Knoxville, Tennessee – The music-focused highlight of Dogwood Arts’ April celebration will once again rock Knoxville over a three-day span from April 10-12. With the stages set exclusively along downtown Knoxville’s historic Jackson Avenue, Rhythm N’ Blooms will showcase first-timers, chart-climbers, and highly lauded acts from varied musical backgrounds.
The artists that have been announced for this fabulous festival are The Decemberists, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Delta Spirit, The Apache Relay, Humming House, Alana Royale, Guthrie Brown & The Family Tree, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes and *repeat repeat. There are more artists and events to be announced soon.
Tickets for the music festival are on sale now; three-day passes are $60 each and VIP passes are $125. Visit the festival’s website to purchase Festival and VIP tickets: www.rhythmnbloomsfest.com/tickets.
Erin Slocum (Dogwood Arts & Rhythm N’ Blooms)
Phone:  637.4561
Chyna Brackeen (Rhythm N’ Blooms Artists)
Phone:  223.4944
After a four-year hiatus, the band’s highly anticipated tour in support of their new album “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World” stops in Knoxville for a headline performance at the 2015 Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival.
"In some ways, this album was four years in the making," says Colin Meloy, frontman and primary songwriter of the Decemberists. "We were on hiatus, so we had all the time we could want, no schedule or tour, no expectations." With the ability to work at their own pace, the resulting record is the band's most varied and dynamic work, both musically and emotionally.
The Decemberists -- Meloy, Chris Funk (guitars), Jenny Conlee (keyboards), Nate Query (bass), and John Moen (drums) -- had announced that they would be taking a break when their touring cycle finished following the release of 2011's "The King is Dead." Meloy wanted to spend time with his family and work on the children's book series that became the acclaimed, best-selling "Wildwood" trilogy. To be sure, they had reached a new peak in their career: "King" entered the Billboard album charts at Number One, and the track "Down by the Water" was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Rock Song" category.
Even during the hiatus, the group remained visible: they contributed the song "One Engine" to the "Hunger Games" soundtrack and even had the honor of appearing in animated form on "The Simpsons," and performed on the season six finale of "Parks and Recreation." Mostly, however, Meloy was concentrating on the "Wildwood" series -- the 1,500- page saga of two seventh-graders who are drawn into a hidden, magical forest, illustrated by his wife, Carson Ellis. So, when the band reassembled in May 2013, the plan wasn't to make an album in their usual way.
"Typically we book four or five weeks in the studio and bang out the whole record," says Meloy. "This time, we started by just booking three days, and didn't know what we would record. There was no direction or focus; we wanted to just see what would come out. We recorded 'Lake Song' on the first day, live, and then two more songs in those three days. And the spirit of that session informed everything that came after.
They reconvened in the fall and added some more songs. Gradually, over the course of a year and a half, the album came into focus. What was initially apparent was a fuller, richer sound. "There was a grandiosity to the songs in different ways," says Meloy, citing Leonard Cohen's 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector, "Death of a Ladies' Man," as a reference point. "We were layering textures, adding strings and dedicated backing vocals -- the early songs created the peaks of the record, and that started to dictate the overall tone and tenor."
Without a deadline, the Decemberists were also able to explore every song to completion. "Usually you have to let some songs slide because of time constraints," Meloy says, "but nothing was relegated to the b-side pile, everything was given a fair shake. Which is a blessing and a curse -- we ended up with 18 songs, and each had champions and detractors. There was a multitude of albums you could potentially make -- somber, over-the-top pop, folk -- and I think every band member would have created a different record."
Ultimately, "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World" found its final form, a distillation of the best things about this remarkable band. A new way of working led to a renewed excitement about the next chapter for the Decemberists. "I've never lived with a record for so long," says Colin Meloy, "documenting my shifts and changes as a songwriter, with a real sense of time passing. And there's something very freeing about working on music with absolutely no agenda, and just letting the songs become themselves."
The album will be released on January 20. Already, the first single, “Make You Better,” is topping radio charts nationwide.
The Dirty Guv’nahs
Knoxville’s own Dirty Guv’nahs make their Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival debut in 2015; a performance that has been years in the making. Each year, Rhythm n’ Blooms features a headline act with local ties, and audience members have long requested the Guvs – but it wasn’t until now that the timing worked out.
This six-piece brotherhood is called “a fiercely soulful band” by the Boston Globe, and has been affirmed by Paste Magazine to “know rock and roll from the inside out.” The live experience of The Dirty Guv’nahs has been hailed as one of the best in the southeast and according to Music Connection Magazine: “The Dirty Guv’nahs don’t just play music; they capture the human experience through song.” This experience is led by the soulful holler of singer/songwriter James Trimble, and accentuated by the intricate lead guitar work of Cozmo Holloway and the tasteful piano, organ, and harmony vocals of Kevin Hyfantis. The sturdy rhythm section of the band is filled out by brothers Justin and Aaron Hoskins’ on bass and drums, along with the glue and musical leadership of songwriter Michael Jenkins on the rhythm guitar.
The Guvs’ music has been featured on 5 network television programs and they’ve had standout festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, and SXSW, while also opening for a diverse and notable list of major artists including Wilco, The Black Crowes, Train, Zac Brown Band, and NEEDTOBREATHE. Their third studio album, “Hearts on Fire,” debuted at the top of the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
“Every generation has a past, I don’t wanna be a soldier for the last,” declares James Trimble on the opening track, reminding fans why they started listening to the Guvs in the first place.
They’ll bring their authenticity, passion, and fire – and a heaping helping of love for their hometown.
Into the Wide, the fourth album from San Diego-bred five-piece Delta Spirit was born in a flood-ruined, cave-like, rat-colonized room in the band’s new hometown of Brooklyn. After spending more than a year writing together in the windowless studio they rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc, the group resurfaced with a batch of demos and headed to Georgia to team up with Ben Allen (a producer/engineer known for his work with artists like Animal Collective and Deerhunter). Recorded near an old shipping yard in Atlanta, “Into the Wide” intimately captures the claustrophobia of Delta Spirit’s creative space, turning that tension into a moody meditation on the restlessness of city life, growing older, and longing for escape.
With its lyrics largely inspired by the murder ballads of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, Into the Wide proves more darkly charged than anything the band’s ever offered up before but—thanks to their command of both indelible melody and sprawling, atmospheric arrangements—ultimately emerges as Delta Spirit’s most gloriously heavy album so far.
For Delta Spirit (vocalist/guitarist Matt Vasquez, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kelly Winrich, guitarist Will McLaren, bassist Jon Jameson, and drummer Brandon Young), the raw, nervy energy running throughout “Into the Wide “stems partly from the band’s return to the more free-and-easy approach they embraced in making their debut album, 2008’s “Ode to Sunshine.” “On that first record we had no idea what kind of music we were going to make—we just went up to a cabin and pressed record and went for it without any fear,” says Young, who sparked the founding of Delta Spirit back in 2005, when he spotted Vasquez busking in the streets of downtown San Diego. So while “Into the Wide” continues to push forward in exploring new sonic territory (as on 2010’s History From Below and the band’s self-titled 2012 release), Delta Spirit has also restored a sense of kinetic flow to their communal songwriting process. “When we were writing there were these songs that we really labored over and tried to polish,” says McLaren. “But in the end, those songs didn’t belong to us. The tracks that make up the album were the ones that happened quickly and naturally and just instantly felt good to us.”
Keeping an eye toward the live experience is always essential to Delta Spirit, who name playing 293 dates in 2009 as one of their top points of pride. “We just want the songs to be as epic and meaningful as possible when we play them in front of people, which is the be-all and end-all for us as a band,” says Vasquez. In moving toward creating music that’s transcendent for their live audience, Delta Spirit strive to stay focused on the singular benefits of communal songwriting. “There’s something sort of magic about getting five incredibly distinct personalities to get behind something they can each claim as their own, instead of having the music be the product of one person’s specific vision,” Jameson says. What’s more, Vasquez adds, that commitment to collaboration ends up being infinitely rewarding once the band takes the stage. “To be able to play something and think ‘I created this’ is one thing,” he says. “But to have five different people standing together onstage and all of us feeling the vibration of that at once, that’s kind of amazing.”
Despite the band’s prolific tour schedule, their appearance at Rhythm N’ Blooms will be only their second time in Knoxville – having previously performed in 2008 at the now-defunct World Grotto.
The Apache Relay
Michael Ford Jr. was a music business major when he met The Apache Relay in a Belmont University dorm. They were already deep into “a very Americana, very rootsy” sound, and before long the band was backing up Ford around campus, and soon everywhere else. Ford Jr. dropped out of college, and the group, which at the time included Mike Harris (guitar, vocals), Brett Moore (keys, guitar, mandolin), Kellen Wenrich (fiddle, keys) gigged relentlessly behind their 2009 debut 1988 and 2011’s breakthrough American Nomad. Midway through their touring in support of American Nomad Ford, Jr’s brother joined the band rounding out the group’s line up and sound. While touring in support of the album The Apache Relay found themselves opening for Mumford & Sons and hitting such festivals as Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Firefly Music Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, among others.
The writing sessions for their new album, The Apache Relay, were the first time the Nashville-based group stopped to catch their breath in years. Inspired by Shelby Lynne and Richard Swift, and working with producer Kevin Augunas at Fairfax Recordings, formerly known as the famous California studio Sound City, The Apache Relay shows a band eager to push past their boundaries, and commitment to always evolving their sound.
The spotlight on Nashville, with its musical values and timeless traditions, is currently bright. And no band embodies what’s right about 21st century Nashville more completely than the quintet known as Humming House.
It’s the way they weave together threads of Music City’s folk, soul, and bluegrass legacies. It’s in the inspirational and revealing songwriting. It’s in their acoustic instrumentation, presenting mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar and bass in fresh roles. It’s in the pleasant tension between rousing energy and nuanced arrangements. And it’s in the voices, with two complimentary stylists up front and backed by the full band’s rapturous harmonies.
Revelries, due out March 24, 2014, on Nashville label Rock Ridge Music, is the third recording bearing the Humming House name, yet it’s something of a debut. Version one of the band came together in 2011 when songwriter Justin Wade Tam called on some friends from a local Celtic music jam to flesh out recordings of songs he’d written. The sessions, assisted by Tam’s star producer colleagues Mitch Dane and Vance Powell, mixed strains of bluegrass and Irish braided with vintage swing and open-throated early 60s hootenanny folk music. Humming House earned some quick attention for videos of its infectious songs “Cold Chicago” and “Gypsy Django.” They landed performance slots with tastemakers such as Lightning 100, Daytrotter and the Americana Music Association festival. They had chops, respect, and trajectory.
After that, two personnel additions galvanized the band. Leslie Rodriguez brought a lustrous female vocal to mesh with Tam’s hearty singing. And fiddler Bobby Chase brought classical training and down-home fire. That rounded out a band of highly skilled instrumentalists, including Josh Wolak on mandolin and Ben Jones on acoustic bass. Between the five of them, there’s scarcely a genre or period that somebody in the band hasn’t spent time learning or embracing, from Leslie’s early love of show tunes to Josh’s time playing bluegrass to Bobby’s occasional beatboxing. They’re the picture of East Nashville’s melting pot musical culture, and Revelries is the first album these musicians have written, arranged and recorded together.
As complete as they are in the studio and on record, Humming House is fundamentally and emphatically a live band. With scarcely a tube’s worth of amplification or electricity and a drum kit’s worth of percussion distributed among the band members, they emit force on stage and demand attention. They’ve rocked rooms of all sizes and played Forecastle Festival, Bristol’s Rhythm & Roots Festival, and the Cayamo Cruise with the elite of Americana. They opened the new Music City Roots hall in The Factory in 2014, sharing the bill with Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.
Vocals are the emotional core and lure of Humming House. They are five voices deep, with a galvanizing male/female twin attack over the top. Tam and Rodriguez sing as soloists or a duet, depending on the song. Humming House works out careful hand-offs and big harmonies, including frequent passages that are just vocalizing, chanting beautiful music on top of their robust instrumental attack.
The title of Revelries comes from a lyric in the tenth track on the album, “Carry On,” a feisty and ambitious song in which delicate charango plays counterpoint to a muted guitar. The rhythm is jagged and intoxicating. By the time we get there we’ve heard the striding opener “Run With Me,” the quick-stepping waltz “Fly On” and Leslie’s showcase song, the smoldering and bluesy “Nuts, Bolts, and Screws.” The album’s first single, “Great Divide,” is a fervent ode to travel, motion, and new frontiers—a recurring theme that’s also touched on in the fiddle and accordion-driven “Hitch Hike” and the rapturously romantic “Freight Train.” A classic jazz ribbon of smoke drifts through the magic “I’m A Bird.” And then, after “Carry On,” Revelries concludes on the drifting “Atlantic”—a throwback folk song that evokes old sea shanties.
If the new Nashville means anything, it’s about musicianship and authenticity. Quite often that results in sounds that are fascinating and appealing to critics and fellow musicians. Occasionally, artistry emerges that’s both profound and widely appealing. And when it does, as with Humming House, it’s cause for revelry.
Six members, five beards, two horns, one lady: the Nashville sextet Alanna Royale hit the scene with the speed of a runaway train and they show no signs of stopping.
August 14th, 2012: Alanna Royale arrived at The Basement in Nashville to play their first show without even a demo in hand and left that night with a room full of fans. After that first electric show, the word was out. With a bombastic live performance and a growing fan base, Royale’s reputation continued to spread without even one recorded song.
Picking and choosing their favorite elements of soul, funk, Motown, and straight up Billboard pop, Alanna Royale has assembled their own unique style. Not quite soul but not quite rock, Royale shines brightest when marrying their dirty rock n’ roll attitude with their smooth, retro roots.
The band is fronted by the larger-than-life Alanna Quinn-Broadus, whose quaking vocals, off-the-cuff sass, and edgy attitude will steal your heart, sing it a love song, and then break it. While Alanna might be what draws you in, it is the band as a whole that keeps you there. Backed by a solid rhythm section and a bouncing two-piece horn section, Alanna Royale lays down the groove, keeps the beat pulsing, and forces you along for the ride.
In just over two years, Royale has emerged as one of the top acts of the venerable Nashville music scene, released two EPs and a full-length album, and made ripples throughout North America. They won BMI’s “Road to Bonnaroo” and secured a spot at the summer music festival, played a packed set at the Austin City Limits Festival, and been featured in outlets ranging from NPR to Garden & Gun. And they haven’t forgotten their roots: last year, Royale released a stunning 100-piece vinyl collaborative project including twenty local Nashville artists for Record Store Day. The records sold out within 15 minutes.
Across the country, word of Royale’s dirty pop/raunchy soul has begun to spread and you can expect them to be turning heads everywhere they go. Alanna Royale has just begun on an unstoppable journey and there’s no telling where they might be headed next.
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.
Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes
The band was formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2010, and currently consists of keyboardist/guitarist/singer Daniel Ellsworth from Minnesota, drummer Joel Wren from Kansas, guitarist Timon Lance and bassist Marshall Skinner both from Ohio. Former member(s) of the band include Ricky Perry who played guitar on their first album, Civilized Man.
In 2010, the band ran a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund their album, Civilized Man. The album was engineered and co-produced by Mark Nevers, who has also worked with Will Oldham, Andrew Bird, Yo La Tengo, and Lambchop. The album was recorded at Beech House Studios in Nashville, Tennessee in early 2011, and was released digitally and physically in May 2011.
In late 2011, Amazon MP3 named Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes’ album, Civilized Man, the number 76 album out of the top 100 albums of the year. At the same time, the online music retailer also named the band’s single, “Shoe Fits,” the number seven song of the year. On February 2, 2012, Civilized Man was featured as Amazon MP3’s Daily Deal and the following week, the album charted on Billboard’s Heatseeker’s chart at position 18.
“Shoe Fits” was released as a music video on August 8, 2011, and was Directed and Produced by Austin Gros, in Nashville, Tennessee. The single was also featured on the Australian Television series Offspring and was included on their Season 3 Soundtrack, released in Australia on June 8, 2012.
The band released their second music video for the song “Bleeding Tongue” on June 6, 2012. It premiered on Paste Magazine.
The single “Passenger” was featured in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on November 8, 2012. The increased attention landed the song on Amazon MP3’s Best Songs of 2012 at the number 33 spot.
Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes was named by The Deli Magazine as Nashville’s Best Emerging Artist of 2012. The title was given based on a combination of fan voting and staff opinions.
In May 2013, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes entered the studio to record their second full-length album at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, Tennessee. The album was recorded by Grammy Award winner Vance Powell, who has worked with The Whigs, Kings of Leon, Jack White, and The White Stripes. While in the studio, the band was featured in an article in Paste Magazine, including an interview and a write-up saying “There’s very little you can guarantee in life, but one of the surer bets is that Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes will make you dance.”
In anticipation of the band’s new album, Esquire named Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes one of their 15 Bands to Watch in 2014.
The band’s second album, Kid Tiger, released on March 4, 2014. The songs were written while the band was touring and represented a collaborative effort of the band members. The first single from the new record, “Sun Goes Out,” was released on January 21, 2014.
Making whimsical surf-pop may seem like a daunting task when you live states away from the nearest beach, but guitarist/vocalist Jared order was determined to make the music reminiscent of his California birthplace. The band was always intended to be a 3-piece: Jared on guitar and vocals, Andy Herrin on drums, with dreamy harmony vocals reminiscent of 1960s west coast beach pop. While initially working with producer, Gregory Lattimer [albert Hammond jr., Kink Ador, the gills, the grayces], it was Lattimer who suggested that Corder's wife (Kristyn) sing in the band. She soon became the missing member. The trio once described by the Nashville scene as (“Dick Dale’s snot-nosed grandkids”) tracked with Lattimer in their hometown (East Nashville, TN) in late 2012. The band’s first single “12345678” was released in March 2013, two weeks early – after getting out to local media and began receiving airplay on Indie rock station, lightning 100. Their debut full-length album “bad latitude” was released in March 2014, and the release their second full-length album, “floral canyon” is due in 2015.
About Rhythm N’ Blooms
Rhythm N’ Blooms is entering its sixth year and is presented by Samuel Adams. For more information, visit www.rhythmnbloomsfest.com.
About Dogwood Arts
Dogwood Arts, presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union, is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to promote and celebrate our region’s arts, culture, and natural beauty. For more information on Dogwood Arts, visit www.dogwoodarts.com or call  637.4561.
About Attack Monkey Productions
Founded in 2009, Attack Monkey Productions is a full-service entertainment company based in Knoxville, TN. Attack Monkey seeks out the things that are cool and brings them straight to you – from music to moonshine, the traditional to the avant-garde, AMP specializes in the development and promotion of unique, high-quality brands and experiences. The Attack Monkey philosophy is simple: build brands that are authentic and offer the best possible experience to our artists, clients, and the general public. For more information, visit www.attackmonkey.net.
About Samuel Adams
The Boston Beer Company brews more than 50 styles of beer. It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and in the past five years has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com