Thursday Night with Grizzly Goat – Friday Night with The River Whyless – Saturday Night with Nathan James

Live Music Fans,

We had a wonderful avalanche of live music last week! Six straight days presenting excellent musicians was a real treat.  It started with Jackson Emmer hosting seven other songwriteres on Tuesday Night and enjoying the beautiful sounds of the violin and cello of OK Factor and the first appearance of the Let Them Roar duo of Mateo and Sophia.  The incomparable Martha Scanlan and Jonathan made some gorgeous electric guitars ring out with some original haunting songs.  Friday Night was Korby Lenker, a fantastic singer/songwriter/filmmaker from Nashville who put on a powerful show.  Saturday Night featured the Grateful Bluegrass Boys who rocked the room with unique covers of classic Dead and rock songs.  The Second Sunday of August then hosted the Boys plus the AJ Fullerton Blues Band in Sopris Park.  The weather was perfect and KDNK put on another sweet live broadcast from the park.  That was a lot of good live music in less than one week.  Hard to top that production and thanks to everyone who made it possible.  Hope you got to enjoy some ot it.

Now, it’s on to this week where we “only” have three great acts this week.  Feel like I’m loafing a bit compared to last week and the Mt. Fair weekend.  But, it’s actually much closer to our average week than those special weeks.  It starts on Thursday with one of our new favorite touring acts.  Grizzly Goat has some musical skills, original songs and a loving attitude in their high energy shows.  Keep having them back.  Then on Friday Night we are looking forward to this major league quartet in town to play locally with the Milk Carton Kids.  This promises to be a sweet show for their first visit.  River Whyless should sound incredible in the little byob room.Then on Saturday we have a very talented blues and American roots music who has been touring for over 20 years.  He should make a big sound in the little room.

Check out their websites for more reasons to come out for any or all of the nights.  Can’t miss this week, for sure.

See you at the shows!


“At its core, Americana is vagabond music. It finds new sounds as it travels from place to place — a little bluegrass here, a touch of folk there and healthy dose of rock ‘n’ roll all along the way.It’s no surprise the genre appealed to Grizzly Goat, a five-piece band that found its way to Provo from all over the country, bringing myriad musical influences along with it.  “The band started in Las Vegas in 2013 as a sort of woodsy-campfire-folk-singing group, but evolved gradually into this full Americana band over time,” said Alex Vincent, who sings and plays guitar, banjo and mandolin in the group. “Each member has been making music for well over a decade now in some form or another. We’ve all been in various groups, in a ton of different genres including punk rock, psychedelic, choral, Balinese, ska and more.”

ALEX VINCENT- CHARLOTTE, NC – Dobro, Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Bass, Lap Steel

Alex Vincent was raised constantly moving around. You can tell it had an impact on him by the way he shuffles his feet on stage. He’s lived in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Montana, Wisconsin, Utah, and even Switzerland where he served an LDS mission. He plays in many different acts based out of Provo as well as doing his own solo stuff. He is a great asset to the band both musically and fraternally. He is a talented songwriter and has some pretty stinkin’ awesome dance moves. You should ask about his high score on the game “battle cats”.

BEN GIBSON- LAS VEGAS, NV – Mandolin, Guitar, Dobro, Piano, Organ, Banjo

Ben got his early musical training from his mother’s piano lessons and playing french horn in the school band. He later moved on to the guitar, mandolin, and banjo. He has since been part of numerous folk bands including the Provo folk/grunge band TV Screens. He served a two year LDS mission to Germany. His hobbies include hiking, rock climbing, camping and longboarding. Ben is studying Digital Audio at UVU and works as a studio engineer at Cold House Studio  in Provo, UT. He can grow a full beard in just under a week and is an excellent chef. You should ask about his breakfast burritos.

NATE WAGGONER- FLOYDS KNOBS, IN – Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica

Nate, who grew up in the Kentuckiana area, has always had deep roots in folk music. His grandfather introduced him to Jimmy Rodgers and his father introduced him to Bob Dylan. He picked up the guitar at age 13 and has since learned a few more instruments. He is a thought-provoking songwriter whose songs are often themed in the outdoors, geography, and morality. He served two years as an LDS missionary on Panay Island in the Philippines and he recently graduated with a degree in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation from BYU. On top of this, he is happily married with two daughters and two dogs.

SCOTT MONSON- OREM, UT – Drums, Percussion, Piano, Organ

Scott is the only Utah native in the band. He was raised in Orem, UT and attended BYU studying music. While at BYU he performed with BYU’s touring folk ensemble. Scott is fluent on many instruments and is often called upon to suggest the pathway a song should go. He also plays in the local Provo bluegrass/celtic group Molly In the Mineshaft. He is the smoothest driver of any person in the band, which is great when you need to sleep in the van. Above all this, Scott is terrific person to chat Star Wars with. You should ask him about his thoughts on “The Last Jedi”. “


“Daniel Shearin, Ryan O’Keefe, Halli Anderson, and Alex McWalters met as students at Appalachian State University. Each moved to Asheville, North Carolina, after graduation. McWalters said that they considered moving to Austin, Nashville, New York, or L.A., but chose Asheville.[3] O’Keefe, Anderson and McWalters were already performing in a band when Shearin joined them in 2012.  River Whyless released their first full-length album titled A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door in 2012. They followed that by releasing a self-titled EP in 2015.  In 2016, River Whyless released their second full-length album titled We All The Light via Roll Call Records. We All the Light, combines bluegrass-harmonies with fiddle and guitar to create a distinctive sound.”

The band changes their environment to get different perspectives while songwriting. They have written music in a woodshed in Maine, a living room studio in Oregon belonging to Justin Ringle of the band Horse Feathers, and a variety of other settings outside of Asheville.  On October 19, 2017, their song “Life Crisis” was used as the episode end-credits music for the FX seriocomedy Better Things.”


We’ve been a band for about 10 years. During that time I can honestly say that I have never really doubted our ability to take our dream and turn it into a reality. Sure, there were periods where we were down. Moments of frustration, and in those moments of grappling, the only option was to work to pull ourselves up and to fix whatever problem was hamstringing our slow inevitable march towards success. I never thought about what was after music. Or even that there was an after music. For me, there was never a “plan B”. I think as an artist or entrepreneur you can’t have a backup plan. It somehow confuses and dilutes your primary goal. That’s what makes it so damn risky. Anyway, we were driving home from a tough supporting tour, we were broke, which wasn’t uncommon. Halli had just moved to Oregon and we’d dropped her at a Motel 6 to spend the night before her morning flight. Watching her check into the motel as we pulled away felt like an ending. It was as if I removed a pair of tunnel vision goggles and could see the world and my life for the first time since we started this band. I felt incredibly small, fragile, irresponsible, foolish, at a loss for what to do next and very alone. The reality of what we had been trying to do for a decade came crashing down in an almost laughable way. We didn’t talk about it and I don’t know if anyone felt the same way but, at that moment, I changed. I could talk about this for hours. The funny thing is that a month later we had the most successful tour we’ve ever had. Without those tours and my wife’s steady support and understanding, I don’t know what would happen. Writing songs is pretty easy, making a career out of it is the hard part.


In the process of making Kindness, A Rebel — in part because it all happened so fast and frenetically — I feel I achieved a certain level of self-acceptance. Maybe this had something to do with changes in my personal life. Entering an MFA program for Fiction has helped assuage some of my creative anxiety at the same time it’s been tremendously humbling. Whatever it was, I felt Kindness, A Rebel was a letting go, an embrace of our weaknesses and a celebration of our strengths. We all have weaknesses, and it was something of a revelation to me to realize that they can be interesting, that imperfection is as compelling as the talent that surrounds it.


For the past two years I’ve been splitting my time between Astoria, OR, Asheville, NC, and life on the road. I’ve managed to create a different version of myself for each of these places– multiple personalities, if you will, resulting in the deterioration of my core identity. It’s strange (and sad) to say, but the only place that I felt completely “me” was in the making of Kindness, A Rebel. There’s something about creating music in the studio that allows one to forget the pomp and circumstance and be more present, more instinctual. Our songs were recorded quickly and viscerally, without the normal level of scrutinization, which I am most guilty of! I was more comfortable in the vast solitude of west Texas, with space and time to be imaginative and let my nervous system breathe. I meditated in the sun, and ate pecans off the ground. I played with five different farm cats, drank the best tequila, and at night, saw the Milky Way. I didn’t feel the death grip of social dread (“Another Shitty Party”) or fight the urge to jump on my cell-phone (“All of My Friends”). Making Kindess was a giant massage for my soul, and though I’ll have to readapt to the sporadic touring and traveling back and forth across the country, I have music and my bandmates to remind me of where I belong.


2017 was a year of change for me, full of milestones and undeniable reminders of the passing of time. To begin with, as we all know, the presidency changed hands. Regardless of who was taking his place, I felt the close of the Obama presidency in a deep way, a serious wake-up call to how quickly time is passing and how something you’ve intwined in your own growth and every-day life can simply run its course and be gone. Then in the following months, I got engaged, bought a house, began building a recording studio, became an uncle and most significantly, lost my father to a sudden and unexplained illness. He was an immeasurable source of love, guidance, friendship and support in my life, so this rocked me incredibly hard and shaped/colored the rest of the year (to date). I must add that my bandmates and manager were monumental in helping me through this experience.

Meanwhile, Halli had moved to Oregon, so RW was going through its own changes as well, beginning to work in a more structured fashion with definite “on” times and “off” times. This defined how we wrote this record — in concise, limited sessions of full-immersion, a departure from how we wrote records in the past, with much more time and reflection, drafting some songs several times over before arriving at an agreeable final version. Though I knew this new approach would require a certain amount of artistic concessions, I had always wanted to make a record this way so I was excited that we were taking that route. Of course, as we hurdled through the process, that proved to be true. We indeed had to make plenty of concessions. But having found a profound peace and beauty in the process of letting go throughout the year, and recognizing the growth that can rise in the place of what is gone, this felt natural and right.


“Never one to follow convention and always one to think for himself, Nathan James has created a musical identity with his homemade instruments and self taught skills. Armed with his handcrafted washboard guitar and stomping out time on a box made of old fence boards, while singing and blowing harmonica, you are sure to be captivated. Nathan James is a well respected and experienced artist in his field. For over 20 years now he has successfully made his living touring and recording, solely specializing in his passion for blues and American roots music.

Drawing from a deep well of influences from many early roots artists and styles, James was quickly attracted to the individuality of self made music and artistic expression from an early age. Growing up in the small agricultural town of Fallbrook California has been influential in choosing his life path because he could relate to music originating from a rural environment.  “There wasn’t a lot to do here, so you either got in trouble or found something productive to do with what you had around you!” Having supportive parents that didn’t force him into college after high school allowed Nathan to go straight into the real world of a ‘working musician’.  At age 19 Nathan got the call from internationally known blues veteran James Harman to join his band and tour the country. With Harman is where he gained the experience that has shaped most of his own career.

In 2007 Nathan entered the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN with Ben Hernandez and took 1st place.  During his career Nathan has worked with other many well known artists including: Kim Wilson, Pinetop Perkins, Billy Boy Arnold, Lazy Lester, Johnny Dyer, Rick Holmstrom, Janiva Magness, Mark Hummel and Gary Primich. Nathan has brought his music to concerts and festivals in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Faroe Islands, Taiwan, Canada and Mexico, as well as all over the United States.

Nathan’s three piece band the Rhythm Scratchers has forged a cumulative sound that combines elements of 1920’s acoustic blues, amplified juke joint hill country, and 1950’s uptown blues mixed with 1960’s soulful R&B! Influences range from Tampa Red, to B.B. King, to James Brown and the Famous Flames. This is not your average blues power trio that leans towards the much abused “blues rock” formula. Instead each member in the band knows all the nuances of the different feels and tones. Knowing how to get people’s attention, Nathan will often go out solo from the bandstand and burst into a frenzied ragtime breakdown that can lead to a washboard solo on his custom LED lit ‘Washtar Gitboard’! Another unique aspect of a live show is band mate Troy Sandow. He may start off the set on upright bass while Nathan will play an uptown lead guitar style in the vein of B.B. or T-bone Walker. Then he will switch over to amplified harmonica and Nathan will fingerpick a driving groove on his baritone guitar in the style of R.L. Burnside or Lightnin’ Hopkins. Although Nathan’s band pays homage to these traditions and has the same quality of musicianship, there is an original and fresh new energy coming from musicians of a much younger generation”.

Musically Yours,

Steve, Mary Margaret and Shannon