Pert Near Sandstone and Sugarcane at Mississippi Studios

Vortex Music Magazine

Get ready for a brow-sweatin’, foot-stompin’ good time as Mississippi Studios hosts a bluegrass jamboree on May 14.

With contemporary bluegrass having its roots tangled in every corner of this country nowadays, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to decipher the direct influences bands are interweaving into their sound, especially when the genre itself is a melting pot of classification. Most are a mix of folk, string, country, Appalachian, hillbilly or old-time (just to name a few). Recently, bands such as Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers have gained national attention by infusing pop as well. Even with all the genre mixing, one thing is for certain: They are all out there to have a good time and get you moving.

Pert Near Sandstone is no exception. When they hit the stage, they come out hard and fast and give you little time to let your feet settle.

With an arsenal of instruments including banjo, mandolin, double bass, fiddle, washboard, spoons, and even their very own clogger, Pert Near Sandstone have made a name for themselves in bluegrass circles. Their heavy finger-picking and fiddle-driven melodies are beautifully complemented by a thunderous upright bass-driven beat, while the clogs add a wonderful layer of depth to their song sung tales of yore. The old-timey sound has an even deeper feeling of timelessness as the members of the band gather 'round a single microphone to hoot and holler lyrics about lost love, hard times, and reaching deep into the bottom of a bottle.

Using St. Paul, Minn., as their primary resting pad, the fellas from Pert Near Sandstone have been touring relentlessly over the past few years bringing a party with them everywhere they go. From hoedowns at backyard barbecues to opening for the renowned Yonder Mountain String Band, the dancing doesn't stop till the wee hours of the morning. In a time when synthesized instruments and digital compositions top the charts and fill radio playlists, it’s a breath of fresh air to catch yourself grooving to the acoustic sounds of a simpler time.

Portland-based Sugarcane bring their island-tinged mix of bluegrass and country to the stage prior to PNS. The members of Sugarcane have garnered a bit of attention for their past appearances at Northwest String Summit and opening for The String Cheese Incident out at Horning’s Hideout. They have proven themselves as an energy-inducing act and look to kick-start an all-night shindig on Wednesday, May 14 at Mississippi Studios.

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