The Seven Sisters Craft Beer & Music Fest features an incredible lineup! For 2015, we have successfully sought out an eclectic collection of performers from across the country, a creative, original mix of bluegrass, jazz, blues, soul, funk, rock, country, Americana and everything in between.
See this year’s line-up by clicking the band names below. Be prepared to find your next favorite band right here at Seven Sisters!
Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers’ much-anticipated sophomore album, Loved Wild Lost, arrives Tuesday, April 21st. The band teamed with producer Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse, Josh Ritter) on Loved Wild Lost and it’s their first time working with an outside collaborator. The result is their most compelling collection of songs to date. The richly-layered sound forms the ideal foundation for Bluhm’s soaring vocals and increasingly powerful songcraft. Further color comes from San Francisco’s Magik*Magik Orchestra (Death Cab for Cutie, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Walkmen), whose complex arrangements serve to amplify the indelibly universal themes of Loved Wild Lost.
“Loved Wild Lost is a sincere and sophisticated collection of songs steeped in tradition, but of its own time,” says Nicki Bluhm. “After three solid years of playing as a band across the country, we have had time to learn, reflect and grow. This album displays a departure into the deeper and more contemplative themes of people in transition and the struggle to retain the energy and optimism of youth as life becomes more complex.”
“The longer something moves away from its inception point, the more it takes on a life and a narrative of its own,” adds Nicki’s husband and the band’s musical director, Tim Bluhm. “In these songs, I think you can clearly hear that happening; idealism and optimism losing control to the forces of inertia and a life of constant traveling. Happiness becomes an intention and love becomes a long-term study of oneself and of one another.”
We’re leaving the best for last … It will indeed be fitting to end this year’s Seven Sisters Fest with Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers!
One of the first lessons they teach you in film school is that you sometimes have to “kill your darlings”. It’s a term that means no matter how much you love a scene you shot, if it doesn’t fit in the film, it ends up on the cutting room floor. In 2009, The Mother Hips rescued a short stack of 2-inch analog tapes from a Los Angeles basement and started picking through hours of material, most of it recorded around the era that produced 1995’s Part Timer Goes Full and ’96’s Shootout. They were thrilled with what they heard. In fact the band was so prolific during this period that literally dozens of top-notch songs were shelved and never saw the light of day as the group continued to spit out new material with machine gun rapidity. Now the band has compiled the cream of this lost crop into this eleven-song treasure trove titled Chronicle Man.
The Mother Hips, the center of which is the duo of Tim Bluhm (vocals/guitar) and Greg Loiacono (guitar/vocals), have spent over two decades writing, recording, and performing songs, and die-hard fans who still talk about their “first Hips show,” have hung on every word and enabled The Mother Hips to become a bona fide cottage industry. The band was even able to lay claim to a rock subgenre—“California Soul”— which later inspired Sierra Nevada Brewery to craft a beer called “Hips Helles” based on the band’s sound. The "Hips Sound" has also spearheaded a longstanding music and arts festival, The Hipnic, now in its sixth year.
But most of all, what comes through loud and clear is that The Hips have already left us with an incredible legacy of music, from their stunning 1993 debut Back To The Grotto to 2013’s Behind Beyond (their eighth studio album). 2011 saw a four-CD retrospective compilation of all previously unreleased material called Days of Sun and Grass—a special treat to their fans for all their support over the years. And the fans aren’t alone in their admiration of the impressive catalog. The Mother Hips have garnered critical acclaim from the likes of The New Yorker, Mojo, Relix, Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, among many other outlets, over the years. We are pleased to have them share the legacy on 7SFEl Chorro Sunday.
For over two decades, Cowboy Mouth has dished up their unique style of rock and roll gumbo, mixing a rowdy spirit reflective of the band's hometown—New Orleans—with the fierce firepower of a group that lives on the road. These Louisiana natives have played more than 2,500 concerts and launched their signature song, “Jenny Says,” into the upper half of the Billboard rock charts. Above all, they earned a well-deserved reputation as a raucous, redemptive, live music experience. Go! the band’s newest album, is proof that Cowboy Mouth hasn’t lost its bite. It’s the most collaborative album of the group’s career, performed with ferocity by a group of rock and roll veterans who’ve been there, done that… and can’t wait to do it all again. With many years of reviews lauding their live show, there is still one quote which best captures their energy…
“…on a bad night they’ll tear the roof off the joint and on a good night, they’ll save your soul.” —Cake Magazine
The Suffers are a ten-piece band from Houston, TX that is redefining the sound of Gulf Coast Soul, intertwining elements of classic American soul with rock and roll. Both sonically and visually arresting, the large ensemble packs each position of the rhythm section and horn section with a level of talent and taste that provides the perfect foundation for singer Kam Franklin’s massive voice.
The Suffers’ ten-piece line up was curated by bassist Adam Castaneda and keyboardist/songwriter/vocalist Pat Kelly in 2011. The pair brought on trumpet player Jon Durbin, trombonist Michael Razo, guitarist Kevin Bernier, and percussionist Jose “Chapy” Luna, all bandmates from earlier projects. Filling out the rhythm section are accomplished jazz saxophonist Cory Wilson and Alex Zamora on guitar/vocals and Nick Zamora on drums/vocals. Vocalist/songwriter Kam Franklin, having recently completed a tour with London-based group The Very Best, was recruited to front the band.
In a short time, the band has progressed from packing local Houston venues to accepting invitations for main stage performances at the 20th Annual Austin Reggae Festival, Houston’s Free Press Summer Festival, and Paste Magazine’s Untapped Festival where they’ve shared the stage with the likes of The Wailers, Mavis Staples, Alabama Shakes, The Walkmen, and Cat Power. The Suffers have accepted four Houston Press Music Awards in two years and have been listed among the top musical acts to watch in 2014 by the Houston Press and Houston Chronicle. We are celebrating their brand new record Make Some Room right here on Saturday night at Seven Sisters Fest!
“If you can’t do this, get out of the business!” —David Letterman after The Suffers performed GWAN on the Late Show 3/30/15
Voodoo is rising from the New Music City. Bayou rock. Not the Nashville of its country past, but a city awash in fresh talent fed by decades of tradition; dry hearts fueling the furnace of venues that always beg to be stoked. Leading the way are The Delta Saints. Since 2007, The Delta Saints have brought feet to floors worldwide with songs like “Bird Called Angola”, “Death Letter Jubilee”, and their standout style of Psychedelic Voodoo Rock and Roll. In 2014 they sold out shows in six countries. Toured 50 dates with Blackberry Smoke. Played Summerfest and the Grolsch Blues Festival, among others.
The Delta Saints are a mix of delta blues, rock, and soul with a solid groove, furious harmonica lines, and a Dobro tone that will melt your soul.
The Delta Saints are not what they say they are. Delta? Absolutely. But saints? One might call them “cautionary tales” long before the term “saints” ever came to mind; however, there is something devout about their bayou rock, a dirty, distinct sound zealously refined.
Now The Delta Saints are releasing their most ambitious record to date in 2015, Bones, and bringing it all to Saturday’s Seven Sister Fest!
“Somewhere, Sonny and Brownie are smiling.” —Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Flying Fish/Rounder recording artists Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan have been bringing their unique blend of guitar and harmonica blues, rags and good time music to widely diverse audiences for over 35 years. Their live performances include concerts, clubs and festivals all over the world, and they were the only musical act in America to play all four venues of the 1984 Olympic Games. Together and separately they have worked on countless film scores, TV soundtracks, commercials and sessions. They’ve appeared on television internationally, were featured on the “Levi’s 501 Blues” commercials, have played for audiences of 300 million via Voice of America and are frequent guests of National Public Radio. Their eight duo albums have garnered much critical acclaim throughout the world, and their music from the film Over The Edge won the duo the prestigious Telly Award in 1994. They bring something very special to the main stage on Friday night and will be doing a special workshop on Saturday.
More than 2,000 bands headed to Austin this year for SXSW 2015 but only 12 bands made it to the Daily Dot’s “12 Bands You Have To Check Out At SXSW” list. The Stone Foxes were one of them!
“There are a lot of things about the Stone Foxes that allow the band to turn its classic rock into something fresh. They’re a San Francisco rock band that relishes a blues-y stomp rather than hazy psychedelia or garage trash. They make sweat-soaked, sing-along party rock, but do it about social justice and collect canned goods for the homeless at most of their shows. That’s pretty cool. When they sing about the murder of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, they do it from the perspective of his killer. Lest all of this sound too serious, the band basically acts like unrepentant goofballs on stage. Making classic rock in 2015 is a dangerous proposition, the odds of simply retracing well-trod ground are high. Yet, the Stone Foxes make genre vitality seem easy.” —Aaron Sankin
The core of any rock band worth their salt is a deep respect for the fundamentals—a feel that’s redolent of the scare-the-parents, back country, wild juke joint origins—and an abiding drive to carve out one’s own unique territory. The friction between these impulses is where good things happen. Perhaps this says it all in the band’s recent manifesto …
“… we don’t wanna be anything but a Rock ’n’ Roll band. We wanna hit hard, go fast, get low, get moody, and just do what feels good. We are on a mission to bottle up all the energy, the impressive amount of sweat, and the outrageous fun we have playing live, and give it back to the rest of the humans as a record. We’re six dudes who believe that Rock ’n’ Roll can move mountains, and we’re gonna play it till we move one.” —The Stone Foxes on The Stone Foxes
Founded by Scott Lane and Jonathan Meadows in Richmond, VA, The Congress brings notions of genuine musicianship and inventive songwriting to a modern world of dubious cosmetic sound. Their brand of Rock & Roll is neither nostalgic nor progressive. It occupies the space between vintage sounds and the hyperbolic cynicism of our post-modern world.
They have headlined tours across the US from coast to coast, as well as supporting full length tours for the likes of Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lake Street Dive, and Hard Working Americans, while incessantly playing their home turf in the Rocky Mountains in between these tours. The Congress has also succumbed to a growing writing habit that will culminate in the band’s second album in late 2015.
The Congress’ recent incubation has led to a Muscle Shoals-esque tightness and last year’s addition of Virginia native Chris “Bernie” Speasmaker on keyboards injects relentless energy, stamping a tangible sonic signature on the band that is equal parts rock & roll, old-school soul music, and outlaw country.
“Here is Colorado’s answer to the Black Keys” —Denver Post - Reverb
For most musicians, “the road” is a place of either hedonism or heartache. But for Soul-Blues Guitar Slinger Hadden Sayers, the road is a comfortable buzz of underground fans and passionate shows.
The murmur of radials on concrete, the sounds of Van Morrison and Sam Cooke on the stereo, and the support and tutelage of a grizzled stonemason sent him back to the recording studio.
In 2011, Sayers released the acclaimed Hard Dollar, featuring the single “Back to the Blues,” which was nominated for the Song of the Year Award at the 33rd Annual Blues Music Awards. The album launched him back onto stages around the country. More than 100 gigs followed, from New York City to Mammoth Lakes, CA.
Sayers embraced the road, loved it. Savored the miles, the buses, and the airplanes. While the easy rock and roll tale is to collect panties and mugshots on the road, Sayers collected stories. Stories by everyday people. The stories resonated in Sayers’ head and heart driving him to explore the “human condition” more deeply. The result of that troubadour experience is the eagerly anticipated album Rolling Soul from Blue Corn Music.
Confident tunes from a mature, assured composer, the record features Sayers at his best. Heartfelt lyrics sung from deep inside matched with innovative guitar work, recorded with the warmth and soul and depth of the best vintage gear. It's a record to contemplate and savor as well his El Chorro Sunday performance at Seven Sisters.
WORLD BLUES & ROOTS MUSIC FROM AUSTRALIA!
An amalgamation of blues, soul and world music, Australian singer/songwriter Peter D. Harper creates a heady mix of roots music through his creative use of the harmonica, and the haunting drone of the didgeridoo. By combining traditional and modern influences and borrowing from Western and World music, Harper has created aan original take on the roots genre which has been coined “World Blues”. Harper has received more than14 international music awards in Australia, USA, United Kingdom and Canada. No Depression Magazine’s Rod Ames says Harper “…has written and arranged some of the most soulful blues rock filled music I have ever heard!” Chip Eagle, Blues Revue, says “Harper is the most exciting artist on the live scene today.” Harper is backed by his Detroit based band Midwest Kind.
Jelly Bread’s musical alchemy blends a dash of alt-rock with soul and funk, yet is thoroughly steeped in Rock-Americana. The band’s chameleonic playlist is highlighted by dual vocals, four part harmonies, in-the-pocket drum and bass grooves, swampy lap steel guitar, dirt under the fingernails guitar licks, and take-’em-to-church organ that is downright appetizing. Jelly Bread has emerged with a high-energy calling card that melds elements of desert twang and the urban tones of funk & rock, balanced by exceptional songwriting and storytelling.
Jelly Bread has been delving into more extensive touring this past year. This past year, Jelly Bread has been tapped to perform opening duties for the likes of Robert Cray, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Dragon Smoke (members of Galactic), The Motet, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, Pimps of Joytime, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds and performed on a bill featuring Bruce Hornsby and Railroad Earth. The band has appeared at premiere festivals to include Joshua Tree, Strawberry and High Sierra Music Festivals and we welcome them to our El Chorro and our Seven Sisters stage.
Native Californian Shane Dwight relocated to Nashville in 2009 to further his musical career. Within six months of arriving on the scene he swiftly attained a solid reputation as a “guitar slinger” in his newly adopted hometown. Not one to completely abandon his roots, Dwight still chooses to divide his time between Nashville and his childhood ranch in Morgan Hill, California. Performing over 200 shows per year worldwide, Dwight has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, including B.B. King, Etta James, Jimmie Vaughan, Taj Mahal, the Doobie Brothers, Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys and Johnny Winter. Additionally, Dwight has performed at numerous prestigious music festivals and events around the world, counted among them the Portlang Waterfront Blues Festival, Beale Street Music Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest, Bayfront Blues Festival, Bethlehem Musikfest, the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, as well as the Monterey Blues Festival.
Todo Mundo (“All the World”), “Best World Music” band at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards, blends the musical flavors of Spanish Rumba, Reggae, Brazilian, Balkan and Middle Eastern styles into an irresistible groove that has been moving dance floors and connecting with audiences across the world since 2009. The band is led by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Santiago Orozco, a native of Colombia.
Through music, Todo Mundo has learned to share their soul and experiences with the world. The power of music allows them to transmit their messages of equality and diversity. Their performances possess explosive energy that celebrates life and unity, with the aim of connecting people from all over the world, and encouraging them to live in the present, as one. In November 2014, they received an award from the City of San Diego’s Human Relation Commission for spreading diversity through music.
“I’m a glorious peasant, I’m a passionate fool
I’m a hard-workin’ brown dirt poet, ain’t never finished school
I’ve been livin’ on the outskirts, by a different set of rules
I’ve been learning from my elders, I’ve been gatherin’ up the tools”
Few among us could distill our essence with such elegant simplicity. We want to deconstruct every line for deeper meaning, but there is no need. What Keith Greeninger brings to music, and life for that matter, is authenticity. As a result, there are no barriers between Keith, his music and his audience. This bond stems from Keith’s underlying philosophy that music is first and foremost a gift and a medicine to take part in together.
As a singer-songwriter, Keith paints intricate portraits of the human condition with powerful melodic images, deep engaging guitar rhythms and husky, heart-wrenching vocals. His masterfully crafted tunes and powerful presence have earned him the top songwriting awards at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Napa Valley Folk Festival. Keith has toured the national Folk and Americana circuit extensively for over two decades. He’s performed at festivals and legendary venues, appeared on countless national radio shows, and shared stages with dozens of the country’s best-known artists. Keith’s records and personal appearances have garnered him a legion of devoted fans, and the respect, admiration and appreciation of music critics far and wide.
Keith appeared at the first Seven Sisters Fest with the award-winning Americana trio, City Folk which he founded along with Roger Feuer and Kimbal Hurd and we are pleased to have him back on the Seven Sisters Stage for El Chorro Sunday. Keith will be presenting a songwriters workshop during the festival click here for details and be sure to pick up a copy of Keith’s new CD Soul Connection.
No Depression Magazine claims “The verse, chorus, verse, chorus, and out three-minute duration simply doesn’t apply, rather what we have here are, in the main, extemporisations—sublime sonic landscapes if you will—in which the listener can envelop himself.”
Richard Cuccaro, from Acoustic Live in NYC says “Keith Greeninger strides through a rocky soundscape like a creator in command of wind, rain and thunder. His husky baritone is an anchor in a turbulent sea of life. With each successive listen, it seems to get richer and more lush.”
With nothing more than a guitar in hand and a song with a story to tell, Keith completely captivates his audiences. Keith Greeninger is that rare performer for whom people lean forward in their seats, absorbing every note and every word. Welcome back Keith!
“I’m just trying to write a few words that mean something to you” —Keith Greeninger