Eureka Springs Bluegrass Weekend, set for Friday and Saturday Oct. 13-14, will feature free performances in Basin Spring Park with national touring acts The Shook Twins and The Black Lillies. Music begins at 2 pm Friday and continues till 7 pm; on Saturday live music runs from 1 to 7 pm.
FRIDAY’S EUREKA SPRINGS BLUEGRASS WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday’s performances kick off with Cedar Hill from 2-3:15 pm. Cedar Hill, based in Rogers, was founded in 1967 by frontman and mandolinist Frank Ray. A resident of Hillsboro, Missouri, Ray has been playing in bluegrass bands since 1964. The veteran songwriter has written many outstanding songs and instrumentals over the years that have earned him several Songwriter of the Year awards, and in 2008, Ray was inducted into America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame.
The Shook Twins, based in Portland, Oregon, perform from 3:45-5 pm. The indie folk-pop band comprised of identical twins Katelyn and Laurie, the group’s primary songwriters; Niko Slice on electric guitar, mandolin, and vocals; Barra Brown on drums, percussion, and vocals; and Josh Simon on bass, vocals, electric guitar, and synth. Central to The Shook Twins’ sound is their wide-ranging instrumentation: banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, mandolin, electronic drums, face drum (beat-box), glockenspiel, ukulele, banjo-head drumming, and their signature Golden Egg. Beautiful twin harmonies layered upon acoustic and electric instrumentation and coupled with Laurie’s inventive use of percussive and ambient vocal loops and Katelyn’s re-purposed telephone microphone truly set their sound apart, creating a unique and eccentric blend of folk, roots, groove, and soul.
Their eclectic style fluctuates from song to song; drawing from their life experiences, they write about being potters’ daughters, the sway of the subconscious, imagined superpowers, and even a chicken friend named Rose. The Shook Twins also pull out unexpected covers on classic hits as well as their friends’ songs.
Critics far and wide love The Shook Twins. The New York Times’ Neil Gaiman writes:
“I love the harmonies of the Shook Twins, the dreamlike songs that seem somehow permeated by the American Folk tradition, without actually being part of it. They make music that twines through your soul the way vines cover an abandoned shack in the woods.”
Closing out the live music Friday will be The Black Lillies – one of Americana’s biggest success stories: an internationally-renowned band of roots-rockers, armed with songs that blur the boundaries between folk, soul, red dirt country, blues and jazz.
The Black Lillies’ story is still unfolding, with the band’s sharp, southern-influenced songs — including Americana radio hits like “Hard to Please,” the kickoff single and title track from the band’s most recent album — leading the charge. Centered around multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Cruz Contreras (Robinella and the CCstringband), and featuring a rotating cast of incredible musicians including bassist and vocalist Sam Quinn (the everybodyfields), drummer Bowman Townsend (Jill Andrews), and guitarist/vocalist Dustin Schaefer (Micky & The Motorcars), The Black Lillies entered 2017 as one of the most visible, viable groups in contemporary roots music.
Hard to Please, produced by Grammy winner Ryan Hewitt and recorded at Nashville’s legendary House of Blues Studio D, earned praise from Rolling Stone Country, NPR, American Songwriter and beyond, debuting at No. 12 on Billboard Heatseekers and No. 30 on Billboard’s Top 200 Country Albums. The Black Lillies’ 2013 album Runaway Blues and 2011’s 100 Miles of Wreckage both fared similarly well, with outlets like Entertainment Weekly praising the band’s “strong roots-folk songwriting, sweet harmonies, and charismatic indie spirit.”
Proudly independent since their formation, The Black Lillies were one of the first independent bands to play the Grand Ole Opry and have since returned dozens of times – sharing that stage with big-budget bands and major-label mainstreamers. They’ve chased down success on their terms, ignoring the trends of Nashville and focusing on a sound that, as Vanity Fair notes, “continues to cross generations and musical genres – country, folk, blues and … a touch of the Dead, for good measure.”
SATURDAY’S EUREKA SPRINGS BLUEGRASS WEEKEND SCHEDULE
The Shook Twins will perform again on Saturday, from 1-2:10 pm, followed by Lonesome Road from 2:30-3:40 pm.
Lonesome Road – three vocalists also playing banjo, guitar, and bass, was founded in 1995 by Larry Keith, since nominated for a Grammy and an Emmy winner. The North Carolina-based act, whose sound is along the lines of more traditional bluegrass acts such as Seldom Scene and New Grass Revival, has toured around the globe.
Cedar Hill will perform on Saturday from 4-5:10 pm, followed by a 90-minute set by The Black Lillies, starting at 5:30, to close out the weekend. All music performances are free and no tickets are required.
Free shuttles to and from Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival will be available from 11 am till 7 pm, with the final shuttle leaving downtown Eureka Springs to return the The Farm at 7:30 pm.