For our 35th Anniversary, we presented a lineup that featured both past favorites and new names!
Saturday, July 15
Paul Thorn has created an innovative and impressive career, pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots music – bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American, yet also speaking universal truths. Among those who value originality, inspiration, eccentricity and character – as well as talent that hovers somewhere on the outskirts of genius, the story of Paul Thorn is already familiar.
Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured the young Elvis generations before, Paul Thorn has rambled down back roads and jumped out of airplanes, worked for years in a furniture factory, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Duran on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, performed on stage with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time. He’s also appeared on major television shows such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live, been the subject of numerous National Public Radio (NPR) features and charted multiple times on the Billboard Top 100 and Americana Radio Charts.
If music is food for the soul, then The BellRays are Thanksgiving. At a BellRays show they know how to cook. Lisa Kekaula and Bob Vennum dish up plate after plate, hot and ready to eat.
Each song gives you flavors that both taste good going down and make you wonder what’s in it. Yes, the ingredients are important, blues, punk, rock, R&B…But even the best ingredients, used too much or too little, can ruin the experience and tire out the senses.
The BellRays have been perfecting this recipe for years now and may not win awards but if you are in earshot no one leaves hungry.
Formed in 2015, Mister Handshake is a Moscow, Idaho Band comprise of Matt Zook (drums), Josh Miller (lead guitar & vocals), Emily Fallin (bass guitar), and Christopher Farnes (rhythm guitar & vocals). Labeling themselves a “garage band” helps to represent some of the characteristics of their sound, while also being literally correct. While they don’t set their sights on a specific style, their focus has been on creating an organic sound through open collaboration.
Friday, July 14
From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see JJ Grey and his band Mofro live—and you truly, absolutely must—the man is fearless.
Onstage, Grey delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty, but perhaps not until Ol’ Glory has a studio record captured the fierceness and intimacy that defines a Grey live performance. “I wanted that crucial lived-in feel,” Grey says of Ol’ Glory, and here he hits his mark. On the new album, Grey and his current Mofro lineup offer grace and groove in equal measure, with an easygoing quality to the production that makes those beautiful muscular drum-breaks sound as though the band has set up in your living room.
As a boy, Grey was drawn to country-rockers, including Jerry Reed, and to Otis Redding and the other luminaries of Memphis soul; Run-D.M.C., meanwhile, played on repeat in the parking lot of his high school (note the hip-hop inflections on “A Night to Remember”). Merging these traditions, and working with a blue-collar ethic that brooked no bullshit, Grey began touring as Mofro in the late ’90s, with backbeats that crossed Steve Cropper with George Clinton and a lyrical directness that made his debut LP Blackwater (2001) a calling-card among roots-rock aficionados. Soon, he was expanding his tours beyond America and the U.K., playing ever-larger clubs and eventually massive festivals, as his fan base grew from a modest group of loyal initiates into something resembling a national coalition.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Diego’s Umbrella and those who don’t know them yet. Celebrated as San Francisco’s ambassadors of Gypsy Rock, these world-renowned entertainers have created an irresistible mélange that is entirely their own.
A Diego’s Umbrella show is a singular, ecstatic experience. One concert is all it takes to becoming a believer. Night after night they effortlessly blend eastern European sounds, marching drums, beautiful harmonies and catchy hooks with a showmanship that has all the fire and unpredictability of youth, marked by a chiseled refinement of years of experience on the road.
The group’s uncanny gift for pleasing crowds, from standard clubs to huge festivals such as High Sierra and Outside Lands, has earned them a zealous and ever-expanding following across the United States and Europe. Continuously touring abroad has always fed their aesthetic, and has resulted in incorporating the scales of klezmer, the strings of flamenco, and the energy of punk rock.
Landrace is a young Pullman, Washington-based ska/reggae band and consists of students who study music at WSU. They have a passion for high-energy entertainment. The band currently includes Eric Molina (saxophone & lead vocals), Andrew Dodge (lead guitar), Jade Denny (bass), Keenan Wright (drums), PJ Kelley (trombone), and Pablo Rivarola and Jacob Schuler (trumpets).
Thursday, July 13
The adventure began in 2009 when this family sold everything and hit the road. They’ve been touring coast to coast and now tour globally, traveling to seven European countries, Japan, Mexico and Canada. Not to mention, 47 of the 50 United States.
The Lacks say “the support we get off the stage is the biggest drive that keeps us going! Its become so much more than just music.”
The band consists of two parents and three people they made.
Shiloh is a local country and western performer and has an impressive performing career of over a decade! She started as a second grader in her elementary school’s talent show and has since been involved in numerous fairs, cowboy gatherings, fundraising benefits, and private parties. She has a couple hundred songs in her repertoire from classic country, and western, to a little bit of modern country and classic rock. Through music and performing, Shiloh has dedicated time to numerous fundraising benefits such as Relay for life, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association and many food banks in her area. She has had the honor of singing the Nation Anthem at many sporting events including the NAIA World Series and other venues. She has had the pleasure of opening shows for several big names including Taylor Hicks and Sawyer Brown! With over 500 performances under her belt, Shiloh manages to balance life as a mother and wife while on the road and is supported and cheered on by her husband and son as well as the rest of her family. Within the last few years she has recorded her second CD called Going Nowhere and been to Tennessee where she took home second place in the Mountain Soul vocal competition. More recently she has been performing with a backup band “Shiloh and the Young Guns” to advance her career and add versatility to her shows. The Young Guns band members consist of Daniel Tate on the Lead guitar, Nick Wright on the drums and Kaitlin Geier singing harmonies
Joseph Hein hails from the Palouse in Eastern Washington State. He sings honestly about good times and the bad and the music bears witness to the road unkempt and a winding trail. Band members include Bill Tracy (drums), Zack Degler (bass), Nevada Sowle (keyboard), Zachary Calkins (organ), and Joseph Hein (guitar).