Evergreen Grass Band
The seeds were sown for the EverGreen Grass Band in 2008 and cultivated throughout the fertile musical grounds of Eau Claire, WI. The six members of the band, including Chicago import Steve Bateman (harmonica), gathered their traditional bluegrass instruments and grew into one of the most sought after non-traditional bluegrass acts on the Northwood’s musical frontier.
Whether headlining a show or opening for such national acts as Trampled By Turtles, .357 String Band, Pert Near Sandstone or Cornmeal, just to name a few, the band has discovered that once they play a venue they are likely to get invited back. This pattern played out throughout 2010 as these self-proclaimed “not quite a bluegrass band” musicians spent the festival season barnstorming the Midwest building their fan base and promoting their first CD, “For Sheriff”.
2010 saw the release of their much-awaited CD, which received critical acclaim in Volume One, Eau Claire’s art and entertainment magazine. Shortly thereafter, EverGreen was voted “Best Bluegrass Band” in the same publication’s annual reader poll.
“For Sheriff” is a first rate production highlighting the songwriting skills of Tim Litscher (guitar, vocals) and Caleb Horne (mandolin, vocals). The 12 selections, all originals, showcase each picker’s breakneck speed and instrumental prowess with Matt Jagow (banjo, vocals), Mike Turner (fiddle), Dan Turner, (bass, vocals) and Bateman rounding out the personnel. The band’s composition “Backroads Stretches” offers an anyone-can-sing-along delight, the playful “Six Reasons I’m Single” satisfies the urge to kick up one’s hillbilly heels and the opening track, “Rusty Nail”, provides a safe alternative to caffeine for all ages.
While many traditional bluegrass bands commonly repeat lyrical themes, EverGreen has cultivated a wide variety of subjects and outlooks in the song craft of Litscher and Horne. Their melodies stay with the listener and their stories and perspectives reach outside the genre to create unforgettable passages and refrains. Their instrumentation reflects the high energy, non-traditional approach of the band while paying due respect to the time honored roles of the instruments. The recipe results in a well- seasoned musical smorgasbord of Americana delights.
EverGreen Grass Band can be found playing shows throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and beyond. As their exposure to string band fans in the Midwest continues to flourish, the group has its sights focused on a second CD and hopes to add more festivals and concerts to their schedule. Wise promoters and organizers would do well to book them early and often.