NORTH CAROLINA FOLK ROCKERS ACOUSTIC SYNDICATE REACH NEW HEIGHTS ON “ROOFTOP GARDEN”
Produced by Grammy winner Stewart Lerman, Acoustic Syndicate showcases a unique legacy of rocking folk and bluegrass with songs that speak of a better world and a richer heart.
Acoustic Syndicate is a musical institution. Since 1994, their unique blend of bluegrass instruments, rock sensibilities, and conscious songwriting has inspired a generation of musicians. Through 7 albums, thousands of performances, and tens-of-thousands of miles, Acoustic Syndicate has long been heralded as one of the important influences on the modern roots-music revival.
Always a family affair, the band is fronted by Steve McMurry on guitar and vocals, and his cousin Bryon McMurry on banjo, guitar, and vocals. Their signature three-part harmony is rounded out by Bryon’s brother Fitz on drums and vocals. Jay Sanders holds down the bass with style, while dobro maestro Billy Cardine completes the quintet with his world-renowned tone and precision.
“Their modern take on traditional bluegrass and rock values culminates in a glimmering, driving sound rich with acoustic textures and glowing vocals,” said Paul Kerr, of JamBase.
If there was ever a band that could capture the universal truths of life from the roots up, it’s Acoustic Syndicate.
Hailing from Richmond, VA, The Trongone Band is touring in support of their 2017 debut album, “Keys to the House”, released on Harmonized Records. With a sound that Paste Magazine likens to the “freak-outs of My Morning Jacket with the Muscle Shoals-inspired Leslie speakers and The Band’s narrative storytelling”, The Trongone Band is turning heads and making an impact on the Southern Rock ‘n’ Soul and Americana scenes.
Formed by brothers Andrew and Johnny Trongone with father John Sr on bass, The Trongone Band (tron-GO-knee) has grown from a family affair to a full on touring machine with the addition of keyboardist Ben “Wolfe” White and bassist Chip Hale. In the words of Live for Live Music, “the quartet has come together to create an old-school and all-in-the-family sound reminiscent of The Allman Brothers while still keeping it fresh with their cutting edge original compositions that also infuse funk and blues into the mix.”
Keeping with the homegrown vibe, the band nestled into the woods outside of RVA, tapping into Montrose Recording’s Flickinger console, one of only seven
remaining in the world. Known as the console that revolutionized the recording industry in the 60s & 70s, the Flickinger provided the warm sounds that turned into “Keys to the House” and brought to life what MusicFestNews described as “imagery of boxcar drifters, rolling hills and dirt roads that are easy to close your eyes and get lost in”.
Summer and Fall of 2017 saw The Trongone Band taking “Keys to the House” on the road while touring in support of stalwarts including Umphrey’s McGee, Reckless Kelly, American Aquarium and Cris Jacobs. Having graced the stages of Virginia’s Roosterwalk and FloydFest, Tennessee’s Riverbend Music Festival, The Allman Brothers’ Peach Festival in Pennsylvania, Atlanta’s Sweetwater 420 Fest and Macon’s “Big House Presents Summer Jam”, the band is primed for a busy 2018 festival season and their first full European Tour. This four-piece ensemble may not all be related, but with a chemistry so emphatically discernible, it's fair to call them brothers.
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!
The Tan and Sober Gentlemen
Born and raised in the North Carolina backcountry, The Tan and Sober Gentlemen began taking in the songs, stories, and tunes that make up their beloved state's heritage before they could talk. Despite having played music together in some form or another for most of their lives, the current lineup was formed in the summer of 2016. Since then, they’ve been in the saddle, playing stages from their hometown Cat’s Cradle and Shakori Hills to Galway, Ireland’s legendary Roisin Dubh.
The band aims to explore the Celtic roots of North Carolinian music, and to play it with a fire and intensity they feel is lacking in much of today's folk music. The result is Scotch-Irish hillbilly insanity they dub "Celtic punk-grass." As far as folk music goes, they're about the best drinking and dancing band you'll find.
Ross Sermons has been well known as the bass player for the Carter Brohers Band. Now living in Australia, he is touring and is dropping in to the music fest for 2019.
Handlebar Betty is a harmony driven folk-grass band singing modern stories with an old-time feel.
Hometown - Boone, NC
Laced with elements of bluegrass, folk, blues, soul and rockabilly, Handlebar Betty creates a unique sound that is dark, driving, and earthy; bringing forth a genuine, soulful and eclectic approach to acoustic/electric music.
- Meris Gantt - Guitar, Vocals, Bass, and Banjo
- Anna Huffman - Guitar, Vocal, Bass, and Mandolin
- Chad Berry - Banjo, Guitar, and Vocals
- Jordan Lamb - Guitar (electric and acoustic), and Vocals
- Blake Bostain - Mandolin, Trumpet, and Vocals
Melissa Reaves is known to audiences throughout the US and Europe for her avant-garde, fire driven’, deconstructionist approach to rock-n-roll. Reaves has amassed a word-of-mouth following most notably for her experimental guitar work but also for her propensity towards spontaneity and seamless improvisation during live performance. She deconstructs the blues, pushes jazz to the outer limits and burns through rock-n-roll like the love child of Jerry Lee Lewis and the MC5. The real deal! Melissa's, "New Rock Song" was placed on the 55th GRAMMY Awards nomination ballot for Best Rock Performance.
Performing over 200 shows per year, Melissa spends most of her time touring with her eclectic solo show as well as her band. In January 2000, Melissa was chosen to participate in a "Women of the Millennium" showcase at the MIDEM conference in Cannes, France and toured in both England and France which included opening for Robert Plant of Led Zepplin.
In 1999, Melissa won the Lilith Fair Talent Search for the Charlotte area. She took the stage at Tremont Music Hall by storm and blew the crowd away. Melissa is well-known for her electrifying performances which leave her fans screaming for more. Her performance at Lilith Fair was incredible, and Melissa ended up on the main stage at the end of the night and truly brought down the house.
Melissa's third CD, Sentimental Anthem, includes a blend of some incredible grooves and the powerful extremes of Melissa's vocal abilities. Nine tracks are originals and the CD includes a dynamic rendition of "Purple Haze" with the Willy's, as well as a beautiful acoustic version of "I Know You Rider." For Reaves, one of the goals for this CD was to capture the intense energy of her live performances. Sentimental Anthem was released in May 1999, and has received outstanding reception from both fans and radio play.
Another of Reaves'accomplishments was the independent release of her debut album, Fall From Grace. Reaves wrote and arranged the entire album which includes ten listed tracks along with some extra surprises. Melissa has one track on the GO ON GIRL '97 CD compilation. The CD features female fronted bands from across the U.S. & Canada and is the brain child of Susan White at Fret Less Music.
Originally from North Carolina, Melissa Reaves tours nationally as well as internationally including New York,Boston,Atlanta,New Orleans,Seattle and Vancouver,BC. Melissa has shared the stage with Robert Plant, Sarah MacLachlan, Leon Russell,Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Sister Sledge, Gloria Gaynor, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Doc Watson, Little Feat; and has performed for many benefits and rallies including New York Pride, Battered Women's Shelters, and PETA. Melissa has also been a featured artist at the MIDEM, CMJ, & LMNOP conferences and at the NEA Extravaganza.
Melissa Reaves' unique sound and charismatic presence has received excellent reviews for their shows in Seattle, NYC, and in the Boston area. Rob Bloom of NYC's Manhattan Mirror said that, 'Melissa sings the blues all heart and soul...Melissa delivered the goods and shook the place,' while Steve Rylie of Creative Loafing says, 'Reaves will electrify any audience and send chills down your spine.' Melissa has propelled herself forward in the independent music scene with enormous strides. With her dynamic stage presence and burning desire to entertain, Melissa Reaves is someone who will excite and energize any audience!
Turpentine Shine was brought into existence by the insatiable hunger to play acoustic, roots music...the way it was done way back when. As founding members of the band Downtown Senate, Benji Morris (Acoustic Guitar/Vocals) and Johnny Slate (Banjo) played music together for the better part of 10 years. Long time friend and former band member, Dan Powers (Upright Bass) joined up with the guys in 2014.
And in 2016, shortly after Johnny and family moved to Pennsylvania, Pete Washburn just happened to have his banjo with him and stumbled across the guys at one of their shows. Pete's been playing banjo with the band ever since.
To help fill out the sound and bring a new dynamic, the band added Nathan Shepherd to the lineup on electric and acoustic guitar in 2017.
Turpentine Shine features an outstanding collection of original songs as well as some traditional and well-known cover songs that the average music fan will recognize and appreciate. From blues on the banjo to bluegrassy motown, you can rest assured that you've never experienced acoustic, roots music like this..so come on, check us out.
Genre: Folk, rock, country, original music
Band Members: Dawn Nichols, Danny Platt - special Confessions guests with MJC - include Elijah Davenport and Blake Bostain and others.
Hometown: Western Watauga aka West Side (Zionville/Vilas, NC)
Record Label: Bent Street Records
About: Mason Jar Confessions - Dawn & Danny make up the core Acoustic Duet that features many special guests on various instruments. You never know who will show up to play! Featuring a mix of rock, folk, country and original