RiverRoots Festival

The Band of Heathens
have been on the rise since 2007

Top bands to perform at three-day event

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(May 2012) – The Band of Heathens are scheduled to wrap up the Friday night lineup of the RiverRoots Festival at 10 p.m. on May 18, the first of the three-day event. An American rock-and-roll band from Austin, Texas, The Band of Heathens are sure to get the crowd moving and build anticipation for the following two days of musical acts.

Band of Heathens

Photo provided

The five-member Band of Heathens
was voted “Best New Band” at the
2007 Austin Music Awards. The
Austin, Texas-based group consists
of Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist, John Chipman,
Seth Whitney and Trevor Nealon.

The five-member band was voted “Best New Band” at the 2007 Austin Music Awards. The band consists of Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist, John Chipman, Seth Whitney and Trevor Nealon. Colin Brooks left the band earlier this year.
They have recorded several live albums and are well-received wherever they go.
One year later in May 2008, the band released their first self-titled studio album. The tracks featured notable guests such as Patty Griffin, Stephen Bruton and Gurf Morlix. The album went to No. 1 on the Americana Music Association (AMA) radio charts. It was the eighth most played record on the Americana Airplay Charts for 2008.
The Band of Heathens was nominated for a “New Emerging Artist” award by the AMA in 2009. The next year the band was honored by the AMA as a nominee for the “Best Duo-Group of the Year.”
The Band of Heathens will be joined by an array of local, regional and nationally known performers. The music lineup begins at 6 p.m. Friday with singer Carolyn Martin, who brings a Texas swing sound to the stage.
Martin is a vocalist with a unique sense of musical style and charismatic stage presence. She possesses a voice that carries with it a soulful elegance that is sure to be an instant crowd-pleaser.
Martin is a 2011 Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame inductee. The Academy of Western Artists named her the 2008 and 2010 Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year. Her CD, “Swing,” was nominated for the Western Music Association Western Swing Album of the Year.
Searson will follow Martin at 8 p.m. This band is a compilation of three sisters – Erin, Heather and Colleen Searson. They play a variety of instruments, including piano, organ, fiddle, tenor guitar and bass, and all are expert step dancers. They are joined by drummer Danno O’Shea.

Carolyn Martin

Photos provided

Carolyn Martin is known for her
Texas Swing style of music. She
performs at 6 p.m. Friday.

The sisters grew up in the Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada, and began performing at an early age. Their style incorporates Celtic and pop sounds while weaving in Ottawa Valley style fiddling into their popular live shows. Their energetic performance always leaves the crowd wanting more.
Searson has toured throughout Canada, the United States, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and Spain. While in the latter country, they headlined one of the largest music festivals in Europe, Festival Ortiguiera.
The group has recorded six albums and in January 2012, released what some hail as their best album to date, “Fade and Shine.” The album contains 16 vocal and instrumental tracks.
At 7 p.m. Saturday Cincinnati-based Over the Rhine will perform. Since its beginning, this band has maintained a large and intensely loyal following. Over the Rhine described their own music as “post-nuclear, pseudo-alternative, folk-tinged art-pop.”
They independently released their first two albums in 1991 and 1992. They have been compared to 10,000 Maniacs, the Innocence Mission, U2 and Shawn Colvin.
The band began with four members: bassist-pianist Linford Detweiler, classically trained lead signer Karin Bergquist, guitarist Ric Hordinski and drummer Brian Kelley. In 1996 Hordinski left to devote more time to his own band, Monk. Their 10th album, “Ohio,” reflected the band’s Midwestern connections.
Texan Hayes Carll closes out Saturday night’s lineup at 9 p.m. (See Pages 24-25)
Sunday’s festival lineup contains a diverse group of performers beginning with Appalatin at 12:30 p.m. This band formed in Louisville, Ky., in 2006.
Members of Appalatin share a love of the folk music sounds of Latin American and the Caribbean. Their music is a combination of Latin and Appalachian folk music. Members hail from Central America, the Andes and Appalachia.
Lafayette, Ind., native Michael Kelsey takes the stage at 1:45 p.m. Kelsey has been known to blend many musical genres into his electric performances. He plays every inch of his guitar and makes it sing.

The Black Lillies

Photo provided

The Black Lillies close the
festival at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Whiskey Bent Valley Boys will play at 3 p.m. Sunday. From Pewee Valley, Ky., they pay homage in their music to the South. They sing of tobacco fields, rivers, iron skillets and moonshine stills. Through their music they honor history and preserve the instruments of their ancestors.
Whether they are in overalls or string ties, straw hats or silk vests, they deliver a dynamic stage presence. Their instruments include the barnyard fiddle, claw hammer, three-finger style banjo, guitar, harmonica, spoons and mandolin. The band has played at a wide range of venues including state fairs and festivals.
Concluding the festival lineup will be The Black Lillies at 4:30 p.m. This band established themselves with the release of “Whiskey Angel.” They kicked off their first national tour at Nashville’s Ryman auditorium. They’re no stranger to the festival scene having played a variety of venues.
The Grand Ole Opry even invited the band to make their début in June 2011. Their music has been described as earthy, gritty and melancholy similar in a way to mountain music performed a century ago. Their lyrics speak of pain, love and revenge, all necessary components of music in any language.

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