Standing Room Only This is a 21 and over event. The heralded Minneapolis-based group Barbaro forges an exciting new musical path on About the Winter, their inaugural outing for StorySound Records. Featuring guitarist Kyle Shelstad, bassist Jason Wells, and violinist Rachel Calvert, the gifted, young band developed a strong following for their modernist bluegrass sound on their 2020 debut, Dressed in Roses. Their new album, however, represents a “coming of age” for Barbaro, according to Shelstad, as it more authentically reflects the band’s adventurous musical evolution over the past few years. About The Winter showcases the dynamic interplay arising from Shelstad’s string band roots blending with Calvert’s and Wells’ backgrounds in classical music. The album’s ten tracks also reveal the group deftly integrating electric instrumentation into the group’s acoustic-grounded music. Barbaro, together with the pivotal assistance provided by producer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens), has fashioned a captivating pastoral Americana sound on About the Winter that is both traditional and progressive.  

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Standing Room Only This is a 21 and over event. After 12 years, 6 albums, innumerable sold out shows, and countless libations, Americana mavericks Horseshoes & Hand Grenades appropriately consider themselves a “family” on a wild, wonderful, and often whacky roller coaster. The bond between the quintet— Adam Greuel, David C. Lynch , Collin Mettelka , Russell Pedersen and Samual Odin — fuels their creativity and chemistry on stage and in the studio.  “Sometimes, it feels like we’re modern day cowboys on some kind of strange journey,” Adam affirms with a laugh. “We’re five friends who set out to do something we enjoy doing, meet interesting people, see old friends, and make some new buddies along the way. Because of that sense of friendship, everything seems to happen organically.”  That’s been the case since these five musicians first met in Stevens Point, WI at college, joined forces, and hit the road harder post-graduation in roughly 2013. They have ignited stages alongside everyone from Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Trampled By Turtles to Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, and Marty Stuart in addition to appearances at festivals such as Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Delfest, High Sierra Music Festival, Blue Ox Music Festival, Northwest String Summit, John Hartford Memorial Festival, and many more. Their five albums take the listener through a wide range of musical and emotional landscapes, something surely provoked by the five different members all sharing songwriting duties.   Their most recent album, “Miles in Blue” is an 18-track album that celebrates their 10 years together as a band. While the album certainly nods to their tried and true blend of “new-time old-time” music, it also explores new musical avenues as the band pushes themselves to discover what else “can be”. “It marks a point of growth,” explains Adam. “We’ve got those ripper type tunes we’re known for on there, but we’re experimenting with other elements. Little pieces of everybody are encapsulated in this record. We were really conscious of allowing our respective musical curiosities into the fold. Sam drops in a jazz and classical feel. Dave brings that Zydeco, Cajun, and old school blues vibe. Collin turned up this kinda pop folk energy, and Russell gives us the old-timey banjo feel. For me, I’m trying to play out my singer-songwriter curiosities. There are five songwriters in the band, and we’ve gotten better at harnessing our individual creativity and bringing it to the collective.”  The boys found the perfect place to bottle those signature spirits. They retreated to Cannon Falls, MN in order to live and record at Pachyderm Studios — where Nirvana recorded In Utero — for just a week. Joined by the Hard Working American’s Chad Staehly in the producer’s chair, they tracked the eighteen numbers that would comprise Miles in Blue over the course of a marathon session.  The Horseshoes & Hand Grenades family grows stronger by the day. “The best part of this has been building a community,” Adam leaves off. “In this day and age, it’s wise to look for things that bring people together rather than separate them. We’re creating an extended family too.  

Gibson Brothers

This is a 21 and over event.Standing Room Only There’s a reason why Ricky Skaggs pulled Eric and Leigh Gibson off the stage at the Ryman two decades ago and offered to produce their debut record. The same thing that led David Ferguson and Grammy Award winning producer and Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach to co-write and produce their 14th album “Mockingbird” (2018) and release it on his own label Easy Eye Sound alongside cultural icons such as Hank Williams Jr. and Dr. John: the Gibson Brothers are the real deal. They can pick. They can sing. And they can write a damn good country song. They’ve won about every bluegrass award you can name and released albums on almost every premier Americana label you can think of including Sugar Hill and Rounder, and, if that’s not enough, their songs have been recorded by bluegrass legends no less than Del McCoury. It’s a resume almost anybody in country music would be proud to have. But despite all of this, the Gibson Brothers are not yet household names. Their latest album, “Darkest Hour,” produced by dobro master Jerry Douglas might just change that. As soon as you hear Leigh singing with Alison Krauss [“I Feel The Same Way As You”] on the new project you realize that his voice is as good as anyone in music today.  Add the brother harmony to that and they have something truly unique. While “Mockingbird” featured gorgeous production, recreating the sound on stage was difficult. “We put together a little band to go out and try to recreate it,” Eric told me, but we couldn’t. We would have to have such a huge band to try to recreate that record, but we did the best we could. The result is arguably the strongest record The Gibson Brothers have ever made. The songs recorded in the first recording period featured Mike Barber (bass), Justin Moses (mandolin),Eamon McGloughlin (fiddle), and of course, Jerry Douglas, adding in John Gardner (drums),Guthrie Trapp (electric guitar), and Todd Parks (bass) for the final tracks, “Darkest Hour “showcases just how easily Eric and Leigh move from what Dan Auerbach dubbed “country soul”(“I Go Driving”) to high octane bluegrass (“What a Difference a Day Makes” and “Dust”) with Douglas always keeping the spotlight on the songs themselves.Their talent level is well-established, and for the Gibson Brothers, they just want to keep writing, singing, and standing on a stage.

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