Head for the Hills:
Head for the Hills has created a sound that is all at once organic, precise, timeless, and brand-new,” as reported by the Missoula Independent. The acclaimed Colorado quartet has been receiving nation-wide recognition in response to their refreshing take on acoustic music. Described as “modern acoustic” music, H4TH produces an endearing mixture of homegrown compositions, traditional harmonies, and improvisation. In the live setting, H4TH ventures into a myriad of musical styles and sonic landscapes that appeal to a boundless array of listeners.
The past year has been a whirlwind of excitement for the group, with a “SxSW Critics Pick” selection by the Austin Statesman, a featured NPR radio appearance, & a nod for “Best Bluegrass” in Colorado for 3 consecutive years (2010-2012), via a reader’s based poll conducted by Westword Magazine (Denver’s premier lifestyle/entertainment publication). The quartet performed at a host of music festivals in 2012 including: Wakarusa Music Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, SxSW and many more. The group released their first live album on May 29th 2012, entitled "Head for the Hills Live." All captured in clear high fidelity sound & culled from 5 great nights in the band’s home-state of Colorado, “Head for the Hills - Live” is just that; the band live and unadorned, performing favorite original material and select covers.
To get a sense of Head for the Hills’ snowballing momentum, look no further than the surrounding talent on their self-titled sophomore release (2010), Head for the Hills. The album garnered the group a charted position on the CMJ Top 200 national radio listings. The pickers attracted heavyweights like longtime bluegrass aficionado, Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon) to produce and recorded at Bill Nershi’s Sleeping Giant. Mastering wiz Gus Skinas engineered the effort, who boasts a particularly intriguing history having digitally remastered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon; helped Sony develop the early iterations digital audio, and invented an innovative multi-tracker called Sonoma that combines the warmth of analog with the ease and efficiency of digital. In addition, Vance Powell -- who adorns his mantle with a Grammy for his work on the Raconteurs wildly successful Consolers of the Lonely album -- mixed the record. The self titled release earned the group a #29 position on Colorado Radio’s “Top 50 Albums of 2010.”
In 2007, for their debut studio effort, “Robber’s Roost,” the band joined forces with the talented producer/performer Sally Van Meter. Ms. Van Meter, among her impressive list of accomplishments, is credited for her 1994 Grammy Award Winning work on The Great Dobro Sessions. She has also produced albums for artists like Yonder Mountain String Band, Open Road Bluegrass and Allison Brown.
Head for the Hills have performed, shared programming, & crossed festival paths with such notables as: David Grisman, Sam Bush, The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, Ween, Bruce Hornsby, Emmylou Harris, Dr. Dog, Little Feat, Nickel Creek, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, Punch Brothers, Doc Watson, Railroad Earth & many more. The quartet has performed at many premier festivals, events, & radio programs including: Wakarusa Music Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, NPR-Ideastream, High Sierra Music Festival, eTown, DelFest, Northwest String Summit, Mulberry Mountain Harvest Festival, and many more.
With direction from a plethora of talented company and an ever-evolving approach to progressive acoustic music, there is no telling what the future holds for the Colorado quartet.
The Shoemaker Brothers are four brothers from Washington State; they moved to Los Angeles last year to play their original music.
In that short year, they have built a huge following in Los Angeles. The demographic of the fan base they have gathered in a year is amazing, the fans range in age from the very young to Baby Boomers. Their original and unique music is so layered and diverse that they receive rave reviews wherever they play. Musicians and fans alike declare this band to be the best live band they have ever heard or seen. The Brothers astound the audience by switching instruments, as they perform, they are all classically trained on string instruments, they all sing lead vocals and harmonies and they all play guitar, piano, drums and bass. The Brothers draw large crowds at all the major venues and are booked and re-booked constantly. They have played Whiskey A Go Go, The Roxy, Canyon Club, World Fest, Camarillo Festival, Oak's Music Nights. They have also opened for major acts like Little Feet, Loggins and Messina, Los Lobos, Canned Heat, all this in one short year. For an unknown band just arrived in Los Angeles this kind of progress in such a short time is phenomenal. This is a Band you have to see and hear.
Smooth Hound Smith:
Smooth Hound Smith is the musical moniker of multi-instrumentalist Zack Smith. Zack currently operates out of both Los Angeles and Nashville, where he records and performs a varied and unique style of folky, garage-infused rhythm & blues as a one-man-band. Using primal foot percussion, complex, fuzzed-out, finger-picked guitar patterns, warbled harmonicas, distorted vocals, and supreme coordinati on, he is able to sing, create his own rhythm section, and play leads simultaneously. The result is rugged and visceral- a modern interpretation of early blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll music that harkens back to the traditions of hazy front porch folk songs as well as raucous back-alley juke joints, where it was often only one musician providing the evening's entertainment. A life-long musician, Smooth Hound is an accomplished drummer/percussionist, upright bassist, guitarist, and banjo player. Growing up playing in numerous different bands ranging from punk to bluegrass, he grew weary and bored of traditional band settings and uneasy being delegated to only one instrument in any given musical situation. He set out trying to find a way to showcase all of his talents within a single project. After experimenting with various live and pre-recorded looping technologies, he discovered that what he really wanted was to provide groovy, portable, self-contained music with no "pre-recorded samples, triggers, or loops". Though he certainly stretches his legs a bit more in terms of layers and experimentation when it comes to his recordings (all self-recorded, played, and produced), his live shows are truly a site to behold; he has been known to intimidate, impress, inspire, and certainly perspire while on stage, and is known for the deceptively large sound he's able to conjure with all four of his limbs and his mouth.