"There are always generic terms like 'Americana', but there are no boundaries as to where it can go." - Robert Plant
“Campfire Caravan” featuring The Brothers Comatose – Mipso - The Lil Smokies hosts a raucous party with a wholesome spirit at premier venues across the country as they trek across the United States – stopping in more than 30 cities from Sept. 26 through Nov. 18, 2017.
A nod to the musicians’ early days playing music, when they’d perform for friends and family in basements, living rooms, and around campfires, “Campfire Caravan” celebrates the American tradition of gathering communities around music. In an untraditional format, all three bands rotate in the lineup with no single ensemble acting as the tour headliner. A completely different show will be presented in each city with spontaneous collaborations amongst the groups taking place between sets.
With each band residing in different parts of America – The Brothers Comatose from the West Coast, Mipso from the East Coast, and The Lil Smokies from the Rocky Mountains – they bring their own unique interpretations of, and inspired contributions to, the evolution of traditional American music to a shared stage for a very special evening of music.
The Brothers Comatose
Whether traveling to gigs on horseback or by tour bus, San Francisco Americana mavens The Brothers Comatose always bring their a-game to every show. The five-piece string band is anything but a traditional acoustic outfit with their fierce pickin’ and rowdy live concerts reminiscent of rock shows performed by artists they love to cover: The Rolling Stones, The Violent Femmes, Ryan Adams, Huey Lewis and The News, among others. With three full-length studios album to their name (Songs From The Stoop, Respect The Van, City Painted Gold), The Brothers Comatose release a new single “Don’t Make Me Get Up And Go Home” produced by indie-rock legend John Vanderslice in advance of AMERICANAFEST 2017. Channeling harmony vanguards The Beach Boys, “Don’t Make Me Get Up And Go Home” is a portrait of desire to stay by the side of your closest companion set amid a West Coast sonic backdrop.
The Brothers Comatose is comprised of brothers Ben Morrison (guitar, vocals) and Alex Morrison (banjo, vocals), Gio Benedetti (bass, vocals), Philip Brezina (violin), and Ryan Avellone (mandolin). When they’re not headlining The Fillmore for a sold-out show or performing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the band is cutting recordings with the likes of Nicki Bluhm (“Morning Time”), the T Sisters (“City Painted Gold”), or writing enticing songs such as “Pie For Breakfast.”
Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartet Mipso – Jacob Sharp (mandolin, vocals), Wood Robinson (bass, vocals), Joseph Terrell (guitar, vocals), and Libby Rodenbough (fiddle, vocals) – is influenced by the contradiction of its progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes. Touring in support of its fourth album, Coming Down The Mountain (April 2017), Mipso ventures further than ever from its string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition. Adding pedal steel, drums, banjo, and keyboards to their spellbinding four-part harmonies, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with lyrics that sear and salve in turn.
Hailed as “hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular” (Acoustic Guitar) and recently recognized by Rolling Stone as a favorite 2016 festival performance, Mipso harnesses a distinct sound full of wistful beauty, hopeful undercurrents, and panoramic soundscapes. Coming Down The Mountain debuted at #3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, #49 on The AMA Americana Radio Chart, and spent weeks at #1 on The Roots Music Report Top 50 Americana Country Album and Top 50 Country Album Charts. Mipso’s 2015 release Old Time Reverie debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, and the band went on to perform at the nationally televised 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Lil Smokies
With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere. Based in Missoula, MT, the quintet has garnered high accolades at the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards by winning the “Momentum Award for Best Band” and the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition. In 2013, The Lil Smokies also won Northwest String Summit’s band competition.
The Lil Smokies’ sheer raw energy and exquisite musicianship that courses through their sophomore album, Changing Shades, exhibits the band’s adept ability to seamlessly weave through genres, leaving behind melodies fans will be singing for days. The five-piece bluegrass ensemble features Andy Dunnigan (dobro, vocals), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Jake Simpson (fiddle) and Matt Rieger (guitar).