MEET THE BANDS
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. This West Coast outfit was a loose collection of musical misfits until 2012 and 2013 when Front Country gathered around a single microphone at the RockyGrass and Telluride festivals, and won first prize in those prestigious band contests that once launched the careers of the Dixie Chicks, Greensky Bluegrass and the Steep Canyon Rangers. The contest wins bolstered their confidence in their unique mix of original songwriting, vocal harmonies and instrumental virtuosity, steeling their resolve to take a leap of faith and become a full time touring band.
Rapidgrass includes Colorado native and pro skier Mark Morris (guitar, vocals); Coleman Smith (violin, mandolin, vocals); Carl Minorkey (upright bass, tenor banjo, vocals); and Alex Johnstone (mandolin, fiddle, vocals). This font range Colorado ensemble uses classical, gypsy, bluegrass, pop, swing, and other world rhythms to create what is, and can only be described of as, Rapidgrass.
In the summer of 2006, Alex Thoele and Jon Pickett met while playing guitars around a campfire, high on a mountaintop in Estes Park, CO. The two have been entertaining and writing music since. In 2010, they were joined by mandolin player and fellow midwesterner, Jarett Mason, and shortly after by James Weatherly, the band’s only Colorado native, on banjo. Chain Station is a 4-piece, high-energy, get ‘em out on the dance floor string band from Denver, Colorado. Their music is well-steeped in Americana roots, with vocal harmonies that are high, lonesome, and tight. Their picking ranges from lightning-fast to mountain mellow. They are a bluegrass band that would satisfy a picky old-timer and delight fans of newgrass, a delicate balance indeed. They've become known for winning over crowds with creative, fun original songs that flow from the mountains, through them and right back to you. Pure Mountain Music! It's obvious these guys love what they do, engaging their growing fan base with energy and stage antics that guarantee one hell of a night out. The band’s newest album is “Where I want To Be” October, 2016. In 2015 a live album “Chain Up Volume 1” was released and the debut studio album “Dancin’ With the Law” hit the scene in 2013. Chain Station has directly supported bands such as The Devil Makes Three, The Travelin' McCourys, Sierra Hull, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Todd Snider, Trout Steak Revival, The Railsplitters, Fruition, Hot Buttered Rum, Deadphish Orchestra and many more. This band has been living life through music and adventures together for more than six years. Relentless gigging in their home state of Colorado, the mountain west and the midwest has made this band of brothers one of the tightest and most professional little ragtag pack of muppets on the scene today.
Led by the sweet and soaring vocals of Monica Whittington, this Monocle Band combines the best of song-craft and captivating performance. This is original music, the acoustic sound of the spirit, innately authentic yet sonically aligned with the roots music revival enchanting the nation. Lighting up dance floors and breaking hearts across the Rocky Mountain west since 2011, Monocle Band blends stirring songcraft, flatpicked guitar, fiddle, mandolin, upright bass, and the most musical of drums into a sound that will move your body, mind, and soul.
BONNIE & THE CLYDES
Bonnie & the Clydes are one of the foremost Front Range bands, pioneering their unique sound of Rocky Mountain Country Soul. Fronted by the fiery Bonnie Sims, this band has been making waves with powerful and memorable live performances for the past seven years. Seeing Bonnie & the Clydes’ live show is what sets them apart. The energy and connection that the band facilitates with the audience is irresistible, and first timers become life long fans in a single night. From intimate house concerts to festival stages, Bonnie & the Clydes are building a grassroots movement with their original Rocky Mountain Country Soul.
Bella Betts & Will Thomas
Bell Betts and Will Thomas have grown up going to bluegrass festivals in Lyons and around Colorado and the US. Both are multi-instrumentalists that excel at both mandolin and guitar. Though they have been good friends for years this is the first time they will be teaming up in a musical context. Drawing inspiration from bluegrass, classical, jazz, contemporary and folk this duo will feature the vocals and songwriting of both members. Trust me you will be hearing more from these two in the years to come.