The Shack Up feat. Sleepwalkers, YARN, Shack Band, Boy Named Banjo, and more!

The Shack Band

What originally started as an organic, impromptu and free-flowing collection of musicians casually performing in the renovated remains of a dilapidated "shack" in Blacksburg, VA has morphed into what is now The Shack Band. Since 2010, things have changed. The band relocated from Blacksburg to Richmond, VA. A true lineup was established, with four members signing on. The songwriting abilities and sensibilities matured and improved. At the start of 2013, the quartet became a quintet with the addition of a horn player adding more complex arrangements and texture to the band's already well-established sound. But, the one thing that never wavered was The Shack Band's intent to wow new crowds with their off-the-cuff, high-energy live shows melding funky rock 'n' roll and soaring harmonies with a strong emphasis on song-writing.

In 2012 & 2013, The Shack Band played 250 + shows up and down the East Coast and as far west as Chicago, while performing alongside a number of national touring acts, including: moe., Moon Taxi, The Machine, Perpetual Groove, The Pimps of Joytime, The Heavy Pets, Assembly of Dust, Everyone Orchestra and Dangermuffin among others. Thanks to their raw, infectious live shows and incessant touring, The Shack Band have seen, felt, and heard the effects of their budding reputation and burgeoning fan base. In February of 2012, they released their first EP, Born & Raised, to a sold-out crowd in their hometown of Richmond, VA. For 2014, the goals are simple yet ambitious: hit the rarified level of 200+ live shows, release their first full-length album, and continue to hone their craft while writing and learning new material.
In 2012 alone, The Shack Band played 120 + shows up and down the East Coast and as far west as Chicago, while performing alongside a number of national touring acts, including: moe., Moon Taxi, The Machine, Perpetual Groove, The Pimps of Joytime, The Heavy Pets, Assembly of Dust, Everyone Orchestra and Dangermuffin among others. Thanks to their raw, infectious live shows and incessant touring, The Shack Band have seen, felt, and heard the effects of their budding reputation and burgeoning fan base. In February of 2012, they released their first EP, Born & Raised, to a sold-out crowd in their hometown of Richmond, VA. For 2013, the goals are simple yet ambitious: hit the rarified level of 200+ live shows, release their first full-length album, and continue to hone their craft while writing and learning new material.

Sleepwalkers

It was the winter of 2013, when a casual lunch at Burger King manifested the hearts of four lost souls and transformed the gang into an unstoppable courier of smash hits. SLEEPWALKERS, a group of outlaws who rose from the blue collar depths of a glorified suburban landscape, seek to recreate the golden age of songwriting.

Combining the soothing sounds of Yanni with the angelic melodies of Enya, SLEEPWALKERS are sure to be the butter to your bread. Matthew McConaughey says, "SLEEPWALKERS songs are more historically significant than the Declaration of Independence...Nick Cage won't have to look far to find this National Treasure." SLEEPWALKERS have diamonds on the soles of their shoes, but let me tell you, they're not going to Graceland.

SLEEPWALKERS are bringin' the heat and they're about to burn it up, baby.

Boy Named Banjo

Boy Named Banjo, described by Sonicbids as, "Tennessee's Americana apostles," is creating a lot of buzz in the southeastern music scene. The Nashville natives founded the group in 2011 and released their debut album, The Tanglewood Sessions, before graduating high school. Boy Named Banjo has since released its sophomore album, Long Story Short, performed at Bonnaroo, and received a nomination for "Best local Band (Nashville)" By The Tennesseean for the year 2015. Boy Named Banjo is currently touring behind its new EP - Lost on Main.

Since their start in 2007, Yarn's original Americana sound has developed into music that seekers of the unique see as the soundtrack to their lives. Yarn's first four albums were recognized by the AMA's and R&R radio charts, spending time in the top 5 at their highest point. Yarn has become one of the hardest-working and harder-touring bands for this generation's digital natives and new music folllowers.

2012 brings this grammy-nominated roots band into the music revolution, inspired by today's music devotee's hunger for artists to believe in and follow, they are giving it to the fans everyday in everyway possible. Yarn's devotion to their fans is realized in online and social sharing of their music, whether it's daily video posts, premiering fresh songs on local radio, or performing live in small town venues across the country. They are bringing songs to American music lovers, and the music lovers are responding.

Yarn's devoted followers, affectionately called the "Yarmy", answered the band's request for aid when they funded their new record through Kickstarter. Raising in excess of $5000 of the $15,000 needed, the "Yarmy" proved their allegiance to Yarn and their music being heard in 2012.

The fans have spoken, and on March 20th, Yarn releases their new album, Almost Home, produced by the multi-Grammy winning, Bil VornDick, who has worked with Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Bob Dylan and many others. VornDick came across a Yarn performance at "Music City Roots", Nashville's progessive live music show that showcases some of the best of the Americana music scene. Although they didn't come together that night, VornDick and his wife heard Yarn on a Virginia radio live remote a few days later as they were traveling. VornDick decided it must be a sign and the rest is Yarn history.

Yarn's mojo continues to provide as they will be making their first appearance at SXSW in the New Frontier Showcase, and traveling in the "On the Fly" RV, courtesy of their 2012 sponsorship with Firefly Vodka. "It seems every good connection leads to another," says Christiana, "our fan following has really put us in a place to get noticed and we want to repay them for the huge faith in us." Yarn's good karma keeps building, being in the right place at the right time. They were recently featured on CNN's Out Front, during a cover story on Firefly Distilleries. The band just happened to be in town and their music made a believer out of CNN host, Erin Burnett, who, (as she sings along with the band), proclaims, "They are playing good music and living the American dream. We think Yarn is going to make it big!"

Yarn is led by singer/songwriter and cult-master, Blake Christiana, who carries the torch for the fan-following that will transport Yarn into the promised land. "Our fans are like family. We are so grateful to people that love music and will help support us in creating it. It's just remarkable," Christiana says. "That's half of my love of the road; we've got what feels like family in tons of cities across America."

Yarn's devoted "family" has them following in the fine tradition of The Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic, whose fans will go to any length to see them live, and this year Yarn's fans will see them plenty. Their rigorous tour schedule has them out on the road for more than 150 dates per year since 2007 and they are not slowing down.

For Yarn, discussion of life on the road goes right back to the audience and the fan's benevolence. "They want us to survive and to keep creating music, so they will bring us into their homes, let us sleep in their beds, cook for us...the level of generosity is unbelievable," says Christiana. The Yarn sextet doesn't hold back when it comes to rewarding their followers for their loyalty. "We are so exposed to our fans...we don't sit on the bus or hide in the green room, we are hanging out, drinking beer with them, going out after the show...if anyone wants to get to know us on a more personal level, it's very easy," admits Christiana. They also make sure that all their live shows are recorded and online for fans freely. "We have been doing that for a few years, and the fans love it," says Christiana, "whatever it takes, we want to do for anybody that comes out to our shows."

Is there a mark of success for Yarn? Christiana states it well, "To live comfortably and make music for our fans. I just want to be able to do what I love and eat...so maybe I'm already there," he laughs, "we want to make good music and hopefully that makes someone else's life better."

Stay tuned, 2012 looks like Yarn may unravel the American dream.

Futurebirds

Baba Yaga, the second full-length album by Athens, GA's Futurebirds, marks a milestone in the continuous evolution of the eclectic ensemble. The 13-song album finds Futurebirds – Thomas Johnson, Carter King, Dennis Love, Brannen Miles, Daniel Womack, and Payton Bradford (who has since left the lineup to pursue a non-musical career path) – delivering an expansive yet intimate set that takes the band's trademark mix of earthily accessible songcraft and free-spirited experimentation into inspired new territory.

Like the band that made it, Baba Yaga defies easy categorization, boasting a beguiling blend of warmly catchy tunes, stirringly evocative lyrics, distinctive sonic textures and unexpected melodic twists. The music is both intense and uplifting, capturing a good deal of the soaring, primal, sweat-soaked spirit of Futurebirds' live shows, which have already won the group a rabidly devoted fan base and a reputation as a singularly inspired, bravely unpredictable performing unit.

Throughout Baba Yaga, Futurebirds' inventiveness and energy are suffused by a bittersweet, introspective melancholy that lends added emotional resonance to such compelling tunes as "Virginia Slims," "Serial Bowls," "Death Awaits" and "St. Summercamp," which showcase the band's indelible melodies, vivid lyrics and vibrant instrumental rapport.

"This album definitely feels like a big milestone for us, no question," King says. "Just the fact that it's finally coming out feels like a milestone in itself," adds Johnson. Indeed, Baba Yaga's long journey to the public's ears is a story in itself, but the music more than justifies the album's long and often frustrating birth cycle.

Early in their existence, Futurebirds' balance of homespun roots and forward-thinking exploration made the band a favorite in and around their bohemian hometown. The 2009 release of their self-titled debut EP was followed the next year by their first full-length debut album, Hampton's Lullaby. It was followed by the self-released EP Via Flamina, and the limited-edition 2011 Record Store Day release Live at Seney-Stovall Chapel, which sold out on the day of its release.

Futurebirds continued to build its fan base by touring relentlessly, sharing bills with the likes of Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic, Heartless Bastards and Alabama Shakes and performing at such prestigious festivals as Austin City Limits, Outside Lands, Hangout, Wakarusa, Forecastle and Bonnaroo. Futurebirds was also featured on 2011′s Bonnaroo Buzz tour, playing between Gary Clark Jr. and headliner Grace Potter & The Nocturnals.

Futurebirds' combustible musical chemistry reaches inspired new heights on Baba Yaga. "In some ways we're like one organism with six brains, but at the same time everyone in the band is vastly different," King observes. "We had five different songwriters in the band on this record, with very different influences and inspirations. We get into the studio and people bring in their songs, and by the time we get done with a song, there's a piece of everybody in it."

"We all come from different backgrounds and chase different sounds, but when we play together there's this weird dark chemistry amongst us," Johnson notes, adding, "I can hear a song that someone else wrote and know exactly what I can bring to it, and the same goes for the others when they hear my songs."

Baba Yaga was recorded in 45 studio days over the course of seven months, with the band touring between sessions in order to pay the recording bills. The musicians originally demoed about 30 songs for the project, 25 of which they recorded during the sessions, before paring that batch down to the 13 that appear on the finished album

"The songs on this album seem to all come from a similar place," adds Johnson. "They don't all sound the same or have the same vibe, but we've shared so many experiences that there's an unspoken understanding amongst us as to where a song is coming from and where it wants to go."

The bumpy road to the album's release – which resulted in a near two-year gap between Futurebirds releases—included making difficult decisions in finding the proper home for the album, but helped to inspire the band to name it Baba Yaga, after a forest-dwelling, child-eating witch from Slavic folklore.

"It was a long and painstaking process trying to get this album out," King explains. "We got pretty discouraged, feeling like maybe it would never see the light of day, and one day I was talking to Thomas and started saying, 'God, is this record some mythical creature out in the woods that only exists in our imaginations?' Then we read about Baba Yaga, and that perfectly described how we were feeling about this record."

Fortunately, Futurebirds has emerged from its business travails a more confident and determined creative unit – a fact that the band plans on demonstrating by touring as much as humanly possible.

"The songs can take different lives from night to night," King says, "because you feed off the energy of the crowd, and that energy can be really different from night to night. The most important thing is to keep things fresh and not be up there going through the motions."

"Musically, we're a lot sharper now than we've ever been, and that's a product of playing so many shows," Johnson concludes. "Going into the recording of the record, we were much better musicians, songwriters and collaborators than we'd ever been, and we feel like the end result reflects our maturity and development."

With Baba Yaga finally a musical reality rather than an elusive myth, Futurebirds are more than ready to show the world how they've grown.

South Hill Banks

We are bluegrass at heart but not afraid of getting funky with it. The three of us and our love for music brought us together to form South Hill Banks. With the shredding licks and angel like voice of Lance Thomas, the genius songwriting and fingers of fury on the banjo from Ryan Horrocks, and that chop of the mandolin from Eric Horrocks, there is no doubt you will shake a leg or two.

Sid Kingsley

$15.00 - $30.00

Tickets Available at the Door

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