Oyster Ridge Music Festival


Friday July 29
12-1 Robin & Robert
1-3 The Lowest Pair
3-5 Scratchdog Stringband
5-7 The National Parks
7-9 Will Evans band
9-11 Guthrie Brown
Saturday July 30
10-12 Bandscramble
12-1 Robin & Robert
1-3 Jeremiah Tall
3-5 I Draw Slow
5-7 The Brothers Comatose
7-9 Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
9-11 Will Evans Band
Sunday July 31
9-12 State Competitions
12-1 Robin & Robert
1-3 I Draw Slow
3-5 Victor Barnes
Robin Kessinger & Robert Shafer
To say that Robin Kessinger is one of the country's leading flatpick guitarists would be quite an understatement. Everyone knows that he won the National Flatpicking Championship, in Winfield Kansas, but few know of all the State Flatpicking Championships he has walked away with. And most of them multiple times! He holds titles in Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, West Virginia, Best of Tri State (OH, KY & WV) and other contests too numerous to mention. A writer for the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine wrote: “When Robin Kessinger performs, you can hear the ghosts of generations past joining in to help blend the notes from his guitar into the familiar strains of old-time-tunes.” He has been featured on PBS and BBC television specials and NPR radio shows.

Robert Shafer, a native of the music-rich state of West Virginia, has been a professional musician since graduating high school in 1981. He has won state championships in Kentucky (3 times), Tennessee (twice), Ohio (twice), and Alabama, along with numerous local and regional awards. Shafer is a two time winner of the National Flatpicking Championship (1983 & 2000) which is held annually in Kansas. One notable occasion occurred in 1984 when a teenager named Alison Krauss asked Shafer to back her up in what would turn out to be a 1st place finish in the Walnut Valley Fiddle Contest in Winfield, Kansas. Robert has also worked & recorded with bluegrass pioneers Kenny Baker and Josh Graves, as well as sharing the stage with such musical luminaries as Randy Howard, Mark O'Connor, Steve Kaufman and Vassar Clements, just to name a few. Robert has performed on Mountain Stage, The Grand Ole Opry, The Today Show, BBC, CNN and in countless venues across the United States, Canada and Europe. He has both released and been a featured guest on many recordings while maintaining a busy schedule performing, recording and teaching.

The Lowest Pair
The Lowest Pair had been planning to release a new record in the Spring of 2016. So in early 2015 Palmer convinced Kendl to spend a winter in Minnesota, with the temptation of working with local greats Dave Simonett and Erik Koskinen on the new material. The duo then set off on what would be a successful season of touring their second, critically acclaimed album, The Sacred Heart Sessions (Spin: “solemn and humble;” The Bluegrass Situation: “deeply felt”), and a new-old-time record,
I Reckon I’m Fixin’ On Kickin’ Round To Pick A Little. In the fall, returning to the midwest to finish up the recordings they had begun a few months prior, Kendl and Palmer found themselves with a whole new batch of songs ready to lay down. After much deliberation, they ambitiously decided the two collections should be released together in 2016. The new records, Fern Girl and Ice Man, as well as Uncertain As It Is Uneven, could be viewed as two windows into the growing and changing world of The Lowest Pair. Uncertain stays the course of their previous releases, being focused on stripped down, intimate arrangements to support their timeless songwriting and haunting vocals. Fern Girl i s a more moody and adventurous exploration of new sounds, new studio production directions, and what it might sound like for The Lowest Pair to be supported by a full band, while keeping one foot planted in the rootsy aesthetics which drew them together from the beginning. Kendl Winter, born in Arkansas, moved to Olympia, Washington after high school, drawn to the evergreen forests and the lively and thriving music scene. She put three solo records out on Olympia’s indie label, K Records, and performed in nationally-touring northwest string bands before beginning The Lowest Pair in 2013 with Palmer T. Lee. Palmer built his first banjo when he was 19 from pieces he serendipitously inherited. Shortly after deciding songwriting would be the most effective and enjoyable medium for his musings, he began cutting his teeth fronting Minneapolis string bands and touring the midwest festival circuit, which is where he and Kendl first met, on the banks of the Mississippi.

Scratchdog Stringband
Since early 2015, Scratchdog Stringband has been setting a new standard for Americana/Bluegrass. Based in Portland, OR and touring throughout the Pacific Northwest, this trio delivers a fresh amalgamation of classic and contemporary Americana music.
These artisans continually hone their technical finesse through exuberant experimentation and intuitive improvisation. The sound that emerges is uniquely "Scratchdog," deriving from influences in Rock, Folk, Country and Jazz. The band is an elemental force of songwriters, arrangers and performers. Andrew DeRossett (guitar, banjo, vocals) and Kimbo Kumada (bass, vocals) hold down the rhythm section tight and tough, while James Rossi (fiddle, vocals) is free to explore the high notes on the violin. The band’s dynamic instrumentation is showcased in "The Scratchdog Shuffle," where the string-boxes are passed between the members in almost every variation, providing an intricate backdrop to their blended vocals. Their repertoire ranges from fierce boot-stompers to rolling country ballads, as well as genre-benders in between. Complemented by thoughtful lyricism, the whole is a sound larger than the sum of its parts. Strong dedication to their craft and to one another has quickly made Scratchdog Stringband one of the hardest working acts in the Northwest, both on and off of the stage. Since their formation in January 2015, Scratchdog has performed over 150 shows and averaged one hundred sales a month of their EP, “Introducing Scratchdog Stringband." They will capture their developed sound on a full-length album to be released in the spring of 2016. Scratchdog Stringband has been working full time since day one to bring forth their collective decades of experience. Their individual musical journeys have covered all corners of the country (from New England to New Orleans, Austin to the Midwest, Colorado to the West Coast) and all styles of music (Celtic, Classical, Reggae, Punk Rock and Blues). The dogs are constantly finding new ways to incorporate their knowledge and passion. The result is masterful, unpretentious music from musicians who share a common goal and consider themselves in purposeful servitude of music.

The National Parks
We began making music as The National Parks in Provo, Utah in early 2013. In September of that year we released our first album, Young, and (along with our January 2014 standalone single, “As We Ran”) we saw more success than we could have expected for a debut launched with little-to-no idea of what it took to get our music out beyond our local scene.
The album climbed to #13 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and helped us get on the road to play shows in cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and with some really awesome musicians like Andy Grammer, The Lone Bellow, LeAnn Rimes, and The Moth & The Flame. Our experience playing in front of crowds factored into the development of our second album, Until I Live, in a very serious way. We wanted to take all of the things we loved most from that record and amplify, enhance, and experiment with them. The result of that effort is a ten-track album that we think maintains the heart and sincerity of Young but that also does its own thing too. We released Until I Live in September 2015 and were once again blown away as the album climbed charts – iTunes Pop Chart and Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart. We were thrilled to hear in April 2016 that “Monsters of the North,” a lead single from Until I Live, was announced as a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition – one of the world’s premiere songwriting competitions. Press from major outlets such as NPR’s All Songs Considered, CMT Edge, and Pop Matters has fueled additional momentum and allowed us to continue touring into 2016, now having played in 50+ cities in 17 different states, including performances at SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon, Make Music Pasadena and Canadian Music Week. Although we saw a number of changes over the first two years we’ve now settled into a dynamic 5-piece group with Brady Parks (Denver, CO) and Sydney Macfarlane (Kaysville, UT) still leading the way and John Hancock (Sacramento, CA), Doug Patterson (Provo, UT), and Megan Taylor (Draper, UT) each contributing in a variety of ways to make our live shows sound as full and complete as the recordings.

Guthrie Brown & The Family Tree
Guthrie Brown is a young buck, up and coming songwriter based out of Nashville TN. His song's paint pictures of wild western sky's as well as colorful love stories. His songwriting is always expanding along with the sound of his band "The Family Tree",
in which there is indeed a family dynamic between Guthrie and back up singer/sister, Maddy Brown. Though the other band members, John McNally (Guitar), John Ogelby (Drums), and Will Honaker (Bass) are not blood related, the musical chemistry between the bunch is as dynamic as a family band. Guthrie Brown and the Family Tree have been a band since the summer of 2013. Guthrie first released an EP that was recorded in his bedroom of a small house in North Nashville in 2012. He went on to release a second EP with "The Family Tree" that was collectively produced by Stuart Mathis of (The Wallflowers, Lucinda Williams) and Trey Grey of (Ronnie Dunn). This EP was entitled "Spirit of the Elk" and can be found on Spotify and ITunes.

Will Evans Band
Will Evans has spent the last decade as the primary song writer, drummer, and front man for the roots rock outfit Barefoot Truth. Will recorded four full length albums and several EP’s of his original music with the band. Their most recent release,
“Carry Us On”, debuted at #10 on the iTunes Rock Chart. With Barefoot Truth now on an extended hiatus, Will has opened a new chapter in his musical journey. His first solo release landed him in Entertainment Weekly as being right on target in the “Bullseye Of The Week” and warranted a #4 spot on the Northeast Billboards. Will’s entry into the Guitar Center sponsored “Search For The Next Great American Songwriter” also brought him national attention. Out of over 10,000 entrants, he was chosen as one of the nation’s top ten finalists. In October of 2015, while on a national tour as direct support to Trevor Hall, Will released his sophomore album, “Signal Flares”, and is currently touring in support of the album. With topics such as the album’s opener “Do It For The Love”, and “To Be Human”, it is clear that the singer-songwriter is once again speaking from his heart, advocating his own socially-conscious messages of love and inclusion. In his live performances, Will uses his impressive looping skills to combine his drumming background with his highly energized and entertaining acoustic style. When Will is on stage, the crowds always get to their feet and he always gets to their hearts. Will has shared the stage with many top artists including Crosby and Nash, Grace Potter, Bruce Hornsby, Rusted Root, Trevor Hall, Donavon Frankenreiter, Railroad Earth and members of Dispatch.

The Brothers Comatose
Expansive, uplifting, and just downright beautiful, City Painted Gold is one of the most anticipated records of the coming year – at least amongst the loyal fans The Brothers Comatose had won while touring across the country in support of their past two releases. Infused with a sense of relaxed, experienced confidence, The Brothers Comatose offer a
southwestern-tinged, rowdy stringband sound that might just make this your new favorite record before you turn it over to side B. Walking lockstep with their undeniable top-flight musicianship is an easy humility. “It’s just one, big, extended Morrison music party,” they say. Brothers Ben and Alex Morrison, guitar and banjo, and lead vocalists, front this rocking string band that has become a West coast headliner and national touring act in a mere handful of years. With bassmaster Gio Benedetti and stellar accompanists Philip Brezina on fiddle and Ryan Avellone on mandolin, their high energy, audience engaging shows have caught fire with fans from San Diego to Seattle to Salt Lake to Silk Hope, NC and beyond. Horseshoes & Hand Grenades In 2010, the five Wisconsinites that make up Horseshoes & Hand Grenades found themselves in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, WI, holding acoustic instruments and enjoying a hodgepodge of fermented beverages. Music and revelry ensued that evening and, while many of the party guests eventually bid their goodbye well into the morning hours, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades wasn’t ready to let the get-together fade. Five years later, the music still hasn’t stopped and the party is still going strong, from the mountain west to the river towns of the Midwest that the quintet calls home. While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, the band produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn’t lend itself well to categories or boundaries. One could probably be formed, but the boys seem to generally prefer fishing a river, or enjoying the company of friends and barley beers. Yet with their music well-defined or not, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades has begun to form a place in the Midwest music scene, gaining recognition on both a regional and national scale. The band took 3rd place at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Band Competition in 2012 and has since shared the stage with Trampled By Turtles, The Travelin’ McCourys, Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marty Stuart, and many more. The group’s third full-length Middle Western was released in March of 2015. Being mostly inspired by rivers, valleys, good friends, and good drink, this five-piece is as sturdy as any Midwest riverbed and will make your toes tap from sundown to sunrise. Victor Barnes Victor Barnes, of Northern Colorado, has been wearing out shoes on dance floors from Seattle to New Orleans with their original style of bluegrass-infused music since 1999. When they're not playing with national acts like Yonder Mountain String Band, The North Mississippi All-Stars and Railroad Earth at venues across the west, Victor Barnes can be found serving the needs of their loyal fan-base at venues throughout the Colorado Front Range. Victor Barnes success has resulted in the production of their first full length CD, Bad Weather, released in early 2006.

I Draw Slow
Dublin roots band, I Draw Slow, has been garnering praise around the globe since the release of their Top 10 selling album, Redhills in 2012. Now their new album, White Wave Chapel, is all the buzz at home and overseas with their unique sound, bringing together Irish tradition with modern Americana while staying rooted in the old time style of Appalachia. Their impact abroad is redrawing the map for these Irish/Americana songwriters. The UK press describes I Draw Slow as “American top league equivalents,” destined “to blow the opposition away,” drawing favorable comparisons with Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss. While filling the airwaves on tastemaker stations at home and abroad, the band has been winning fans on both sides of the Atlantic, playing legendary festivals such as Celtic Connections, MerleFest, Pickathon, RockyGrass, Grey Fox, Wintergrass and more. I Draw Slow is a five-piece outfit comprising vocals, guitar, fiddle, banjo, and double bass. Holden siblings Dave (guitar) and Louise (vocals) have been writing together for two decades. In 2008 the pair teamed up with violinist Adrian Hart, clawhammer banjo player Colin Derham, and double bassist Konrad Liddy to form I Draw Slow.

Jeremiah Tall
Inspired by an unwavering love for summers spent in the mountains, along with the tall tales from his youth, Jeremiah Tall is a one-man show based out of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Tall's tales range from the
struggles of finding your feet on an ever-changing landscape to fictional stories of cowboys and the common man’s battle with the devil. A hand painted suitcase converted into a kick drum provides a backbone to his own throwback spin on folk rock.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, the band produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn’t lend itself well to categories or boundaries. One could probably be formed, but the boys seem to generally prefer fishing a river, or enjoying the company of friends and barley beers.

Victor Barnes
Insurgent Bluegrass
Victor Barnes, of Northern Colorado, has been wearing out shoes on dance floors from Seattle to New Orleans with their original style of bluegrass-infused music since 1999. When
they're not playing with national acts like Yonder Mountain String Band, The North Mississippi All-Stars and Railroad Earth at venues across the west, Victor Barnes can be found serving the needs of their loyal fan-base at venues throughout the Colorado Front Range.

This video is a result of one of the coolest things about ORMF. The chance for bands to jam together. This from 2009 ORMF, Ken Minkes of Victor Barnes Insurgent Bluegrass joining Blue Turtle Seduction on stage.


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