In Studio: Water Tower Bucket Boys 6/29
Mike Dronkers / Monday, June 27, 2011 @ 3:17 p.m. /
Turns out that the Pacific Northwest is a bubbling cauldron of activity in the folk music world. Leading this vibrant community of square dancers and bluegrass fanatics, The Water Tower Bucket Boys have a unique vision of traditional music in a brand-new century.
They know the roots of the music inside and out and have stayed up through many an all-night picking party.
This is mighty refreshing in a world full of indie bands picking up banjos and ukuleles to evoke some rustic authenticity.
These boys actually play and understand the music.
Walkin' The Road by Water Tower Bucket Boys
But don’t forget that they’ve been raised on raging punk music just as
much as Tommy Jarrell, and half the band have received jazz degrees.
Put that together with the wanderlust of youth that has carried them throughout Europe and across the US, and you get their wildly eclectic vision of folk music for the 21st century; dominated as much by psychedelic music and punk rock as old 78 recordings and toothless fiddle masters. The Water Tower Bucket Boys bring a no-holds-barred approach to the music in their attempt to share the joy and exuberance of American folk traditions with a new generation.
Their recent touring schedule found the boys traveling both nationally and
internationally and sharing stages with a diverse set of artists including Chuck Ragan, Austin and Bob Lucas, Frank Turner, Pert Near Sandstone, Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, The Maybelles, The Crooked Jades, Woody Pines, Foghorn Duo (Caleb Klauder and Sammy Lind), Mike Herrera’s Tumbledown, Tom Paley, Bex Marshall and the Flat Mountain Girls.
The Water Tower Bucket Boys just completed their fourth album, Sole
Kitchen, recorded and produced by Mike Herrera of Tumbledown and MxPx. Sole Kitchen features 100% original songs and tunes, all drawn from the band's travels through the West Coast and Europe, busking on street corners, playing festivals and jamming with everyone they met. Songs like "Fromage" and "Telegraph" show off The Water Tower Bucket Boys' wholly original version of psychedelic traditional music (psych-trad), while instrumental tunes like"London Breakdown" and "Blackbird Pickin' at a Squirrel" show just how fast and hard the Boys can play.
But this is a band whose feet are firmly planted in the topsoil of American roots music, and they can just as easily write a song like "Heaven" that sounds like an old Bill Monroe spiritual, complete with traditional harmonies. This is what makes the music of the Water Tower Bucket Boys so refreshing: their roots in the music run deep enough for their new tunes and songs to have real meaning and real vision. It’s a vision of folk music in the 21st century, a vision that carries the same credo that folk has always carried: real music for real people.
Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica, Vocals
Kenny carries a degree in Jazz guitar performance at the University of Oregon. Although his main focus is guitar, he is skilled at playing mandolin, fiddle, banjo, harmonica and piano. If you're lucky you can catch him on guitar with theFoghorn Stringband. When he is not practicing or playing music, he enjoys exploring foggy forests both near and far while sipping kombucha cocktails and climbing trees to read the most recent copy of his favorite magazine, Shaman's Drum.
Fiddle, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Josh's deep-rooted passion for music that began in early childhood has evolved into a love for old-time and bluegrass music. His influences include everyone from Hank Williams Sr. and Bill Monroe to The Velvet Underground and Elliott Smith. Most recently Josh has been studying the playing of Cajun fiddle/accordion players like Dewey Balfa, Nathan Abshire, and Courtney Granger. He has recorded with and often plays with The Crooked Jades and is an occasional guest with the Caleb Klauder Country Band
Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Over the years Cory has studied classical piano and jazz guitar, played sax in a big band and synthesizers in a punk band, and still would rather be found hunkered down in the corner playing banjo-fiddle duets at a noisy pickin' party than anywhere else. When not with the boys he can be found riding his bike to and fro, wandering in the woods, trying to cop licks from Bill Keith and Vic Jordan, and playing tunes withJackstraw around Portland.