feels good.”
ANDREW DIXON – RENEGADE
( oakland, california )
Thursday, March 24th 12:30a – 1:40a @ Egyptian Theatre with Mercury Rev’s Clear Light Ensemble
Friday, March 25th 9:20p – 10:30p @ The Funky Taco
Saturday, March 26th 3:20p – 4:10p @ Fort Builder Space
Andrew Dixon is making his mark. An accomplished woodwind performer, composer, and educator, Andrew is not one of those musicians who settles for just playing music on the side.
Indeed, Andrew Dixon spends all of his time either in the studio, writing and rehearsing new songs, teaching to his vast array of students or on the road performing across the US. He plays at least nine different instruments, including every saxophone, clarinets, and flutes.
Andrew has released three CDs of original music, infused with his jazz roots, but ranging far beyond. Influenced from growing up in Chicago, to his travels around the world, he has created a sound that is fresh, unique and sets him apart from the typical jazz fare. His latest album, Renegade, has an Avant Garde Jazz feel, infused with the flavors of John Coltrane and King Crimson. Andrew wrote and composed all the songs, which feature a fresh new sound and inspires through its expansive blend of saxophone solos, keyboard riffs, plus drum and bass. This, plus his other releases “East Oakland Run Down,” and last year’s “RAGE” can be found on his label, Epistemology Records.
( portland , oregon )
Thursday, March 24th 10:30p – 11:40p @ Knitting Factory
MarchFourth is a joy-inducing force of entertainment. The colorful explosion of brassy funk, rock, and jazz is all about the groove. This larger-than-life group of musicians and acrobats tours the country year-round, bringing a spirit of celebration wherever they go. MarchFourth is, in a word, FUN!
Fifteen MarchFourth musicians traveled from Portland, Oregon to New Orleans, Louisiana to record their fourth studio album, MAGIC NUMBER, self-released in September 2016. With Producer Ben Ellman (Galactic) and Engineer/Producer Mikael “Count” Eldridge (DJ Shadow, Tycho, Trombone Shorty) at the helm, the album is full of the captivating grooves and brassy swagger you’d expect from MarchFourth, plus a healthy dose of New Orleans magic, with guest appearance by Trombone Shorty, Stanton Moore (drums), and Matt Perrine (sousaphone). The album was fan-funded through Kickstarter.
“Perfectly merging the artistic spirit of Portland with the musical spectacle of New Orleans, MarchFourth put on one of the most complete shows of any band on any stage. From rocking big band jam tunes, choreography and feats of strength that need to be seen to be believed, MarchFourth entertains on every level every second they are on the stage…or off!” ~Live for Live Music
“From the first note to the last, the sound was pumping and the fun never stopped… It’s worth noting that there are serious musicians behind all the fun. It’s obvious these guys (and gals) have had lots of training and formal practice. Talented band geeks turned rebels.” ~USAToday
“Just when you think you’ve heard it all, suddenly a band crosses paths with your ears and changes everything… Full of auditory goodness…” ~NYS Music
“Mighty, Explosive, Carnivalesque Brass Band Funk” ~New York Music Daily
( boise , idaho )
Saturday, March 26th 3:30p – 4:10p @ KIN
Foul Weather is an instrumental trio from Boise, Idaho. The group thrives on live performance and loves to feed off of the mega energy found from buzzing crowds. Rhythmic repetition and diligently composed tunes are complimented by waves of improvisation and smiles all around. Foul Weather will be releasing their 2nd album this spring, “Bowl Of Rain”.
( boise , idaho )
Thursday, March 24th 7:00p – 7:50p @ Linen Building
Mckenna Esteb’s music is best described as soul infused pop with a splash of rock. Lyrics include a lotta heart break, a lotta soul, a lotta growth and a whole lotta fun. Mckenna and her band wanna make u groove and make u feel something.