Brothers of the Bottle Presents: The Bridge City Sinners, Ghosts of Grandad’s Past, & Gascan

This is not your Grandparents’ folk music. The Bridge City Sinners take folk songs in the direction of a punk rocker. A rowdy folksy mosaic of banjo, violin, guitar, mandolin, upright bass, & ukulele. The Sinners started their journey as a rotating cast of friends in 2016 who just wanted to play music on the streets “busk” in Portland, Oregon. They have transitioned into a powerful force playing festivals in 2018 such as Vans Warped Tour, NW String Summit, the Fest, & Seattle Folklife Festival.

Before the Bridge City Sinners, lead singer Libby Lux and upright bass player Scott Michaud infrequently started playing music together on the streets of Portland, Oregon over eight years ago. Without rehearsal, nor a plan, a few times a year they would meet up with other various street musicians to sing and yell at passer byers. Years before that, on their separate journeys, they traveled, hitch-hiked, and howled at the moon across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In hobo fashion, they earned what they’d eat and roofs over their heads by the papers and coins tossed into their hat.

Through their years of wandering, they were able to pick up a rich catalog of songs passed through the traveling / busking community. In 2012, their mutual best friend and lead singer of folk-punk band Profane Sass, passed away when he fell off a train in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In a way the Bridge City Sinners are a homage to keep his spirit alive and continue passing along the music they all sang together on the streets, hidden in trains, and in living rooms across the continent. They formed the Bridge City Sinners in the Winter of 2016.

Redemption River, Robb Sansonetti of the Mojave Robb Band, Kristin Hamilton

Redemption River is an Americana Rock band, with roots from the backwoods of Missouri, comprised of husband and wife duo Taran and Katelynn Smith. Their old-fashioned outlook on life bleeds into their music with swaying harmonies and powerful melodies. Taran and Katelynn met in middle school in a small town in rural Missouri. Their love for music grew as their friendship deepened. They started out playing small events in their community, as well as being a part of their small schools 12 man marching band. They became best friends as they bonded through music and fell in love. They got married in 2015 and Taran joined the U.S. Navy in 2016. Taran and Katelynn were stationed in California for four years during Taran’s enlistment. Their time in California opened their eyes to their calling for music being more than just a hobby. They met a man in San Diego who believed that what Taran and Katelynn had was something special. It was that man who mentored them and helped produce Redemption River’s very first three-song album. Their three song album called Ride of Our Lives was recorded at Studio West in San Diego, CA. Amidst military training taking Taran away for months at a time, deployment, and long working hours, Taran and Katelynn fought hard to keep the music flowing and their marriage alive. Music was one of the things that they used to stay close, sending each other lyrics they had written through email, and only imagining how each song was sung due to bad internet connection preventing them from sending any audio. After his return from a seven month long deployment in October 2019, and a sweet reunion, Taran and Katelynn shared with each other the songs they had written separately during their time apart. It is with these songs they plan on putting on their first record, with the intent of releasing it in 2021. Their story of the past nearly two years leading up to deployment is woven through these songs, sharing their struggles, victories and strength. Despite the last several years having more time apart than together, Taran and Katelynn have persevered and grown tremendously. They look forward to giving their passion for music their all and going as far as they can!

Chris Renzema

Michigan Rattlers, The Grave Escape, Dead Ven

Lifelong friends and deep-north natives, musical group Michigan Rattlers play heavy-hearted folk-rock with an aching dose of Midwestern nice. Graham Young (guitar), Adam Reed (upright bass), and Christian Wilder (piano) began writing music and performing together in their Northern Michigan high school. “Petoskey is a small place. Beautiful, but secluded. It’s hard to start a musical career in a place where there are more deer than people.†Still, they regularly played every bar, cafe, and stage in town, developing a musical chemistry informed by the likes of AC/DC, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, and more. After a few years apart, Reed and Young settled down in Los Angeles, recorded a short demo, and began playing locally. The demo found its way into the hands of super-producer Johnny K (Plain White T’s, 3 Doors Down), and they cut the bulk of their first EP at NRG Studios in just one day. “My favorite music is recorded that way,” continues Reed. “You get in a room, plug in, and cut songs live. The energy of the recording comes directly from the physical performance, and it puts the listener into that specific time and place.” This self-titled Michigan Rattlers EP attracted glowing reviews from No Depression, Bluegrass Situation, B3 Science, and Rolling Stone, who named the band one of their “Ten New Country Artists You Need To Know†in 2016. They spent the rest of that year and much of the next touring in support of this release. In September 2017, Pianist Christian Wilder was added to the band’s lineup. Now a trio, the group headed into the studio to record their newest EP, Wasting the Meaning. Comprised of three cover songs, the project was conceived as a way to explore deeper into the recording process and pay homage to some of their favorite songwriters. Currently, the group is hard at work recording their first full-length release. It is slated for release in the summer of 2018.

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