Otus Supply & Grand Circus Media present: Front Country, Back Forty, Fauxgrass
Friday Mar 30, 2018
The Parliament Room at Otus Supply
21 + welcome | 8 PM Doors
Tickets ---> ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1601996
An acoustic band born in the land of tech innovation, Front Country was never going to be accepted as an authentic American roots band out of the gate. Cutting their teeth in progressive bluegrass jams in San Francisco’s Mission District and rehearsing in the East Bay, they learned to play roots music their own way, with the tools they had on hand. A mandolinist with a degree in composition and classical guitar. A guitarist trained in rock and world music. A bassist equally versed in jazz and bluegrass. A violinist with technique that could seamlessly hop between honky tonk and electropop. A female lead singer with grit and soul that was also a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. In a wood-paneled country dive bar in the shadow of the San Francisco skyline, Front Country forged a sound hell bent on merging the musical past with the future.
Back Forty is a staple of the Midwest live music scene. Over the last 5 years Back Forty has played just about every venue and major festival in Michigan and choice venues throughout the Midwest. The Band has also recorded and released two full length albums and is working on their third.
The Band is comprised of Dan Ripke on guitar, Andy Benes on mandolin and guitar, John Yax on drums, Colin Murphey on fiddle, and Jeff Friesen on bass. The band is also joined regularly by their three piece horn section and a slew of guest musicians. Stephanie Kadel-Taras of the Ann Arbor Observer wrote «These musicians are just plain good, as in record-contract good.»
This eclectic group of musicians and their backgrounds is portrayed in the music. One live set may contain Funk, Bluegrass, Rock, Folk, Reggae, Irish, Jazz, Experimentation, Blues, and Swing elements. Back Forty breaks down the genre barriers and just plays what comes naturally.
Robert Costa of Grand Rapid's On the Town Magazine commented «It is hard to pigeonhole the sound of Back Forty because it uses the elements of traditional bluegrass or soul or Irish folk or rock or whatever you thought you knew about a genre, and it blows it up, redefines it, and puts it back together in a way you have never heard. The stage presence is powerful, the musicianship is a wonder to watch, and there is no doubt a lot of fun.»
The Fauxgrass approach to music, original and traditional, has quickly landed them a place in the progressive bluegrass community since their 2011 inception. With a fresh, playful, and heart-felt approach to structure Fauxgrass performances flow between genres with unique instrumental communication. The current members consist of Adam Balcer (guitar), Timothy McKay (bass), Alex Johnson (resonator guitar), Jason Wheeler (mandolin), and Jeffery Niemeier (fiddle). They have toured extensively through the mid-west, Colorado, and northeast coast, as well as establishing themselves as a regular presence in the Michigan music scene. They are continuing to build momentum as their unique songwriting and fun performances find enthusiastic reception around the region. Their creative approach to a familiar musical style is a breath of fresh air, and something worth experiencing for the acoustic music lover.