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Buffalo Rose is, in the words of its singer/songwriter/guitarist Shane McLaughlin, “not ‘cher Momma’s bluegrass.” Formed in Pittsburgh, PA in 2016, the group blends folk, soul, and bluegrass into something amorphously Americana, but decidedly their own. Three prominent singers (McLaughlin, Lucy Clabby, and Mariko Reid) provide stunning vocal harmonies over dynamic, engrossing layers of stringed instruments. Specifically, acoustic guitar (McLaughlin), upright bass (Jason Rafalak), mandolin (Bryce Rabideau), and dobro (Malcolm Inglis.) Their sharp sense of rhythmic experimentation and evocative, storytelling lyricism come together for a sound with both shimmer and punch; it’s foot-tapping and breathtaking in turn. Buffalo Rose offers a warm, passionate homage to America’s classic musical traditions, with modern twists that keep things interesting—and damn fun. It all started with a the song “Mama Have Mercy.” The three singers got together with Inglis to record a live take of the song for the FoundSound Songwriter Series. “Before the video was shot,” says McLaughlin, “we knew that this was something we had to keep doing together.” Buffalo Rose soon grew to include Rabideau and Rafalak, and they released their debut EP, Red Wagon, in November 2016—just six months after their formation. The local response was enthusiastic. Encouraged, they started to work on a longer record. Meanwhile, their captivating stage presence and strong musicianship scored them lineup spots alongside national acts such as The Infamous Stringdusters, The Dustbowl Revival, Yarn, Kuinka, and Dangermuffin. Their first full-length album, The Soil and the Seed, was released on March 30th, 2018. It received glowing attention from Pittsburgh media, including features on radio stations 91.3 WYEP, 102.5 WDVE and Pittsburgh Pirates "Friday Night Rocks". Buffalo Rose continues to book shows both locally and across state lines. With any luck, you’ll soon hear their catchy ‘soul-grass’ stylings at a venue near you.
Friends of the Bog combines the raucous folk-punk of DIY bands like The Violent Femmes and Neutral Milk Hotel with the gentle parlour sound of classic Americana outfits like The Carter Family and The Weavers. Founded by six real-life friends in the winter of 2015, the band quickly progressed from playing variety shows around Chicago to recording their debut EP with Steve Albini. Their thoughtful, evocative lyrics are balanced by intricately arranged songs and energetic, theatrical live performances. In Chicago, Friends of the Bog has headlined shows at Schuba’s, Martyr’s, Beat Kitchen, and Quencher’s, among others. Nationally, the band has taken its music to stages in Minneapolis, Detroit, Gambier, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Last year, the band released Lyra, their first full-length album. Self-produced, Lyra embraces the textural possibilities offered within the 6-piece collective. Vocal harmonies, layered strings and sustained keys work to lift up the confessionally honest lyrics forming the heart of each song. Lyra was tracked with engineer Norman Marston at Wall of Sound studios in Chicago, and then taken home and mixed at band member Patrick Budde's studio. Lyra is released via the band's own Preserve Records label.
The Best Original Musician of Central MN, (Gannett Media), Singer-Songwriter Dave Cofell performs a variety of styles on six and twelve-string guitars and banjo. In 2016 and 2017, Dave Cofell was selected to perform for the American Folk Life Center for the Library of Congress, alongside Billy Bragg, Si Kahn and Terra (Gordon) Lightfoot. Also in 2016, Dave released his third CD; "A Thousand Shades of Blue", produced by Bobby Vee's Rockhouse Productions. Dave is also a Central Minnesota Arts Board McKnight Foundation Artist Career Development Grant Winner. Dave typically plays 250+ shows per year and has entertained at a wide variety of venues across the world. From festivals and art galleries to breweries, wineries, coffee shops and bistros, to libraries, college residencies and theaters in the Midwest, Ireland, England, and Germany, Dave's live shows are entertaining, engaging and audience-inclusive. At the music platform ReverbNation, (with 3.8 million users), Dave is #1 on the local charts, #1 regionally, #60 nationally and ranked at #88 globally.