RiverRoots Band Bio's
RiverRoots bands to bring a wide variety of sounds to Madison’s riverfront
Here is a look at the other bands scheduled to perform
June 7-8 at RiverRoots Music & Folk Art Festival in Madison, Ind.:
Saturday night bands
• Snaps for Sinners kick off the Saturday lineup at 2 p.m. Formerly known as Buck Thrifty, their swing ensemble repertoire often has people dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Their sound is a mixture of folk, punk, blues and swing that makes it hard to sit down when listening to this trio from Santa Rosa, Calif.
They have recently released a new album, “How the Apple Falls,” and gone on tour from California to North Carolina. Snaps for Sinners is made up of Michael Fierro on guitar, Corwin Zekley on fiddle and Jay Drapes on upright bass.
• At 3:30 p.m. Paleface will take the stage. This high energy duo is made up of the prolific and influential alt-folk cult hero Paleface and his girlfriend Monica “Mo” Samalot, who aids with vocal harmonies.
Known now as a singer, songwriter, musician and artist, Paleface was discovered in 1990 by Danny Fields at Lach’s Anti-Hoot, a New York City open mic. Fields soon became his manager.
A year before Fields met Paleface, the artist was schooled musically by songwriter Daniel Johnston. Johnston taught Paleface how to write songs and soon he was making homemade tapes. Paleface has released over a dozen records including two well-known label releases, Polygram and Sire Records. He has been called a major influence and inspiration by a wide range of artists in addition to BECK. He’s also collaborated and appeared on three albums by The Avett Brothers who have said of him, “Paleface is a gem, a brilliant man...one of the greatest songwriters on earth.”
Paleface and girlfriend drummer Samalot tour on a full-time basis as an indie folk duo. She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, an island with a very lively culture, rhythmic music, and lots of dancing.
• Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound will perform at 5 p.m. McKinley has made a name for himself by crossing the genres of folk, rock, indie and soul music with his honest songwriting ability.
His debut album was a self-titled release in 2014. Since then he has been billed alongside musicians such as John Moreland, Jason Isbell, Tyler Childers and Justin Townes Earl, which propelled his name outside of the local Cincinnati scene.
Arlo McKinley and The Lonesome Sound released their second album “Die Midwestern Vol. 1” last summer. This rooted them as a household name in the Americana scene.
• Parsonsfield will follow McKinley at 6:30 p.m. The members of this multi-genre band got together in 2011 while attending the University of Connecticut.
The band was an offshoot of the university’s folk music club. Two of the original members, Chris Freeman (banjo, guitar, pump organ, bass, lead vocals) and Antonio Alcorn (mandolin, banjo, bass, vocals), met weekly with others in the student union to play traditional music. The band now includes Max Shakun (guitar, pump organ, synthesizer, bass, vocals) and Erik Hischmann (drums, bass, vocals).
In 2013, Parsonsfield signed to Signature Sounds Records and released a self-titled debut album, “Poor Old Shine.” The band draws their name from the rural Maine town that’s home to the Great North Sound Society, the farmhouse-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist-producer Sam Kassirer, who produced and recorded “Poor Old Shine.”
• True to their name, Scythian will storm the stage at 8 p.m. with their thunderous energy and enthusiasm. This is a band known for playing “Celtic with an edge” and keeping the crowd on their feet, always screaming for more.
The Washington, D.C.-based band began in 2002 as a bunch of college buddies playing Celtic music in the streets and over the years has grown to be a headliner on the U.S. Celtic Festival Circuit as well as a big name in the Bluegrass Americana Festival Circuit. Their sound encompasses everything from traditional jigs and reels to contemporary covers.
The Washington Post has written about the band stating, “Scythian’s enthusiasm is contagious, and shows seem to end with everyone dancing, jumping around or hoisting glasses.” Scythian was founded by siblings, Alexander (mandolin, bass, vocals) and Danylo Fedoryka (rhythm guitar, accordion, vocals), who are first-generation sons of Ukrainian immigrants. They studied violin and piano, respectively, at age 3.
Other band members include the Fedoryka’s sister, Larissa, on bass, cello and vocals; Nolan Ladewski on flute, whistles, banjolin, guitar and vocals; and Fritz McGuirr on drums, percussion and vocals.
Friday night bands
Snider’s last album, “Like A Force Of Nature” from this Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 album, was released March 15.
• When The Suitcase Junket takes the stage at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, the crowd will know it’s in for a rare treat. A native of Vermont, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Matthew Lorenz is the signer-songwriter behind The Suitcase Junket.
Drawing on American forms of urban blues, rural ballads and roadhouse rock, The Suitcase Junket’s overall sound “lands somewhere between the Avett Brothers and early, dirty Black Keys. There’s a Tom Waits vibe in the fuzzy-megaphone reverb mic, and something ancient, near tribal, in his whistles and moans,” according to the The Boston Globe.
Lorenz took the name The Suitcase Junket as a nod to his longtime love of collecting old suitcases, combined with a secondary definition of “junket” (a pleasure excursion”). The Suitcase Junket is a project that evolved from his other roots-rock-junk-folk band, a trio known as Rusty Belle. In this latter band he played alongside his sister, Kate Lorenz and Zak Trojano.
• Charley Crockett, who performs at 6:45 p.m. Friday, has a unique approach to American roots music. His is a mix of Texas blues, classic country and Cajun soul.
He earned his musical education as a street performer, busking on the corners of New Orleans and the subway cars of New York City. He pays tribute to those days with his latest effort, ‘Lil,’ an album stocked with his own interpretations of old school country songs and half-forgotten blues gems. It features 15 songs originally performed by the likes of George Jones, Earnest Tubb, T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles and others.
Crockett is a modern musician with traditional roots, having played more than 200 shows across the United States and Europe last year.
• Todd Snider will perform at 8 p.m. before the Friday headliner Chris Knight. Snider is an American singer-songwriter with a musical style that combines Americana, alt-country, and folk.
After high school he moved to Santa Rosa, Calif., to be a harmonica player, but moved to Austin, Texas, when his brother bought him a ticket to move there. After seeing Jerry Jeff Walker in a local bar, Snider decided that he didn’t need a band to be a musician.
After another move to Memphis, Tenn., in the mid-1980s and establishing residency at a club named the Daily Planet, Snider was discovered by Keith Sykes, a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band.
A longtime acquaintance of John Prine and Walker, Sykes began to work with Snider to help advance his career. Prine hired him as an assistant and then invited him to open shows. In time, Buffett signed him to his own label.
Snider has said of his music, “I was just trying to come up with the best, most open hearted, well-thought-out lyrics I could come up with. I wanted every song to be sad and funny at the same time, vulnerable and entertaining at the same time, personal and universal at the same time. I wanted every song to be as uniquely written as possible, and then I wanted to perform them in a studio loose and rugged and hopefully as uniquely as I could. My hope is to be hard to describe and/or new. I’m not saying I am. I’m just saying that’s the hope.”
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