Saturday, June 15th
Doors at 7:00 PM
The Blind Owl Band
Hailing from Saranac Lake, NY, in the heart of the Adirondack mountains, The Blind Owl Band has been creating what they call Freight Train String Music since 2010. And a freight train it truly is. Although the quartet's sound is rooted in traditional stringed instruments (guitar, basses, banjo and mandolin), their music surges forward with the strength and power of a hundred-ton diesel locomotive. Songs barrel down the tracks with momentum and intensity normally found in much heavier, heavily amplified music. “Although we look like a bluegrass band we are not," explains co-founder Eric Munley (mandolin, vocals). "Collectively, we're a musical representation of the sounds floating around in our heads. We use the instruments of our ancestors, but play music of our time; we're influenced much more by all that has happened in the musical world over the past three decades than by what was created in the first three-quarters of the 20th Century."
The Blind Owl Band builds on what they regard as a basic approach to traditional songwriting and arranging and push the envelope, stretching the limits of raw, acoustic instrumentation. Munley explains part of the band's mindset: "In a time of perfection and an increasing reliance on digital processors, we're trying to expand the sound, to inspire use of wood and metal." In just under eight years the band has released three albums (Rabble Rousing, This Train We Ride is Made of Wood and Steel and Skeezy Patty) and toured extensively throughout the eastern US, logging nearly 750 show across 17 states since January 2012. They've played on almost every festival east of the Mississippi and shared the stage with countless artists across all genres of the musical spectrum. This freight train has no one conductor but four shovel boys pushing the limits of their engine night after night, so climb aboard and get ready for a one-of-a-kind ride.
The seeds of Dirty Blanket were planted in 2013 at the meeting of lead guitarist Max "Dirty" Flansburg and lead singer/songwriter Kevin "Blanket" O'Leary. Combining an array of unique musical influences with a shared passion for creating new original music, the two began playing as an acoustic duo. Utilizing what free time their other musical projects allowed to book gigs across Upstate NY, they eventually found themselves opening for acts as large as Jeff Austin of the Yonder Mountain String Band and beyond. The summer of 2016 saw the duo's sound take a shift toward a more heavily bluegrass-influenced style, with Max and Kevin crafting new originals and taking to the stage to cover the music of such Americana legends as Hot Rize, Newgrass Revival, the Del McCoury Band, and the like.
In the months that followed, the two were joined by longtime friends Richie Colf on the mandolin, and Joel Fedkiw on the five string banjo. By December of 2016, local Finger Lakes musician Aaron Oldweiler had joined the ranks on upright bass, rounding out the band as a 5-piece, fast-picking bluegrass quintet. The group continues to garner the attention of folk music lovers and festival goers from the Finger Lakes Region and across Upstate NY.