Since Blues Traveler and Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit put on the H.O.R.D.E tour in the nineties, jam bands have been drawn towards joining forces to bring their festival energy to their respective fans’ backyards. In the same vein, Tennessee’s Sicard Hollow, Utah’s Pixie & the Partygrass Boys, and Colorado’s Sweet Lillies are packing up the Americana caravan to bring the next generation of progressive bluegrass to 21 stages across the U.S. this winter on The Great Mountain Groove.
Americana & progressive bluegrass artists have had a big couple years as the American zeitgeist starts to accept a re-branded version of traditional country music. Acts like Taylor Swift, Margo Price, and Sturgill Simpson have reminded the masses of how powerful stripped-down folk music can be, but the future is in the bands that can do it with infectious energy. This is the concept that The Great Mountain Groove is bringing on the road this winter with these musicians.
While it’s no secret that the post-pandemic music industry has resulted in numerous unforeseen barriers that keep up-and-coming acts from sustaining themselves on the road, Pixie & the Partygrass Boys, The Sweet Lillies, and Sicard Hollow started to discuss among themselves how to navigate these barriers before the answer became obvious— they do it together.
In the spirit of H.O.R.D.E and other recent tours that have seen bands teaming up on an even level with their counterparts, these three acts from across the country figured the best way to play to each other's audiences is to play together. This tour does not have your typical “headliner” and “support.” These bands have put ego aside to come together in the spirit of music to help each other thrive in this ever changing landscape. Fans might be surprised when they’re left wondering who plays when - and in many cases, who plays with who!
Nashville’s psychedelic punk-grass rockers, Sicard Hollow, grew up sick of any existing institution telling them who and what to be. Now, as they navigate adulthood, they’re equally tired of the music institutions telling them what their music should sound like—so they dunked it in patchouli and a skate-and-destroy ethos that brings an enduring sound into the modern age.
Hailed as “the hottest band in the Wasatch,” Pixie and The Partygrass Boys is composed of lifelong professional musicians drawn together by a common love of chickens, bluegrass and skiing (& partying). Featuring powerful and soulful, often harmonic vocals and a tight section of strings and rhythm, this tight-knit crew was born out of the belly of a warm cabin after a long day on the slopes - drinking whiskey and singing into the night. With a high energy sound and a love for silly outfits, they travel the land spreading the gospel of whiskey, chickens, and fun for everyone.
The Sweet Lillies' music is hard hitting, dynamic, heartfelt and collaborative. The quartet combines their individual strengths to deliver powerful narratives in song. Drums, guitar, viola, and upright bass give the Sweet Lillies' music an original sound that ranges from old time to hip hop to Rock'n'Roll and everything in between. The Sweet Lillies have incorporated all of their cumulative life-experiences into their music, their song-writing, and their artistry, crafting an uncommonly-beautiful style they refer to as jamgrass americana with a nod to the band’s all encompassing musical tastes and willingness to experiment with genres. As Gussaroff explains, “Some musicians learn from teachers, some learn from family members, and some are self taught. Some musicians are classically trained, some come up through folk, some draw from multiple springs, from hip hop through pop to bebop. In the Lillies' all of these skill sets are valuable, relevant, and appreciated.”