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 The Infamous Stringdusters (2017) + Trampled by Turtles (2015).
Who doesn’t love a good country or Americana show? If you were lucky enough to catch a Treefort set by The Infamous Stringdusters or Trampled by Turtles, you are going to dig the bands below. Check it out!
THE BROTHERS COMATOSE
( san francisco, california )
Thursday, March 24th 11:30p – 1:00a @ Basque Center
Whether traveling to gigs on horseback or by tour bus, Americana mavens The Brothers Comatose forge their own path with raucous West Coast renderings of traditional bluegrass, country and rock ‘n’ roll music. The five-piece string band is anything but a traditional acoustic outfit with their fierce musicianship and rowdy, rock concert-like shows.
The Brothers Comatose is comprised of brothers Ben Morrison (guitar, vocals) and Alex Morrison (banjo, vocals), Scott Padden (bass, vocals), Philip Brezina (violin), and Greg Fleischut (mandolin). When they’re not headlining The Fillmore for a sold-out show or appearing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the band is out on the road performing across America, Canada, Australia, and hosting their very own music festival, Comatopia, in the Sierra foothills.
April of this year is finding the band touring Latvia and Lithuania as cultural ambassadors for American Music Abroad, which is run by the US State Department with the goal of sending American artists all over the world as a cultural exchange program. The band toured China in 2018 under the same program.
The remainder of 2019 will see the Brothers Comatose hitting the studio to record on their fifth studio album to be released on AntiFragile Records.
THE LIL SMOKIES
( missoula, montana )
Friday, March 25th 12:10a – 1:30a @ Basque Center
Drawing on the energy of a rock band and the Laurel Canyon songwriting of the ‘70s, The Lil Smokies are reimagining their approach to roots music on Tornillo, named for the remote Texas town where the album was recorded. Produced by Bill Reynolds (The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses), Tornillo is the band’s third studio album. Formed in Missoula, Montana, The Lil Smokies have built a national following through constant touring, they have performed at Red Rocks, LOCKN’, High Sierra, Telluride, Bourbon & Beyond and more.
THE PINE HEARTS
( olympia, washington )
Thursday, March 24th 7:50p – 8:40p @ Basque Center
“A catchy, peppy mixture of folk, indie and jamgrass” – Bluegrass Today
The Pine Hearts first formed in the early 2010’s as a traditional-leaning folk and bluegrass trio, establishing bandleader and guitarist Joey Capoccia’s distinct picking flair and alt-Americana songwriting style after long-running stints in classic Olympia, WA bands such as The Pasties and The Blackberry Bushes, culminating in the albums Distant Lights (2013) and Winter on Orcas (2013). In the fall of 2015 came their successive album, Thin Walls (2015), which took a decidedly more country bent, enlisting a wider variety of instruments while honing their roster of dense, powerful tunes, imbued with themes of love and of loss, of freedom and of the chains that tie us all down.
Now, as 2018 forges on, so do The Pine Hearts, distilled to an energetic three-piece lineup more full of inspiration than ever before. Original Pine Hearts mandolinist Derek McSwain (also formerly of the trad-bluegrass powerhouse The Oly Mountain Boys) has returned with an even larger bag of tricks, and Joining Joey and Derek is upright bassist Dean Shakked, providing a rock-solid rhythmic foundation for the band while injecting his own wide-ranging jazz and progressive rock influences into the mix. All three are accomplished vocalists in their own rights, allowing for lush, complex three-part vocal harmony to give new depth and dimension to the band’s lyrical melodies.
( boise, idaho )
Friday, March 25th 5:00p – 6:00p @ Basque Center
Grab a drink, sit down, take a breath, have a listen for a moment, an hour, a night, because here they come with their earnest musical narratives of the back alleys, the open range, the hollow, the front porch, the lives behind the love, want, fear and fracture of a world that despite all adversity remains, within their songs, hopeful, thoughtful, jubilant. The band deems their sound Junkerdash – part folk, part bluegrass, part string-band blues, part punk, and most certainly wholly kickass. Bourbon and western swing are a recommended pairing with Hillfolk Noir’s Junkerdash, we’re told, which seems spot-on.
Fronted by multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Travis Ward, this band of neo-traditionalists includes Alison Ward on musical saw, washboard, banjo, and purely gorgeous vocals, as well as Mike Waite keeping the heartbeat, rhythm, and flow alive on double bass. Sean Tracey finishes off the quartet with effortless leads on harmonica.
( seattle, washington )
Friday, March 25th 9:20p – 10:20p @ Basque Center
Shawn James’ voice is a force of nature, a musical preacher to a flock that accepts everyone, a combination of the gospel choirs he sang with as a youngster and his training in classical music and opera. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, James’ timeless sound is steeped in blues legends like Robert Johnson and Son House, forever at the crossroads of damnation and redemption, the two inextricably woven into the fabric of his songs. Shawn maintains a busy slate of performances in the U.S. and abroad.
“I love touring because I want to earn what I get, work for it every day,” says Shawn, admitting that’s the hard-hat blue-collar attitude he inherited from his biological dad. “I enjoy the struggle because that’s what makes it all worthwhile. Pointing to “authentic” performers like Tom Waits (“He has an impeccable ‘no bullshit’ compass”), soul singers like Otis Redding, Sam Cooke or Bill Withers, and the old blues icons who inspired him, James explains, “They weren’t precious about what they did; they didn’t put themselves on a pedestal. I want my music to be respected, but I’ll still sit down at the bar to have a beer with you. My goal is to make music that stands the test of time.”
( bay area, california )
Friday, March 25th 12:30a – 1:30a @ Linen Building
“Any song that’s true is a good song in my mind,” says Kevin Patrick, the lo-fi bedroom folk artist better known as Field Medic. “That’s why I never find it necessary to add too much stuff to my recordings. I’m just into songs themselves.”
That principle is the guiding light behind Field Medic’s hypnotically beautiful and fearlessly honest new record, ‘fade into the dawn.’ Patrick’s first proper full-length release for Run For Cover and his first since making the leap to full-time musician, the collection features ten sparse, acoustic tracks that reckon with our perceptions of success and self as they face down the inevitable complications that arise from realizing any hard-won dream. Patrick has always written candidly about doubt and darkness and anxiety, but he digs deeper than ever before here, blending black humor and bold introspection as he weighs fantasy against reality and searches for meaning in the mundane. “I used to be a romantic / Now I’m a dude in a laminate,” he sings of life on perpetual tour, encapsulating at once both the tantalizing allure and endless tedium of the road.
THE NUDE PARTY
( new york city, new york )
Sunday, March 27th 11:30p – 12:50a @ The Olympic
Formed in a North Carolina dormitory in 2012, The Nude Party celebrates the clanging frat rock of the ’60s. Working with early mentor and producer Oakley Munson of Black Lips, they debuted with the Hot Tub EP in 2016. The band’s eponymous full-length debut arrived on New West Records in 2018, and their critically-acclaimed follow up album Midnight Manor was released in October 2020.
Originating as an extended group of childhood friends and step-siblings who decided to start a band and then began learning to play instruments, The Nude Party took root at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. The band is comprised of lead vocalist/guitarist Patton Magee, vocalist/lead guitarist Shaun Couture, organist/pianist Don Merrill, bass player Alec Castillo, percussionist Austin Brose, and drummer Connor Mikita. Most members also sing backup. Soon after coming together, the sextet soon moved into a lake house and started a nightly ritual of jamming in the basement. It was at a regular gig as the house band at a certain Boone party locale that the group’s practice of performing in the buff earned them a local reputation as “the naked party band.” They adopted the moniker The Nude Party just in time to move onto bookings at local clubs and bars, where they had to perform clothed.
( los angeles, california )
Saturday, March 26th 6:30p – 7:10p @ Fort Builder Space
Sunday, March 27th 7:30p – 8:30p @ KIN
It’s no secret that great art comes from the margins. From those who are either pushed to create from inner forces, or who create to show they deserve to be recognized. Los Angeles-based street singer, guitarist, and roots music revolutionary Sunny War has always been an outsider, always felt the drive to define her place in the world through music and songwriting.
As a young black girl growing up in Nashville, she searched for her own roots, looking first to the blues she heard from her mother’s boyfriend, and learning from a local guitarist. Moving to Los Angeles in her teens, she searched for herself in the LA punk scene, playing house shows with FIDLAR, and shoplifting DVDs from big box stores to trade at Amoeba Records for 80s punk albums. But here too she found herself on the outside, working to bridge her foundation in country blues and American roots guitar traditions with the punk scene she called home. She first made her name with this work, bringing a wickedly virtuosic touch on the fingerstyle guitar that sprang from her own self-discoveries on the instrument. But her restless spirit, a byproduct of growing up semi-nomadic with a single mother, led her to Southern California, where she’s been grinding the pavement for some years now, making a name for her prodigious guitar work and incisive songwriting, which touches on everything from police violence to alcoholism to love found and lost.
THE REVEREND PEYTON’S BIG DAMN BAND
( brown country, indiana )
Sunday, March 27th 11:20p – 12:50a @ Pengilly’s Saloon
The new album from The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band was written by candlelight and then recorded using the best technology available in the 1950s. But listeners won’t find another album as relevant, electrifying and timely as Dance Songs for Hard Times.
Released via Thirty Tigers, Dance Songs for Hard Times conveys the hopes and fears of pandemic living. Current BMA nominee, Rev. Peyton, the Big Damn Band’s vocalist and world-class fingerstyle guitarist, details bleak financial challenges on the songs “Ways and Means” and “Dirty Hustlin’.” He pines for in-person reunions with loved ones on “No Tellin’ When,” and he pleads for celestial relief on the album-closing “Come Down Angels.”
( philadelphia, pennsylvania )
Saturday, March 26th 10:10p – 11:10p @ Neurolux
Sunday, March 27th 12:30p – 1:20p @ Main Stage
Hailing from north of Seattle in the Skagit Valley, hewn from NW institution, record label known simply as K – Karl Blau’s music currently releases under the Bella Union/Raving Marching Band, and now Blau resides in Germantown, Philadelphia as of late Fall 2018. His last two albums – acclaimed country/soul covers produced by Tucker Martine (Laura Veirs, The Decemberists) known as Introducing Karl Blau, and the twin sister to Matthew E. White’s “Big Inner” called Out Her Space– have continued the legacy of Blau’s genre-hopping and led Blau to multiple EU/UK and US tours.
( astoria, oregon )
Wednesday, March 23rd 11:40p – 1:00p @ The Olympic
Horse Feathers feels like a secret you don’t really want to share. Over fifteen years and six albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts. One reason for this can be found in lead singer Justin Ringle’s distinctive voice, at once vulnerable and piercing, and in the quality of the music: gorgeous, lush string arrangements surrounding stark, visceral lyrics whose bite makes a piquant juxtaposition to the surrounding beauty.
( seattle , washington )
Friday, March 25th 7:50p – 8:50p @ Basque Center
Americana singer-songwriter Sera Cahoone is the daughter of a dynamite salesman who grew up in the Colorado Foothills. She played her first gig on drums in a Denver dive bar’s open blues jam at age 12. A young adult, she moved to Seattle where she played drums with the adored indie rock group, Carissa’s Wierd, and later Band of Horses. She then went on to release four solo acoustic records, two with Sub Pop. In 2019, Cahoone received a Gold Record for her work with Band of Horses.
Cahoone has toured with many artists such as Tift Merritt, Gregory Alan Isakov, Kathleen Edwards, Son Volt, Mason Jennings and Band Of Horses. Most recently, Cahoone opened for the Indigo Girls celebrating their 30th anniversary. She will be featured in the book “Bring Music Home” to be released in April 2021. This book celebrates venues like the Tractor Tavern, Stubby’s, Baby’s All Right, and The Fillmore with artists Alice Cooper, Dehd, Native Sun, The Black Angels and many more.
In addition to her work on drums and work as singer-songwriter, Cahoone co-produced her own records and produced Margo Cilker’s new record set to be released in September 2021.
Cahoone has earned great praise from KEXP, NPR series Tiny Desk Concert, First Listen and Songs We Love. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the Seattle Times, UPROXX, ELLE and KEXP, and The Stranger.
SARAH SHOOK & THE DISARMER
( chapel hill , north carolina )
Thursday, March 24th 12:20a – 1:40a @ Hannah’s
Friday, March 25th 7:40pm – 8:40p @ The Hideout
North Carolina’s Sarah Shook sings with a conviction and hard honesty sorely lacking in much of today’s Americana landscape. Always passionate, at times profane, Sarah stalks/walks the line between vulnerable and menacing, her voice strong and uneasy, country classic but with contemporary, earthy tension. You can hear in her voice what’s she’s seen; world weary, lessons learned—or not—but always defiant. She level-steady means what she says. Writing with a blunt urgency—so refreshing these days it’s almost startling—Sarah’s lyrics are in turn smart, funny, mean, and above all, uncompromising. The Disarmers hit all the sweet spots from Nashville’s Lower Broad to Bakersfield and take Sarah’s unflinching tales out for some late-night kicks. At times, it’s as simple and muscular as Luther Perkins’ boom-chicka-boom, or as downtown as Johnny Thunders. The Disarmers keep in the pocket, tight and tough.
( boise , idaho )
Thursday, March 24th 10:50p – 11:50p @ Hannah’s
Born and raised in a sleepy mountain town in Northern Idaho, singer-songwriter Jeff Crosby has managed to delineate the sometimes amorphous genre of “Americana”, package it perfectly, and deliver it to his listeners time and again.
His songs present almost as pages ripped out of an intimately personal diary, detailing the rugged beauty of what it means to have loved, lost and kept on the move. There seems to be no shortage of inspiration as Crosby is one of the last few “troubadours” that truly lives the life he sings about.
After dropping out of school at 17 to pursue touring full-time with a band on the west coast, he’s made his living by permanently staying on the road – night after night, show after show, from load-in until the last drink is poured.
For five years, Crosby hung his hat in a little shoebox apartment off Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, giving up coffee to pay rent and running around with “The Homeless and the Dreamers” (a title of a song he wrote paying homage to that time). After a chance encounter in the city, he met and befriended a music editor for the critically-acclaimed television show Sons of Anarchy and subsequently had two songs featured on the program.
Amid treading the scene in L.A. while he was home and touring across the U.S. with his band (and later with Widespread Panic song-writer Jerry Joseph), Crosby had managed to travel abroad to several countries including the United Kingdom, Iceland, Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua. All of these countries offered experiences that lent themselves to the songs in his newest record, Postcards from Magdalena.
TK & THE HOLY KNOW-NOTHINGS
( portland , oregon )
Friday, March 25th 9:00p – 11:10p @ The Hideout
Rejecting the influence of fleeting scenes and encroaching developers; the Laurel thirst Public House has always stayed in tune with its generations of muddy patrons carving out lives as blue-collar artists. “The Thirst”–Portland, Oregon’s oldest independent venue–has always been a sort of misfit stronghold–a sanctuary for the same kind of spirit that sustained local punk legends Dead Moon and outsider folk hero Michael Hurley.
It’s also become a lifeblood for working-class musicians like Taylor Kingman. Most nights, you’ll likely find the TK & The Holy Know-Nothings songwriter and lead vocalist on stage (or at the bar). Ask around the place and you’ll quickly uncover Kingman’s reputation as the sort of songwriter who makes other songwriters jealous, even angry. You’ll also hear about his hustle as both a player and writer, as those same songwriters line up to play with him. It’s led to countless projects, exploring myriad concepts and styles, and making the sort of honest music that stands starkly, alongside the Laurelthirst, against the backdrop of a city quickly fading under the lacquer of gentrification.
TK & The Holy Know-Nothings is perhaps Kingman’s most beloved project. Half-dutifully and half-facetiously self-dubbed “psychedelic doom boogie,” the group was born out of Kingman’s desire to create a loose, groove-heavy bar band that never sacrifices the importance of good, honest songwriting. Doing so required pulling together a local supergroup of friends, neighbors, and fellow Laurelthirst royalty, including drummer Tyler Thompson and multi-instrumentalists Jay Cobb Anderson (lead guitar, harmonica), Lewi Longmire (bass, guitar, pedal steel, flugelhorn, mellotron, lap steel) and Sydney Nash (keys, bass, slide guitar, cornet). It’s a band of deeply contrasting styles buoyed by a sincere and palpable mutual trust–one that allows them to find and lose the groove with the same ease. They build graceful, spaced-out landscapes around Kingman’s storytelling–his voice ragged and broken one moment and raging the next–only to deconstruct them through a fit of manic and often dissonant rabbit holes. And Kingman’s equally irreverent, delicate, and cerebral first-person narratives somehow merge seamlessly with it all.