Three bands, three different sounds, one night.
On Jan. 30, audience members and fans will go on a musical journey as they listen to live performances ranging from dark, Southern gothic music to grunge-grass and punk music. The Moonshine, Blood on the Harp and Rock Bottom String Band will be sharing original compositions bound to keep everyone on their feet.
The night of string bands will start off with music by The Moonshine, which consists of married couple Michael Gerard on vocals and guitar, with Rachael Renee’ Levasseur on vocals and autoharp as well as Nicholas Lindell on fiddle and Rob Keller on upright bass.
The band is primarily known for performing grunge-grass or rock ‘n’ roll bluegrass music. Much of the music takes a modern twist on folk music.
“In a club setting like Caledonia, I love cranking up the guitar and getting some distortion going on,” Gerard said. “Folk music doesn’t have to be this old thing, and we’re a contemporary band so we understand the sensibilities of the day.”
Atlanta-based band Blood on the Harp will add a completely different sound to the night as the band takes on Southern gothic music, a combination of Americana and Appalachian music. The band consists of Miguel Olascuaga and Keena Graham on lead vocals, Chris Johnson on electric guitar, Chris Salmon on the banjo and fiddle, Russell Blair on the upright bass, as well as Nick Skillman on drums.
“Folk music doesn’t have to be this old thing, and we’re a contemporary band so we understand the sensibilities of the day.”
— Michael Gerard, The Moonshine
A lot of the focus is placed on the lyrics, as they convey real stories pertaining to loss and death. However, while the lyrics are dark, the rhythms will still be upbeat and energetic.
Although the band is located in Georgia, this will be the members’ first time performing at the Caledonia Lounge.
“We like making new friendships and performing in a new venue, and a new city is exciting, especially in Georgia,” Olascuaga said. “Athens is definitely a city that we love.”
A band formed in 2013 and based in San Marcos, Texas, Rock Bottom String Band will be the third band to perform. The band consists of Alex Schultz on guitar, Mackenzie Dart on fiddle, Tara Miller on drums and Griffin Harrison on upright bass.
Unlike other bands, Rock Bottom String Band is known for exploring multiple genres through its music to reflect the various musical backgrounds of its members. Some of the genres the band has explored include traditional bluegrass, punk and folk music.
“Our music is heavily influenced by everyone’s musical backgrounds and we never try to shoot for one sound,” Schultz said.
While the three bands will bring drastically distinctive styles to the stage, they all hope to achieve one thing.
“It’s going to be a really fun night with the other bands … between the three bands, I hope there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for dancing,” Levasseur said.