You wanted bluegrass in the City of Big Shoulders? Look no further--Growler is Chicago’s answer to a young generation of talented pickers seeking a new identity, and with thick four-part harmony, lush instrumental arrangements, and a deep, impeccable groove, how can you deny them?
Formed in early 2015 with a lineup of both esteemed veteran pickers and hotshot newcomers, Growler is bringing a welcome vitality to the growing Chicago bluegrass scene. The band comprises current and former members of regional mainstays like The Leadfoot Band, DOG 1, and Sunnyside Up and its members bring to the table over a decade of collective experience playing and recording mountain music the old-fashioned way. As dead-on and high-lonesome as these boys are, however, traditional bluegrass is not a final destination for a group like Growler. With influences that span from pulsing Chicago blues to gritty southern rock, from elegant gypsy jazz to old school gospel and soul, and more, the band uses their bluegrass prowess as a jumping-off point for finding a sound that is theirs alone.And Growler has wasted no time getting this sound in front of an audience. Having cultivated a sizable repertoire of lovingly re-imagined standards and exploratory originals, the group is already packing houses and wowing crowds at clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest. They have shared the stage with national touring acts such as Hot Buttered Rum, The Hillbenders, Old Salt Union, Trout Steak Revival, The Lil’ Smokies and in 2017 are only continuing to pick up speed on the regional scene.
:: FOX CROSSING STRING BAND ::
Have you been missing that truly high lonesome sound? The ladies of Fox Crossing Stringband bring all those high harmonies plus driving rhythm of dobro, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass. Six instruments across four vocalists will leave you chasing these foxes for their new bluegrass sound.
Rachel Drew & the Bitter Roots (featuring Steve Dawson of Dolly Varden on bass and harmony; Gerald Dowd of Robbie Fulks Band on drums; Dave Nelson of Electric Dirt on guitar; and Alton Smith of Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel on keyboard and harmony) have their feet firmly planted in American roots music, blending a strong modern take on rhythmic Memphis Soul, recalling Stax-Volt era performers like Carla Thomas, with doses of introspective folk, classic country, and the occasional pop-influenced flourish. In performance and on record, Rachel delivers intelligent lyrics in a soulful, heartfelt manner backed by a cadre of some of Chicago’s best working musicians. Their first album, “Under the Sun," was released in February 2016. A new album is underway, and will be recorded in early 2018.