OLD SALT UNION + JENNI LYN – Tickets – The Rabbit Hole – Charlotte, NC – March 18th, 2017

OLD SALT UNION + JENNI LYN

The Rabbit Hole & MaxxMusic present

OLD SALT UNION + JENNI LYN

Sat 3/18

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Rabbit Hole

This event is 21 and over

21+ Valid ID required for entry into venue. (Under 18 permitted with parent - $5 Under 21 Surcharge at Door)

Accepted forms of ID: State Issued ID or Driver's License, Military ID, Passport.

OLD SALT UNION
OLD SALT UNION
A great band is more than the proverbial sum of its parts, and in the pursuit of becoming something that can cut through the clutter of YouTube stars and contest show runner-ups, a great roots music band must become a way of life. Less likely to rely on production or image, they’ve got to connect with their audience only through the craftsmanship of their songs, the energy they channel on the stage and the story that brings them together.

Old Salt Union is a string band founded by a horticulturist, cultivated by classically trained musicians, and fueled by a vocalist/bass player who is also a hip-hop producer with a fondness for the Four Freshmen. It is this collision of styles and musical vocabularies that informs their fresh approach to bluegrass and gives them an electric live performance vibe that seems to pull more from Vaudeville than the front porch.

In 2015 they won the FreshGrass Band contest and found the perfect collaborator in Compass Records co-founder and GRAMMY winning banjoist and composer, Alison Brown, whose attention to detail and high standards pushed the group to develop their influences from beyond a vocabulary to pull from during improvisation and into the foundation of something truly compelling in the roots music landscape.

Violinist John Brighton mentions some names familiar to the Compass roster as key influences, musicians like Darol Anger, Edgar Meyer, Mike Marshall and Mark O’Connor, all of whom have collaborated with Brown in the past. Primary vocalist and bassist, Jesse Farrar (for the indie rock heads - yes, he’s related – Son Volt front man Jay Farrar is Jesse’s uncle) brings an alternative rock spirit as well as his unique formative experiences as a hip hop producer and bass player for a national tour of The Four Freshmen. The band’s self-titled Compass debut combines these instrumental proclivities with pop melodies and harmonies into a coherent piece of work that carves out a road-less-travelled for the band in the now crowded roots music genre.

The album kicks off with a nod to alternative rock sensibilities – a deconstructed symphonic drone creeps in slowly, while Farrar emerges through the atmospherics to deliver the first lines “Stranded on a lonely road/Trying to find my way back home/A dollar and a broken heart/Didn’t seem to get me very far”. His words are followed by a dramatic moment of silence (a trick often used in hip hop) that quickly launches into “Where I Stand”, a hard-driving bluegrass track that gets moving so powerfully you almost don’t notice the layer of angelic harmonies flowing consistently underneath.

Mandolinist Justin Wallace takes over lead vocal duties for the second track “Feel My Love” as well as a version of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”. He pops up again on his composition “On My Way” and his no-frills, approachable voice is the perfect complement to Farrar’s more gymnastic style. The two work together beautifully on the Wallace-penned, “Hard Line”. Wallace is further showcased on the disc’s lone instrumental “Flatt Baroque”, composed by Brighton, who joins him in some twin mandolin, and it’s this more contemplative moment on the album where the listener hears him reaching to be in perfect sync with his bandmate, that best reflects Wallace’s role in the evolution story of the band. If Farrar has emerged as the heartbeat, then Wallace is the soul.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the band was founded by banjoist Ryan Murphey, the aforementioned horticulturist who came to bluegrass music and the banjo later in life. Finding a kindred spirit in Dustin Eiskant, the band’sformer guitarist and Farrar’s cousin, the pair started the band in 2012 and Murphey played the banjo and led the band’s business through its early incarnations, including the recruitment of Farrar in 2014.

When Eiskant quit in 2016, just as the band’s already impressive trajectory seemed to be taking a significant step forward, Murphey and the band were able to reset, adding guitarist Rob Kindle to the lineup. Kindle brings a bluegrass foundation from his early exposure to the music as a child in family settings, as well as a degree in jazz performance to the mix.

Though the band had established themselves as a growing festival act with performances at LouFest, Stagecoach Festival, Bluegrass Underground, Winter Wondergrass, Freshgrass, Wakarusa, Yonder Mountain String Band's Harvest Festival, and the 2014 Daytona 500, it was their breakout track on Spotify, “Madam Plum” that seemed to amplify awareness of the band beyond the bluegrass bubble.

Of working with the band in the studio, producer Brown says, “These post modern bluegrassers are true renegades. While they look like a bluegrass band, their musical sensibilities run much deeper and broader, borrowing as much from indie rock and jazz fusion as from Bill Monroe. And, even more exciting to me, they know no fear! They are wide open musical adventurers and we had a great time experimenting in the studio at the crossroads of these disparate influences.”

The most unexpected but possibly most fascinating song on the album is a ballad entitled “Bought and Sold”. Its earnest beauty is balanced with a youthful inventiveness that leaves a solemn mark on the listener who might wake up at the end of it thinking, “What just happened?”.

At this point, the future of the band seems marvelously unclear. The album closes with “Here and Off My Mind” which seems like the bluegrass song that Conor Oberst never wrote featuring a lyric that ends with the promise of “a better life” though from the all-hands-on-deck jam session that breaks out in the middle (is that a kazoo?) one gets the sense that the band can’t imagine a better one than they have in the beat up Winnebago they currently call home.

Old Salt Union’s self-titled new album will be released August 4th.
JENNI LYN
JENNI LYN
An ice cold glass of sweet tea melts in your hand, as you lean back on your chair and gaze out into the horizon. Butter beans and rice simmer on the stovetop, the scent permeating through the screen door as it slyly sneaks up to your nose. The latest Jenni Lyn Gardner album plays through the speakers, filling the air with a sound that’s both current and nostalgic...

You’re home.

That all ­too­ familiar Southern scene sets the foundation on which Gardner herself was built. Born and raised in South Carolina, the bluegrass songstress knew she’d be Nashville ­bound from her early childhood days. The artist credits her musical family, beginning with her banjo ­playing grandmother, for instilling in her a passion for music and a love of bluegrass when she was just five years old. She was raised proper on the genre greats­ Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, JD Crowe, Larry Sparks, Alison Krauss, Blue Highway, Tony Rice... the list goes on.

“I had the incredible fortune of meeting Bill Monroe backstage at a bluegrass festival when I was 9 years old,” Jenni Lyn recalls. “The two of us played a song together and without hesitation, I played the ‘Two Bits’ when he finished playing ‘Shave and a Haircut.’ We shared a laugh and just before parting ways he leaned down and said to me, ‘Little girl, one day you are going be a star.’”

Bill Monroe was no fool. Over Gardner’s time as a solo artist and as a member of several collaborative projects (including the all female bluegrass band Della Mae) she racked up a number of prestigious awards including:
IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year (Della Mae), IBMA Recorded Event of the Year (The Daughters of Bluegrass) and a coveted GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album (Della Mae).

She’s graced the stage of Nashville’s beloved Ryman Auditorium, as well as numerous festivals including Bonnaroo, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and Cambridge Folk. Her career continues to blossom with each appearance in the 30+ countries she’s performed in worldwide.

From baby boomers to millennials, seasoned festival­ goers to country converts, Jenni Lyn’s music offers a current approach to the evolving bluegrass sound, while maintaining the perfect balance of that down­ home comfort. Her broad span of shared experiences and collaborations has shaped Gardner as an artist and as a performer, all culminating in an exciting new album that showcases her well-developed repertoire of songs. The forthcoming release, Burn Another Candle, is sweetened with originality, seasoned with love and strengthened with a solid work ethic and commitment to her solo career. Fans will connect with the energy and feel of the music, a testament to the heart Jenni Lyn has brought to this new chapter in her musical journey - a journey that you’ll savor with every nuanced note.
Venue Information:
The Rabbit Hole
1801 Commonwealth Ave,
Charlotte, NC, 28205
http://www.therabbitspot.com/rabbit-hole/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *