In 2010, the five Wisconsinites that make up Horseshoes & Hand Grenades found themselves in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, WI, holding acoustic instruments and enjoying a hodgepodge of fermented beverages. Music and revelry ensued that evening and, while many of the party guests eventually bid their goodbye well into the morning hours, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades wasn’t ready to let the get-together fade. Many years later, the music still hasn’t stopped and the party is still going strong, from the mountain west to the river towns of the Midwest that the quintet calls home, and all across America.
While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, the band produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn’t lend itself well to categories or boundaries. One could possibly be formed, but the boys seem to generally prefer fishing a river, or enjoying the company of friends and barley beers.
With their music well-defined or not, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades has begun to form a place in the American music scene, gaining recognition on both a regional and national scale. The band took 3rd place at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Band Competition in 2012 and has since shared the stage with Trampled By Turtles, The Travelin’ McCourys, Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marty Stuart, and many more. The group’s third full-length Middle Western was released in March of 2015 and another record is expected in 2017. Being mostly inspired by rivers, valleys, good friends, and good drink, this five-piece is as sturdy as any Midwest riverbed and will make your toes tap from sundown to sunrise.
Virginian, Keller Williams, released his first album in 1994, FREEK, and has since given each of his albums a single syllable title: BUZZ, SPUN, BREATHE, LOOP, LAUGH, HOME, DANCE, STAGE, GRASS, DREAM, TWELVE, LIVE, ODD, THIEF, KIDS, BASS, PICK, FUNK, VAPE, SYNC, RAW, SANS, ADD, SPEED and CELL. Each title serves as a concise summation of the concept guiding each project. Keller’s albums reflect his pursuit to create music that sounds like nothing else. Un-beholden to conventionalism, he seamlessly crosses genre boundaries. The end product is music that encompasses rock, jazz, funk and bluegrass, and always keeps the audience on their feet. Keller built his reputation initially on his engaging live performances, no two of which are ever alike. For most of his career he has performed solo. His stage shows are rooted around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs, while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, bass, guitar synthesizer and drum samples; a technique called live phrase sampling or “looping”. The end result often leans toward a hybrid of alternative folk and groovy electronica, a genre Keller jokingly calls “acoustic dance music” or ADM.” Keller's constant evolution has led to numerous band projects as well; Keller & The Keels, Grateful Grass, KWahtro, Keller and the Travelin’ McCourys, Grateful Gospel and More Than A Little to name a few. Keller can be found playing clubs and festivals around the U.S. with these projects throughout the year.
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