Trampled Under Foot, Moreland and Arbuckle
Justin Andrew Murray
11120 W. Kellogg
Wichita, KS, 67209
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Trampled Under Foot
Given their upbringing, it’s no wonder Trampled Under Foot have quickly become one of the hottest up-and-coming blues bands on the circuit today. Siblings Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals) and Kris Schnebelen, (drums) have a lifelong connection with the blues. Growing up in Kansas City, MO, the hard-charging trio soaked up the music of their parents, who were active in the thriving blues scene.
“Our dad was in bar bands but he was also recognized as a great blues guitar player,” says Nick, describing the influence his father had on his music. “He’d take us to blues jams where we’d meet some real old school artists and hear a huge cross section of roots music.” His father’s love of poetry also made an impact. “It led to a more intellectual style of writing and tipped us off to some techniques that made our music more dynamic.”
After years of playing in separate bands, Danielle, Kris and Nick decided to keep things in the family and formed Trampled Under Foot (TUF). “The bonds are stronger with family,” Kris says. “You’re more familiar with each other, that’s for sure.”
“We just decided to go for it,” adds Nick. “In our younger years, we were still developing, so it was good to take on this group in our early- to mid-twenties after we already had some experience under our belts.”
A pivotal moment came in 2008 when Trampled Under Foot headed to Memphis for the Blues Foundation’s 24th International Blues Challenge and walked away with first place, proving to the world that they’re a band to be reckoned with. Nick also took home the prestigious Albert King Award for best guitarist. “When we won, I couldn’t believe it,” says Danielle. “It opened up a lot of doors for us, and we got some really great gigs out of it.”
After several acclaimed self-released albums, Trampled Under Foot debuts Badlands July 9, 2013 on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group. Toughened by years of nonstop roadwork, Badlands reveals a musical sophistication well beyond the band’s years.
On Badlands, the band worked again with producer Tony Braunagel at his Ultratone Studios in California. The drummer in the Phantom Blues Band, Braunagel plays some percussion on the album and recruited veteran keyboardist Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Etta James) to play keys. Johnny Lee Schell, who also recorded the album, adds acoustic guitar to one track and even mother Lisa Swedelund provides some additional backing vocals. John Porter mixed the final results at Independent Street Studios in New Orleans.
“Tony Braunagel is awesome,” Nick says. “He’s the guru guy. He has a blues crew. They’ve all been playing together for 20 plus years. We came on their team. I was excited about the star quality of the guys on the album, but their musical ability let us really dig in. Mike Finnigan plays more piano and organ and Rhodes than he did on the last record. That makes the record shine so much more.”
The album shows off the band’s maturity right from the opening notes of the first track, the break-up ballad “Bad Bad Feeling.” Danielle sounds particularly vulnerable (and hurt) as she adopts the persona of a woman scorned and sings, “You say I’m crazy/I’m making it up” and recounts seeing “the other woman” at a party. While the songs on the album aren’t all dark, they do have a sharper edge to them than the tunes on the band’s previous studio efforts.
“Everyone’s writing ability came up,” says Nick. “And there’s grittier guitar on this record that I’m excited about. We don’t pick one style of rock blues. There’s gospel and full-on dirty blues. There’s also a danceable quality.”
Propelled by a funky keyboard riff, “Dark of the Night” offers a bit of inspiration despite addressing “broken dreams.” A mid-song guitar solo shows off Nick’s terrific chops. He holds his own on the mic, too, as he sings lead on the roadhouse rocker “Don’t Want No Woman” and the soulful title track. The disc comes to a close with a spirited rendition of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.”
“That song has always been propelled by such a large band, and they have a huge horn section with strings on it too,” says Nick. “I think it’s awesome. Midwestern guys don’t get a lot of funk influence, but we got that going on. I was a huge James Brown fan. I decided to make it stark and bare and Danielle shines over the top. For this song, it’s about her vocals. That’s Danielle in her essence.”
Kris agrees the song provides a showcase for Danielle’s powerhouse vocals. “It’s a legendary tune and I just lay back on it,” he says. “I just try to support it and let her put it all out there. She’s such a talented performer.”
Danielle also demonstrates her range on “You Never Really Loved Me,” as she nails the upper register notes and then simmers down into a lower register for the song’s finale. And she’s in terrific form on the soulful ballad “I Didn’t Try” and the mid-tempo number “Home to You.”
Now, only a few years after hitting the radar, Badlands represents a rite of passage for a band that is knocking on the door of greatness. “All I really want to do is inspire goodness in people. I’m really passionate about the blues and about music,” Danielle says. “My lyrics are really personal to me; I’m like an open book. I’m always honest about the music, and I hope I can inspire people. I want the listener to get something out of it. I want the audience to have a good time dancing and laughing with me while I take them on a journey.”
One thing is certain, Trampled Under Foot are in it for the long haul. Look for them to flex their blues-rock muscles this summer when they go on tour, performing live throughout the United States and Europe in support of Badlands.
Moreland and Arbuckle
Guitarist Aaron Moreland and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle have spent over a decade exploring the edges of American roots music. In the process, Moreland & Arbuckle have forged a relentless and haunting sound that merges Delta blues, folk, rock, traditional country, soul and numerous other echoes and murmurs from an infinitely layered musical narrative that spans more than a century.
The Moreland & Arbuckle journey began when the two met at an open-mic jam at a club in Wichita, Kansas, in 2001. Moreland had just moved into town a few months earlier from Emporia – a city located some eighty-five miles to the northeast. A guitarist since age 15, his source material was admittedly diverse – Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Black Sabbath, Charley Patton, Motley Crue – but he’d settled into traditional blues by the time he’d arrived in Wichita in his mid-20s.
Arbuckle, a native of Wichita, had been playing in a blues rock bar band at the time, but his truest sensibilities ran a couple generations deeper, into the heart of the Mississippi Delta. He counts iconic figures like harpists Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williams and guitarist Son House among his most profound influences.
“It was kind of perfect,” says Arbuckle of the chance encounter between the two musicians. “We had a shared vision, in a place where there really wasn’t much interest in – or support for – country blues.”
Moreland joined Arbuckle’s blues rock band for the last few months before the project dissolved, then the two started a quartet called the Kingsnakes, which Arbuckle describes as “electrified Mississippi blues mixed with a sludgy, jam-oriented rock thing.” The project incorporated a range of sounds: soul, country, funk, jam rock, blues and whatever else worked. Horner joined in 2003, but left after just a few months. A few bass players came and went in the years that followed, until Moreland and Arbuckle discovered they could lay down a solid groove on their own.
Then again, Moreland does his share of work at the bottom end. In addition to the more typical Telecaster and Les Paul guitars, his arsenal also includes a hand-crafted instrument consisting of four strings stretched across a cigar box. One string feeds into a bass amp, and the other three into a guitar amp. It’s a gritty, electrified descendent of the cigar box guitars played by countless Delta bluesmen of the early 1900s who, for all of their innate talents, were too impoverished to afford the real thing.
“There was no real adjustment for me,” Moreland says of his first encounter with the instrument, which was crafted by a friend in Memphis. “I just picked it up and played it. When I play a regular guitar, I hold down those bottom strings with my thumb and pluck those to get a kind of groove going. So when I first started playing the cigar box with the bass string, it just worked perfect with my style of playing.”
Moreland & Arbuckle crafted three self-produced album in rapid-fire succession – Caney Valley Blues in 2005, Floyd’s Market in 2006 and 1861 in 2008. “There have been times in the past when I’ve gone on a rant that we’re not writing enough,” says Moreland. “But then I look at our catalog and say, ‘Well, that’s stupid. We’ve put out all this stuff in a short period of time.’ When I look at it that way, I’d say we’re fairly prolific.”
The band took that hefty catalog to Iraq for nearly two weeks in the fall of 2008 to play for the American troops stationed there. “It was a crazy awesome experience,” says Moreland. “Super-grueling. Twelve days of about four hours of sleep per day. From a physical standpoint, it was pretty tough. But to go into a tattered, war-torn area where tens of thousands of fellow Americans were putting their lives on the line every day, minute by minute, was a very rewarding experience. I’d never experienced anything like it before.”
Moreland & Arbuckle made their debut on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group, with the February 2010 release of Flood. The critically-acclaimed album was a giant step in the group’s never-ending quest to unearth the rawest and most honest elements of the American music tradition – without getting caught up in definitions and categories that would only serve to limit the vision.
After the release of Flood, Moreland & Arbuckle hit the road for tour dates with ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Los Lonely Boys and other blues and rock veterans.
Moreland & Arbuckle built on that solid foundation with the August 2011 release of Just A Dream. Featuring a guest appearance by legendary soul guitarist Steve Cropper, the 12-song set is a showcase for Moreland’s dynamic and compelling guitar work and Arbuckle’s emotionally charged vocals and edgy harp.
On July 30, 2013, Moreland & Arbuckle, along with new drummer Kendall Newby, are set to release 7 Cities, their most ambitious work ever. Teamed for the first time with Seattle-based producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, the Sword) and recorded in Stone Gossard’s studio, the album tells the story of Spanish explorer Coronado and his fabled search for the seven cities of gold in the Kansas plains, not far from where the band lives. The sounds of 7 Cities include vintage rock (“Kow Tow”) and twang (“The Devil and Me”), along with a few barnburners (“Tall Boogie,” “Road Blind”) and a surprising version of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” all of it rooted in the spirit of the Delta blues.
“It’s hard to say exactly what we are and what we do,” says Arbuckle. “Blues is definitely at the core, but we’re huge fans of all sorts of American music, and all of that comes through as well. Obviously, there are elements of traditional country in what we do, elements of vintage rock and roll, soul and all that sort of stuff. We always try to stay grounded in that traditional blues center, and at the same time branch out and do as many different things as we can while still keeping it consistent with the sound we’ve developed.”
Justin Andrew Murray
Having just made the move up to Kansas City last August, Justin's musical journey has just begun. While pursuing musical efforts back home was fulfilling and educational, Justin always had his sights set elsewhere. Always. Justin will be the first to admit that he doesn't have much to his name, so that being said, he counts himself to have been VERY fortunate to befriend Kansas City’s own local rising star, Samantha Fish, and veteran blues rock master, Mike Zito. With their help, Justin was finally able to land on a musical destination where he could expand as a player and discover his own artistic identity. After a brief stint of playing guitar for the one and only Mary Bridget Davies, he has started the trek down his own musical path. Combining the likes of blues, rock, and country, he is just beginning to discover his own unique, musical sound.
$15.00 - $18.00
All seating is general admission. A limited number of table reservations for groups of 4 or more are available at The Cotillion and by phone @ 316.722.4201.
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