August 28, 29 & 30, 2015

2015 Artists


Ruthie Foster - Ruthie Foster was born in the small rural town of Gause, TX. Raised in a family of gospel singers, Ruthie first learned to sing during worship services at her community church. With a chapel-bred bravado trained on the works of powerful women such as Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin, her sound grew into an inspired blend of blues, folk and gospel.

Seeking to define her own path, Ruthie left her hometown to serve in the Navy. She discovered her love for performing while singing pop and funk tunes as the frontwoman of Pride, a band that performed at Navy recruitment drives nationwide. Ruthie’s time with Pride provided a window into varying American cultures coast to coast, and after her service she moved to New York City to pursue a career as a professional musician.

After diving into the city’s vibrant music scene, she became a staple in the folk community and was soon picked offered a development deal by Atlantic Records. Atlantic envisioned Ruthie as a pop artist, but Ruthie was focused on taking a step back to further explore roots music. She turned her back on the major label record deal and returned to her home state to spend more time with family and the music that shaped her.

Ruthie moved back to Texas and settled in Austin. Her debut, Full Circle, was released in 1997 and was followed by Crossover in 1999. The two albums secured Ruthie as an up-and-coming singer/songwriter in the Austin scene and caught the attention of Texas independent label Blue Corn Music.

Since then, Ruthie has stuck with Blue Corn to release seven albums over the past twelve years. Ruthie’s studio album releases on Blue Corn Music include Runaway Soul in 2002, The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster in 2007, The Truth According to Ruthie Foster in 2009, Let It Burn in 2012 and Promise of a Brand New Day in 2014. The latter three were all nominated for Grammy Awards in the category of Best Blues Album. She has also released two live albums, Stages in 2004 and Live At Antone’s, a CD and DVD release, in 2011.

Ruthie’s career also reaches beyond her own releases and performances. She has collaborated on stage with artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt to The Allman Brothers to Susan Tedeschi, and has recorded tracks with Warren Haynes, Big Head Todd, and The Blind Boys of Alabama, among others. Ruthie has also recently been featured both as an actress, with a guest appearance on NBC’s television series Revolution, and as a classical vocalist, with Austin’s prestigious vocal ensemble Conspirare.

To date, Ruthie’s artistry and creative output have both been lauded with accolades on regional and national platforms. Outside of her 2010, 2012 and 2014 Grammy nominations, Ruthie has been recognized by organizations such as the Austin Music Awards (2007, 2008 and 2013 Best Female Vocalist), Blues Music Awards (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), Living Blues Awards (2010 Critics’ Poll Winner and 2011 nominee for Blues Female Artist of the Year).

Scottie Miller Band - Scottie Miller, (also known as Scottie “Bones” Miller) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His musical style is a combination of blues, soul, funk and jazz. “Sounds like Dr. John meets The Band at Bruce Springsteen’s house. Highly recommended.” Tom Hyslop - Blues Revue Magazine. (Quite the comparison, and he backs it up with high energy performance, creative song writing, dramatic lyrics and impeccable piano playing.)

He performs worldwide as a solo-artist, or with the incredibly funky “SMB” (Scottie Miller Band), (which features drummer Mark O’Day, guitarist Joe Cruz, and bassist Kevin Rowe). Recent theater performances find Scottie adding string quartet to the mix, further breaking the boundaries of style and genre. This ”blues-pianist” shows again and again how versatile his music can be with blues, jazz, classical, funk and soul influences that blend together seamlessly.

Scottie is also the touring keyboardist for 2010 Grammy nominee and multi-BMA recipient Ruthie Foster & The Family Band. He appears on her "Live At Antone's" - Ruthie Foster Family Band. “DVD Of The Year” (2012 Blues Music Awards - BMA’s). In 2008, he was inducted in to the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame for his contributions to blues music and heritage with his instructional book and CD titled; “Rock Keyboards” published by Hal Leonard Corporation.

His most recent releases include: "LIVE"-Scottie Miller Band (2010 CD). “HOME - A House Concert with Scottie Miller" (2011 DVD), and the exciting new CD “RISE UP” - Scottie Miller Band (9/2012).


Ana Egge - When Saskatchewan-born and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Ana Egge set out to record her most recent album, 2011’s Bad Blood, she lined up some big time help. Steve Earle, who Egge first met when she sang on the Earle-produced Blue Boy album from Ron Sexsmith, served as the album’s producer, and the sessions were done in Woodstock at Levon Helm’s studio. The result is the most sonically immediate and impactful album of Egge’s decade and a half of releases.

Growing up with parents who “dropped out,” their chosen lifestyle to raise four girls in a lovingly cobbled together combination of a small farmhouse on the North Dakota plains, a bus on the California Coast, and a hot springs commune in rural New Mexico, scraping together dimes and hand me downs, Ana learned that her life was truly hers to create. When she got the musician bug as a teenager, she took matters into her own hands, building her own guitar and moving to Austin to observe, absorb and take musical risks. Seeing Ana perform live for the first time, you are immediately struck by the combination of this uncompromising fearlessness, her confidence in her place on stage and the earthy wit and kindness that is the lens she uses to see the world. Not to mention the crystal clear and uniquely affecting voice that is her vehicle. Living in Brooklyn, NY for the last 10 years, Ana continues to write and play live without losing the Western outlook that formed her.


The Ragbirds - Hook-laden pop with a kaleidoscopic array of worldly influences, The Ragbirds exhibit a gleeful disregard for contemporary folk-rock convention.

The five-piece project is clearly built around the multi-talented Erin Zindle, who is proficient in a variety of stringed instruments. She is the songwriter and front woman of the band, skillfully switching between violin, mandolin, accordion, banjo and percussion, all while dancing. Zindle wears an infectious smile and a positive message, always spun through a poetic loom. Surrounding Zindle’s earthy-sweet voice is the whirlwind of a guitarist T.J. Zindle, dynamic bassist Dan Jones, drummer Jon Brown, and standout percussionist Randall Moore.

2007′s travel-themed “Wanderlove” was Homegrown Music Network’s #1 selling album in the fall of 2008. Erin’s brother, guitarist T.J. Zindle, joined the band in 2008 and brought a grittier rock-n-roll edge to The Ragbirds’ sound while multiplying the band’s stage energy. The 2009 international release of “Finally Almost Ready” saw the band invade Japan with the single “Book of Matches” reaching #1 on the charts in Osaka. In 2010, The Ragbirds reached yet another milestone in their young careers when they independently marketed and sold their 10,000th album.

The Ragbirds albums have received local and national praise, hailed “Highly impressive!” by USA Today and touted as “Astounding international eclecticism” by Reveal Arts. In just six years the band has performed in over forty states to a tune of 150+ shows a year. Crisscrossing the nation in their converted diesel bus that runs on recycled waste vegetable oil, promoting environmental sustainability, The Ragbirds have become festival favorites.

For all their traveling, The Ragbirds maintain a steady connection to their home base. While reflecting on Michigan, Erin had this to say “… It’s a beautiful place to be, snuggled in the Great Lakes, close enough to hold hands with Canada. It is connected to a secret, mysterious, magical place called the U.P., but most of all there is an amazingly talented and humbly supportive music community that spreads through the state, clustered into groups in Ann Arbor and Lansing, Grand Rapids, Flint, Traverse City and Detroit. The scene (and scenery) keeps us fueled with love and inspiration.”


Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys - Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated night clubs in the Midwest, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings.

Born and raised on south side of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After 15 year hitch in the Navy he moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers. Since 1990 he has opened for B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy's Legends. Locally he has performed with Buddy Guy, Billy Flynn, R.J. Mischo Perry Weber, Piano Willie, Stokes, Jon Paris, Clyde Stubblefied, Bryan Lee and the Lamont Cranston band. The Reverend was given the Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010. They also received the People's Choice Award in 2006, 2008 and again in 2010. Nominated for by Blues Blast Magazine Award for Best Blues Band and Best Song of 2011. Nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for best blues compilation CD.


The DuPont Brothers - Two brothers are reunited after years of geographical separation by a resonant collaboration in music. Blending the contemplative winters of the northeast with the solitary beauty of south western desert, the Burlington, VT based indie-folk duo has truly honed in on their kindred songwriting synergy. Since the launch of the group in March of 2013, Zack and Sam have played over 300 shows throughout the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, Southeast, South and Midwest, covering close to 30,000 miles on the road. They have also released a joint dvd-ep, along with full length album and have been fortunate enough to share the stage with national acts like Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Sturgill Simpson, Ben Sollee, Langhorne Slim, Howie Day, Gin Wigmore, Family of the Year, Chris Eldridge and Julian Lage, Chris Thomas King, Johnny Swim, Robbie Fulks, The Spring Standards, Pearl and the Beard, The Lone Bellow, Della Mae and John Murry to name a few.


Billy Strings & Don Julin - Incendiary American roots duo Billy Strings & Don Julin tap into the vein of the earliest bluegrass music on their new album Fiddle Tune X, back when bluegrass was a rough-and-tumble art form pouring out of the Appalachian mountains, made with great virtuosity and huge attitude. With just two instruments (guitar and mandolin) and one voice, this duo has been tearing up stages across America and generating huge buzz based on their intense live shows.

Drenched in sweat, grimacing like a banshee, howling like a bluegrass berserker, and picking with such ferocity that he’s been known to break three strings in one song, 22-year-old guitarist and singer Billy Strings could have tumbled out of coal country in the old mountains, tattoos and all, but actually hails from Michigan, where he met mandolinist Don Julin. Older in years and experience, Strings’ musical partner Julin has carved out a lengthy career at the forefront of acoustic mandolin music, known for his wide versatility, powerful picking technique, and remarkable creativity on this humble instrument. On stage, the two egg each other on to more and more intense riffs and improvised breaks, pushing harder and harder on their own abilities to try to break through to new levels of musicianship. There’s a reason that they were called “the unholy child of Pantera and Tony Rice” by The Bluegrass Situation, and they show this intensity on their new album, Fiddle Tune X.


The Dead Pigeons - The Dead Pigeons are a roots-based americana band that formed over the course of a 5 year residency at Palmer's Bar, the notorious West Bank institution.

This amazing cast of local players emerged and found each other through their love of making music. Gretta Hunstiger has been with Drew Peterson from the very beginning, perfecting her sound with beautiful and haunting fiddle layerings, along with fresh backup vocals. The rest of the supporting cast includes Ryan Douglas Canyon on mandolin, Daryn Christenson on percussion, and John Reinhart on bass. The result is a group of dedicated musicians who put on an intimate live show that can be part barn dance and part bar brawl, with a mix of heartfelt, handcrafted ballads, foot stomping bluegrass tunes, and the occasional obscure cover.

The release of their debut album, "even if i knew,” was a great success and afforded the band the opportunity to head out on their first major tour out west. They are currently in studio working on their follow up album, set to release in the spring of 2015.


Tin Can Gin - Tin Can Gin was born and brewed upon the shores of Lake Superior near Duluth by childhood pals Harrison Olk and Trevor Marrin. Along with mandolinist Bryan Nelson, the trio created the trademark TCG tunes that are fan favorites to this very day. In the autumn of 2011 the group was summoned to the stage at their first gig as "Tin Can Gin". As time passed the band added fiddle virtuoso Nori Perrine and Neil Krause on stand-up bass to round out the Tin Can Gin sound.

That unique sound draws from each members musical upbringing. Harrison's traditional bluegrass banjo, Trevor's creative song writing and guitar work, Bryan's fast folk pickin' mandolin, Neil's solid bass backing all wrapped and complimented with a sprinkle of Nori's Celtic fiddle subtleties.

The combination of music and vocal gymnastics creates an experience in sound that is sure to tickle your musical palate while you tap your toes in unbridled pleasure. This hurricane stew of music, vocals and melody explodes in a style as bitter and sweet as the best IPAs out there today.

Tin Can Gin has played various venues across the Midwest including the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minneapolis' Fine Line Music Cafe, Big Top Chautauqa in Bayfield, WI, the MLB All Star Game in Minneapolis and many other reputable events. In the spring of 2014 Tin Can Gin released their first self titled studio album recorded at the renown Sacred Heart Studios in Duluth, Minnesota.

"There’s no need to split your loyalty between two Duluth born bluegrass bands because Tin Can Gin has their own distinct sound. In some songs, like “Walking Along the Edge”, I feel like I’m hearing the voice of Green Day but with a Northern twist. Even when they did their version of “Wagon Wheel”, I knew I wasn’t hearing the same old song, albeit a great song, covered by yet another band. Tin Can Gin is happy, heart warming, fun, and playful with a steady bass beat to anchor the banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar in their fast paced melodies. Their unique North Shore flavor permeates every song, just like their lightheartedness.

Tin Can Gin’s stage presence is fun. There’s just no other word for it. They’re grateful to their audience and show it with their witty repertoire. You feel like you’re part of something special as the band members laugh and joke with each other on stage." - Destination Duluth

"Tin Can Gin builds on the bluegrass tradition, drawing in excellent musicians with an upbeat, indie attitude." - The Playlist