Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bonnaroo 2012 Stringed Musicians

By Stefan Aune and Angie Newgren

The 10th annual Bonnaroo music festival will be held this year from June 7-10 in Manchester, Tennessee. Bonnaroo is well known for its diverse lineups and arts and crafts atmosphere; in addition to the music there are usually artists selling handmade products along with movie screenings and live comedy. From Eminem to Neil Young, Bonnaroo has something for everyone, and it routinely features some of the best and; brightest of bluegrass, folk, and country-tinged rock. We wanted to feature a few of our favorite folk and bluegrass artists performing at Bonnaroo, many of whom include stringed instruments in their sound.

The Avett Brothers


This Northern Carolina band does a fabulous job of creating music that combines bluegrass, punk, and rock & roll. The Avett Brothers consists of 5 players: Scott and Seth Avett-both on guitar and banjo, Bob Crawford on stand-up bass, Joe Kwon on cello, and Jacob Edwards on drums. The band has been around for over 10 years, and has released 6 full length albums.



Flogging Molly

You can already tell just by the picture that this band is a riot. Flogging Molly is an upbeat celtic punk band born the late '90s in Los Angeles. There is Dave King: the Irish lead singer, Bridget Regan on fiddle, Dennis Casey on guitar, Matt Hensley on accordian, Nathan Maxwell on bass guitar, Bob Schmidt on mandolin, and George Schwindt on drums.


Punch Brothers

Punch Brothers are a progressive bluegrass band formed in 2006. There is Chris Thile on mandolin, Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Noam Pikelny on banjo, Chris Eldridge on guitar, and Paul Kowert on bass. They have released 3 albums, the latest being Who's Feeling Young Now? on February 14, 2012.



Trampled by Turtles

Trampled by Turtles was formed in Duluth, Minnesota in 2003 by Dave Simonett, Tim Saxhaug, Dave Carroll, Erik Berry and Ryan Young. They have a progressive bluegrass sound influenced by the likes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan, and have released six full-length albums. Their fifth release, Palomino, maintained a spot on the Billboard bluegrass charts for 52 straight weeks. Fans of the violin will certainly appreciate the frenetic solo in the video featured below: 


The Devil Makes Three
The Devil Makes Three is an energetic trio based in California that aims to inject some rowdiness into the often reserved folk music atmosphere. With four studio albums and a live album under their collective belts, the band has earned a respected place in the American folk and bluegrass scenes. Preferring venues that lack seating and encourage dancing, The Devil Makes Three is well known for attacking their live performances with a rock and roll attitude. Something about their approach appeals to folks that would normally avoid picking up an acoustic record. Says lead singer and guitarist Peter Bernhard, “We’re not really a genre-specific band,” he concludes. “I’ve actually had people come up to me and say, ‘I don’t listen to anything but hip-hop, but I love The Devil Makes Three. So I think we’ve always tried to keep it so you can’t really define our band. That always keeps things really exciting.”


Kathleen Edwards
Kathleen Edwards is a Canadian singer-songwriter who grew up playing classical violin, transitioning to her unique brand of folk-rock after graduating high school. She released her debut EP Building 55 in 1999, which laid the groundwork for her eventual signing by Rounder Records and Maple Music following a successful appearance at the South by Southwest festival. In 2003 Edwards released her debut full-length, Failer, and subsequently made her network television premiere on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2005 Edwards released her sophomore release, Back to Me, which was featured in the Hollywood film Elizabethtown starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. To date, Edwards has released four full-length albums, with the latest, Voyageur, hitting shelves in January of 2012. 


Blind Pilot

Blind Pilot is an independent folk band based in Portland, Oregon. Formed in 2005, their debut album Three Rounds and a Sound hit number 13 on the Billboard digital charts. In 2008 Blind Pilot embarked on a bicycle tour down the west coast, carrying their instruments on custom made bike trailers. Filling out their lineup with four new additions in 2009, the band spent time opening for the likes of The Decemberists, Counting Crows, and The Hold Steady. 2011 saw the release of their second full length, We Are The Tide, which the group continues to tour behind.


City and Colour

City and Colour was formed by Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green in 2004. Green, who also plays in the rock band Alexisonfire, combines laid back folk and rock music with his signature vocals, producing a sound that both appeals to fans of his previous work while endearing him to new audiences. Green started out releasing songs on the internet, which snowballed into his first album, Sometimes. 2008 saw the release of  Bring Me Your Love, which garnered Green his first American tour supporting Canadian favorites Tegan and Sara. A limited edition double CD of Bring Me Your Love was made available on the internet to fans, and the website was so flooded with traffic that it crashed the website. Little Hell was released in 2011, resulting in continued success for Green and making the balancing of his band and his solo career more difficult. Alexisonfire announced their breakup shortly after, but Green continues to push on with City and Colour.


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