Bluegrass Bonanza!

  • July 10, 2019
  • By Admin: sfbluegrass
  • Comment: 0

The Earl Brothers have got the soul and the songs and the attitude that brought us all into bluegrass music in the first place. Their songs cry of the mountains, of the people and of the traditions down through the ages. Bluegrass is alive and well.” –Chris Hillman member of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Desert Rose Band

The Earl Brothers are San Francisco’s best kept Hillbilly secret. It’s been twelve years since they started working on a style that has become their unique trademark, “Outlaw Hillbilly Music.” The Earl Brothers have received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from music-lovers far and wide. In the October, 2010 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited, a feature article named band leader Robert Earl Davis “The Hillbilly Hero.”

In the 1970s, The Ramones tore Rock and Roll down to its primitive components and built it back up again to make a raw, urgent, original music. The Earl Brothers have done the same with Bluegrass. Their gritty, mournful songs recall ancient honky-tonks, and Southern back roads with a unique edgy directness. Their music forgoes the softer contemporary acoustic sound of many modern day Bluegrass bands. The band’s “less is more” approach to songwriting, singing, and musicianship is, direct, simple, and yet somehow different from everything else. The band is Robert Earl Davis (banjo, lead vocals), Thomas Wille (guitar, lead vocals), James Touzel (bass, vocals), and Tom Lucas (fiddle, vocals).

Henhouse Prowlers, the award-winning, powerhouse Chicago string band quartet, perform their brand of innovative bluegrass for audiences all across the country. They describe their sound as new traditional, noting that much of their material is original, yet it touches on classic bluegrass themes such as love, loss, work, regret and death….. The Prowlers’ fresh, descriptive songs have been featured in the PBS series “The Ride of Our Lives,” and currently they have two CDs on the shelf and another due for release in early 2011. The Prowlers have shared the stage with everyone from jamgrassers like Cornmeal, to true bluegrass pioneers like Earl Scruggs. Their energetic live shows appeal to young and old alike, winning over audiences with a wide repertoire of much-loved standards to complement their own unique musical narratives. Guitar-Eric Lambert, Doghouse Bass-Jon Goldfine, Mandolin-Grant Ziolkowski, Banjo-Ben Wright.

With a handful of acoustic instruments and the clear harmonies of bluegrass song traditions, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West have created an entirely new strain of roots music. Their sound crosses the warmth of old-time with the fierceness of bluegrass and high lonesome harmonies that would fit into any evening at the Opry. Together, they’ve taken time-tested musical traditions and bent them into new shapes to fit a new world. Cahalen Morrison is a genuine, old-time musician, who blends his love of American roots music with the dusty land of his childhood in rural New Mexico. He builds on influences like Norman Blake, Greg Brown, and Tim O’Brien and his music twists and turns in familiar, yet unexpected ways. Eli West, a distinctive multi-instrumentalist with bluegrass roots, has found common ground with Cahalen from which many beautiful ideas have grown. Based in Seattle, Eli is a busy arranger and composer with an addiction to syncopation and crooked harmonies. The roots of Cahalen Morrison and Eli West are strong, their branches are shady, and the guitars, banjos, mandolins, and harmonies will carry you far off the beaten path to a place under open Western skies.