Christiane & The Strays -The Outliers -Wood & Wire
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Christiane & The Strays
Acoustic country singer/songwriter based in Raleigh/Durham NC.
As the name implies, The Outliers is a bit different type of band. The band formed out of the respect for traditional American music but a love for genres spanning from reggae to Delta blues and a belief that music can change, become new and still evoke the deep ancient tones within.
Hank Bowman is a singer/songwriter from North Carolina. As the frontman and lead singer for The Outliers, Hank brought his original music to the stages throughout the southeast. Now, with the release of his first solo project, "Lonely", The Outliers will be touring listening rooms across the area to bring his unique stylings to his loyal fans and new ones alike.
Stan Brown is undoubtedly one of the best to ever pick the five string banjo. After years in Nashville playing with the likes of Grand Ol Opry stars Wilma Lee Cooper and Bill Monroe, Stan returned to his home state of North Carolina to become a first call banjo picker. He is widely regarded for his unique backup licks that give life to any song.
Joining Bowman is Julie Brown on bass. Julie has a sense of tone and timing that is highly sought after. After a solid run with the nationally touring Sweet Potato Pie, Julie holds down the rock solid upright bass duties with style and grace, knowing that what you don't play is as important as what you do play. She is an enlightened bass player.
Brad Martin on mandolin rounds out The Outliers with his own style that can move from the most traditional to the more innovative in a few licks. Brad's interpretation of the music and his stylistic vocals helps give the band it's distinctive sound.
Together, The Outliers are pushing limits, reaching back in time, and creating an unexpected acoustic experience each time they take the stage.
"Hank Bowman's lyrics take you on a journey to lonesome and beyond." -Fort Collins Public Radio
"Bowman serves notice that what lies ahead is grounded in Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs-styled bluegrass. Yet, while he respects tradition, Bowman refused to remain mired in the past." -Jack Bernhardt, NewsandObserver.com
Wood & Wire
As its name suggests, Wood & Wire is a young acoustic band with a love for pure music played well. In 2011, the group exploded onto Austin's bluegrass and old-time-music scene while quickly gaining a national fan base through appearances at notable festivals and venues like Old Settlers Music Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the IBMA World of Bluegrass. It was icing on the cake, then, when they also garnered a last-minute appearance onstage at The Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
In 2013, Wood & Wire opened for Yonder Mountain String Band and released a self-titled debut album to much acclaim. In 2014, the group continued gaining momentum, touring heavily and released a follow-up album on February 3, 2015 titled 'The Coast'
A culmination of distinct musical personalities, the band's influences range from Led Zeppelin to Doc Watson – and everything in between. "We're from all over the country," says Bassist Dom Fisher, describing the resulting sound as "strongly rooted in traditional bluegrass, with elements of progressive grass such as modern harmony and song forms."
Fisher, a New York native with a degree in Jazz Studies (Double Bass) from Ithaca College, formed the group along with Guitarist Tony Kamel, whose rich, textured vocals provide lead for the group. In 2012, the two added banjoist Trevor Smith, which, says Fisher, "really put us on a different level."
Smith, who had been playing music with Fisher, Kamel and other local musicians at a weekly bluegrass jam at Austin's Flipnotics, actually grew up playing classical piano. After attending his first bluegrass festival, he picked up his main instrument, the banjo. "I was perplexed by the sound of it, and I had to figure it out," says Smith, who later added guitar and mandolin to his talents.
Wood & Wire rounded out the quartet last May with the addition of mandolinist Billy Bright, a veteran player who has worked with legendary artists Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, and Vassar Clements. A Berklee College of Music attendee, Bright adorns the music with his unique style bred from influences like Matt Mundy, David Grisman, Mike Compton and "every other mandolinist I've ever seen or heard."
For its second album, The Coast, Wood & Wire returned to J Studios in Nashville to work with Grammy-nominated engineer and producer, Erick Jaskowiak. "He is an amazing guy, chock full of positive vibes and so good at what he does," says Kamel. A coming-of-age collection of original songs with a coastal theme, the album builds on the band's debut, entertaining fans while drawing back the curtain on members' substantial musical chops.