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Blue Bear w/ The Southern Renaissance, Elkhart & Trey Lyon
June 29, 2013 @ 8:00 pm - 12:00 am
Blue Bear is a 5-piece indie/folk band based in Austin, Texas. Following in the footsteps of their biggest influences, Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear, Blue Bear has quickly gained a reputation for their infectious melodies and impeccable four-part harmonies.
Band founders, and former high school classmates, Brandon Aguilar and Jeremy Holmsley started the band in the Summer of 2011, quickly recruited another former classmate, Casey Arthur, and played as an acoustic trio for several months, performing at open mic venues in Austin. The three recorded the first EP in January and by February of 2012, the full band performed for the first time (with yet another former classmate, Jeremy Wilkinson, on drums and Holmsley on bass). They quickly recruited bass player and vocalist Khoury Moore, not only to hold down the bass, but to add a fourth harmony.
In May of 2012, Blue Bear won The Recording Conservatory of Austin’s 6th Annual “Unsigned Artist Competition,” after competing against bands from across the country in an online vote-getting contest, as well as a final 4 showcase in front of industry reps. In June, they were handpicked to be the featured band at The Art Institute of Austin’s “Summer Studio 2012,” a week of master classes and workshops for high school students interested in pursuing audio engineering, photography, graphic design, and more.
Blue Bear has mesmerized crowds all over the central Texas area with their unique sound and intricate harmonies. They are quickly building a dedicated fan base in the Austin area and are currently working on their second EP.
The Southern Renaissance
As front man Michael Donner entered the Dallas music scene in 2011, he had partnered up with old friends Eric Pearson and Jackson Giles to help bring some of his songs to life and get them out in the open. The trio put their heads down, drawing from influences such as Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, and The Band, and they constructed a cohesive Americana/Alt-Country album that took them to a studio in historic Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Michael Donner & The Southern Renaissance’s debut album No Better Time, released in September 2011, earned them high marks from the local music scene, being deemed “not only one of the best under the radar releases of the year, [but] one of the best releases period.” (Chip Frazier, Twangville). The Dallas Observer even listed it as one the “Four North Texas Albums You Need”.
In 2012, the group added a full-time rhythm section with new members John Aisner (drums) and Blake Butler (bass). Riding on the popularity of their debut album and by their memorable and energetic live performances, the group has been given the opportunity to open up for major artists such as The Civil Wars, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Wayne Hancock, Dylan LeBlanc, Will Hoge, The Wheeler Brothers, and Junior Brown. With a full time five-piece band, the group has undertaken a much more collaborative writing process as they construct what will become their next album, and they are now known only as The Southern Renaissance.
Elkhart is a Dallas-based indie rock band formed in late 2007. The guys in the band – Travis Hopper, Michael Crowder, Jarad Brown and Justin Bolin – met over the course of the 2000’s while playing in other Dallas-area acts. Travis writes the lyrics, sings and plays guitar, Michael plays electric guitar, Jarad plays the drums and percussion, and Justin plays bass.
Their debut album “The Moon” (self-released 2008) was recorded and mixed in Dallas, TX at Pleasantry Lane Studio with Salim Nourallah and Rip Rowan. It was mastered in New Windsor, NY at West West Side Music by Alan Douches (Midlake, Sufjan Stevens, My Morning Jacket).
Guest musicians include Eric Pulido (Midlake), Kevin Minihan (Eastwood), Daniel Hopkins (Radiant), Salim Nourallah, and Rip Rowan.
Delusions of Adequacy said this about “The Moon”:
“Elkhart’s first record is as profoundly beautiful as most great artist’s fourth record. A little bit of that Wilco alt-country aesthetic without feeling like a ripoff…songs that are remorseful and tragic without feeling overly nostalgic and trite….a bit of dust on their guitars and dullness to their drums, they come off as thoughtful, introspective, and authentic. The Moon is covered with breathy, deliberate vocals, kind of like a subdued Silversun Pickups, copping the same kind of dreamy, wistful feel, but softer, older, heavier. I really like how Elkhart takes its time with this record. It has an old, well-traveled feel…it’s the same delivery the Wrens use, and I think we all know how fantastic that band is. Like the Wrens, Elkhart evokes powerful emotions with so little, making the whole record seem effortless. It makes me want to drive somewhere far, even though I know there’s nothing there for me. This isn’t a record about getting what you want. It’s about wishing you could go back and do it over, so maybe, just maybe, this time around you have a shot.”