The Hold Steady - Founded in New York City in 2000 by Minneapolis native Craig Finn, the Hold Steady draws on the indie rock spirit of bands like the Replacements and the Grifters. The band issued its debut in 2004 with its sophomore effort released the following year. The band’s current release, “Heaven is Whenever,” celebrates the struggles and the rewards of life on the road.
Brooke Waggoner - After studying classical piano for nearly 20 years, Brooke Waggoner earned a degree in music composition and orchestration, hoping to score films and orchestrate her own projects. With a sweet voice and piano playing that’s a cross between Little Richard and Rachmaninov, the Louisiana native’s songs tell of a "lone 22-year-old girl, sagas of daily life and bits of poetry." Influenced by artists as diverse as Simon and Garfunkel, Electric Light Orchestra and Rodgers & Hammerstein, she attempts to “connect the 'classical world' with the 'mainstream world'.” Waggoner was a finalist in MTVU's “Best Music on Campus” competition and was a semi-finalist in the “John Lennon Songwriting Contest.” Her 2008 release, “Heal for the Honey” was nominated for “Best Folk/Singer Songwriter Album of the Year” at the Independent Music Awards. Now residing in Nashville, in 2009, Waggoner received the “Emerging Artist” award at the Nashville Music Awards. Her latest release is titled “Fresh Pair of Eyes.”
Crooked Still - This Boston-based “alternative bluegrass” ensemble utilizes cello, banjo, bass and Aoife O’Donovan’s haunting vocal to redefine traditional American music and has been called “the most important folk group to emerge from Boston since the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the early ‘60s.” With a unique blend of American, Irish, Klezmer and jazz, Crooked Still “can warp a traditional American tune to the brink of unrecognizability without sacrificing the authenticity of the original sources.” Crooked Still members also moonlight with Tony Trischka’s Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings and jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. Now a quintet, the current lineup includes O’Donovan (vocals, guitar, baritone ukulele, piano, glockenspiel), Brittany Haas (fiddle), Dr. Gregory Liszt (banjo), Tristan Clarridge (cello, fiddle) and Corey DiMario (double bass, tenor guitar). “Some Strange Country,” the group’s latest release includes four original compositions alongside innovative arrangements of traditional tunes and a take on the Rolling Stones’ “You Got the Silver.” Guest vocalists include Ricky Skaggs and WV’s own Tim O’Brien.
Matt White - New Jersey native Matt White, writes songs that walk that tightrope of pop, rock and folk. Interested in music from a young age, White began piano lessons at age three and picked up the guitar while attending college at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating, he returned to NYC and began busking on street corners and in parks, eventually moving on to clubs like Joe's Pub and the Living Room. White's local following combined with his connections on Myspace - more than 50,000 friends - landed him a deal with Geffen Records. His major label debut, “Best Days,” released in 2007, went on to sell more than 100,000 copies and hit No. 4 on Billboard's “New Artist” chart. White’s music has been featured in numerous films, TV shows and commercials and "Songs Of Freedom" was tapped for the theme for Gap's "Vote For" campaign, airing on a special electoral episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” To date, White has sold more than 400,000 digital downloads. His current release, “It’s the Good Crazy,” combines his propulsive playing and sly wit.
Joe Pug - After studying to be a playwright at the University of North Carolina, Joe Pug’s career took a different turn when he quit school in his senior year and moved to Chicago to pursue songwriting. Using ideas originally slated for a play he was writing called "Austin Fish," Pug began writing the songs that he would include on his debut, “The Nation of Heat.” The EP garnered critical acclaim and led to opening slots for Steve Earle, M. Ward, and Josh Ritter. This year Pug was nominated for “Emerging Artist of the Year” by the Americana Music Association. His full-length debut “Messenger” was released in February, 2010.
This show is scheduled for distribution by NPR in November.
For more information, including hi-res photos, please contact Adam Harris, 304.556.4900