The Crane Wives
In Japanese folklore, the crane wife is a bird disguised as a woman who spins fine silks from her own feathers, until her identity is discovered. The Crane Wives spin fine songs from whole cloth, and you will never want the melodies to leave your head. From murky origins in Chinese restaurants, high school ska bands, and dorm room jam sessions, the band came together in 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and immediately began gathering a following with intricate melodies, sister-harmonies, and compelling songcraft. Initially part of the indie folk boom, their sound has grown and broadened with each new recording till categorization becomes difficult: rock, pop, folk? Just call it really good music.
Audiences and critics agree: seven “Jammie” awards from influential radio station WYCE in ’11, ’12, ’16 and ’17; winner of Best Folk/Country song from international competition ArtPrize for “Easier” in ’12; a selection as one of ten “Entries We Loved” from the renowned NPR Tiny Desk Contest for “High Horse” in ’17; and winners of JBL Professional’s Best American Band Competition. Kate Pillsbury: guitars, vocals, a twinkle in her eye that tells you she sees through your BS but chooses to be amused by it. Emilee Petersmark: guitars, banjo, vocals, boots that will stamp out injustice wherever it may lurk. Ben Zito: bass, occasional howls, secret production weapon. Dan Rickabus: drums, harmony vocals, engineering, relentless and frankly exhausting levels of positivity.
Four albums released to date: “Safe Ship, Harbored (2011), “The Fool In Her Wedding Gown” (2012), “Coyote Stories” (2015), and “Foxlore” (2016), plus a series of new singles in 2017, all available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Bandcamp, CDBaby, and hell, even Myspace. If you want to hear about love, life, fear, hope, pain, and the occasional natural disaster, this band, and these songs, are for you.
Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery
Joshua Powell is an artist from Indianapolis, IN, who handcrafts a strangely literate brand of psychedelic indie rock that manages to be simultaneously socially conscious and spiritually turbulent. With over 700 shows in over 40 states under his anachronistic studded belt, Powell blends the narrative richness of American folk with a heavy dose of hallucinatory swirl and a ghost note of ‘00s-vintage bedroom indie, all highlighted in ethereal falsetto by his purposeful, kaleidoscopic poetry.
In 2017, Spotify has featured songs from his record Alyosha on their official “Indie Acoustic” and “Writer’s Playlist.” Joshua also had songs placed in Freeform’s “The Fosters,” ABC’s “Blood and Oil,” and in regular rotation on Starbucks’ official national store playlist. The band has recorded sessions with Audiotree and Daytrotter, and been covered in the Huffington Post and No Depression which described Powell’s music as, “a crossroads of revival-in-the-river folk mysticism and barroom-ready guitar-driven rock with conscience and existential wonder.”
Joshua and the band have performed at Mile of Music (WI), Nebraska Folk and Roots Festival (NE), Midpoint Music Fest (OH), Starry Night (IN), Virginia Ave Music Fest (IN), Lincoln Calling (NE), and Whiskey War Fest (MO) on bills alongside Shawn James, The Crane Wives, The Cactus Blossoms, Mike Mains, Desert Noises, Lydia Loveless, San Fermin, and Diane Coffee. In 2018, Joshua is set to release his new LP, PSYCHO/TROPIC.