Founded by Scott Lane and Jonathan Meadows in Richmond, VA, The Congress brings notions of genuine musicianship and inventive songwriting to a modern world of dubious, cosmetic sound. Anchored by Jonathan's throw-back, soul tenor vocals and Scott's immersive guitar licks, The Congress is a band of real musicians, with real instruments, playing real music. Keyboardist Chris "Bernie" Speasmaker masterfully accents each tune with everything from throaty Leslie riffs and New Orleans dixiecrat piano to pounding electro-funk lines. Denver native and conservatory-trained badass Mark Levy holds down the drums with elegant precision and explosive dynamism.
Their brand of Rock & Roll is neither nostalgic nor progressive; It occupies the space between vintage sounds and the hyperbolic cynicism of our post-modern world.
The Blackberry Bushes are a Northwest Acoustic Americana and Bluegrass band whose sound falls somewhere between Gillian Welch and The Infamous Stringdusters. Their songs evoke the natural world, with themes of imperfection and impermanence. The instrumentation is precise and improvisational, reminiscent of the virtuosic bluegrass greats. The Bushes have that rare magic that allows them to fuse voices from many genres into an acoustic instrumentation that retains distinct threads of sonic color. Elements of jazz, classical, pop, old-time and bluegrass saturate this modern string band sound that is buoyant, bold, and like their thorny namesake, rooted and growing, growing, growing.
Recorded Thursday, July 16, 2015, Ridgway Town Park