Turns out that the Pacific Northwest is a bubbling cauldron of activity in the folk music world. Leading this vibrant community of square dancers and bluegrass fanatics, The Water Tower Bucket Boys have a unique vision of traditional music in a brand-new century. They know the roots of the music inside and out and have stayed up through many an all-night picking party. But don't forget that they've been raised on raging punk music just as much as Tommy Jarrell, and half the band have received jazz degrees in university. Put that together with the wanderlust of youth that has carried them throughout Europe and across the US, and you get their wildly eclectic vision of folk music for the 21st century; dominated as much by psychedelic music and punk rock as old 78 recordings and toothless fiddle masters. The Water Tower Bucket Boys bring a no-holds-barred approach to the music in their attempt to share the joy and exuberance of American folk traditions with a new generation.
Misisipi Mike's Southern Comforts The Southern Comforts are Misisipi Mike Wolf's latest music project, a small acoustic country outfit that combines his wistful songwriting with the beautiful vocals of Margaret Belton (The Patsychords) and fiddle/violin from some of the Bay Area's best bluegrass talents.
Fret Not plays boot-stomping old-time roots gospel. Lead by Lori Arthur's fiery singing, with songs from the traditions of America's black and white rural churches, it's as if the Whitstein Brothers and Sister Rosetta Tharpe held a barn dance together. In fact, Lori's grandparents did just that on their New Mexico ranch during the Great Depression, with Eugenia, her grandmother, on rhythm guitar just like Lori is now, and her great-uncle, grandfather, and great grandfather on banjo and twin fiddles. Most everyone else in Fret Not also leads or at least plays lead in church worship bands, or fronts their own gospel bands of two-timing pickers, or teaches true and right music to kids. So it's in their blood. It's also in their calling. Fret Not brings the old-time gospel to the dispirited and disheart-ened of modern life, with most appearances in prisons, recovery missions, funerals, and at benefits. There is something in the old songs — borne out of the suffering of slavery and company towns, failing farms, and untimely death — that prepares the heart to hear in the Word the only Uplifting Gospel there is.