Head For The Hills w. Diet Folk

Head For The Hills

Head for the Hills has a simple but continuing dilemma they can’t seem to resolve. Specialists have been hired to no avail and the predicament persists: how does one describe the multifarious music of Head for the Hills? Among the top contenders are catchy turns of phrase like post-bluegrass, progressive string music, modern acoustic noir, and bluegrass bricolage. “On top of modern string music,” (Bluegrass Today), “Cutting edge,” (Drew Emmitt) or “Best in Colorado Bluegrass” (Westword Showcase Readers Poll)—those are up there too. Strip away the artful descriptors and you have a forward thinking group of {mostly} acoustic musicians drawing on eclectic influences, tastes and styles. They didn’t grow up immersed in bluegrass music but came to it later in life, with each other. The result is a sound based in bluegrass that reaches into indie rock, jazz, hip hop, world and folk to stitch together fresh songs that bridge the divide between past and future acoustic music.
Head for the Hills—Adam Kinghorn on Guitar and vocals, Joe Lessard on violin and vocals, Matt Loewen on upright bass and vocals and Sam Parks on mandolin — have been bringing their music, whatever you’d like to call it, to audiences from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to South by Southwest and a multitude of stages in between since 2004. The band has independently issued two studio records and one live, been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, co-released a beer with Odell Brewing Company in May 2013 and charted on the CMJ Top 200 (Blue Ruin, 2013 and Head for the Hills, 2010). Blue Ruin, an all-new album of original material is available now.
Meta-fictional sea shanties. Pop-infused newgrass murder ballads and urbane lyricism. Twang and punch. Head for the Hills’ fourth record, Blue Ruin, fuses bluegrass, jazz, hip-hop and indie rock into songs inspired by love and misery and comic books. Featuring twelve new original songs marked by moving narratives and stellar musicianship, Blue Ruin showcases the quartet’s contemporary take on acoustic music; embracing the bluegrass pedigree while looking forward. Recorded and mixed in Fort Collins, Colorado at Swingfingers Studios with ace engineer and banjoist Aaron Youngberg (Martha Scanlan, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West), Blue Ruin features contributions from Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), James Thomas, Gabe Mervine (The Motet), and more. Renowned screen print artist Timothy Doyle (Muse, The Black Keys, Lucas Films, NASA) created the stunning cover art and Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer David Glasser rounds out the production team. This is Head for the Hills at their most artistically fulfilled: self-produced and in top form. Blue Ruin is more than just a “bluegrass” record—it’s a Head for the Hills record.
A quintessential Colorado band, Head for the Hills has been fortunate to work with many of the area greats, starting with Grammy Award winning Dobroist Sally Van Meter, producer of 2007’s Robber’s Roost. Legacy Colorado musician and LeftoverSalmon mandolin player Drew Emmitt came in to produce 2010’s Head for the Hills. The list goes on, with a bevy of talent from Colorado and beyond surrounding 2010’s Head for the Hills; including Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The Raconteurs), technical wizard and Pink Floyd re-master engineer Gus Skinas, Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), Kyle James Hauser (Sonablast! Recording Artist) and keyboardist James Thomas, with String Cheese Incident guitarist and Colorado mainstay Billy Nershi rounding out the lineup as studio host and collaborator. In 2012 Head for the Hills released their first live record (Live). Captured in high fidelity sound & culled from 5 great nights in Colorado, Live is just that; the band live and unadorned, performing favorite original material and select covers.
Here are a few of the things people all over the country have been saying about Head for the Hills: “Cutting edge. Listeners will fully enjoy this unique sound,” Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon); “Head for the Hills possesses that secret ingredient,” Ryan Dembinsky (Glide Magazine, Hidden Track); “Critics Picks-What we think you should hear at SxSW,” (Austin Statesman/360.com); “Summer Stars” (Relix Magazine); “Fiery and precise – what modern bluegrass should be,” City Weekly (Salt Lake City, UT); “A very modern indie rock approach to bluegrass,” Daily Herald (Provo, UT); “Colorado Neo-bluegrassers Head for the Hills combine old and new and carry the torch for a new generation,” Ryan Heinsius (Flagstaff Live); “Rising stars of the acoustic string scene,” (BluegrassLA); “The band is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with many of their predecessors, and in the process creating their chapter in the ever-continuing story of bluegrass,” (Marquee Magazine); “Reshaping the genre as a whole,” Sam Sanborn (Oregon Music News); “The name Head for the Hills connotes hightailing it, running away. Yeah right. From the growing crowd of fans in hot pursuit,” Susan Viebrock (Telluride Inside & Out); “Supremely satisfying,” Eric Podolsky (Jambase.com).
-Ryan Dembinsky, (Glide Magazine, Hidden Track)

Diet Folk Duo

Like a mixed drink on a summer night, Diet Folk is a blend of intoxicating and smooth comfort. This Duluth, Minnesota based group of soulful folk musicians epitomize the spirit of blending the old with the new; reaching for new territory while keeping their roots planted firmly in the ground. Established in 2010, they have brought their inimitably unique style of Americana from the Northland of Minnesota to countless stages and garnered fans across the globe.

Anything but derivative, Diet Folk pays homage to both the bluegrass roots of Americana – snapping banjo, acoustic instrumentation and lyrical refinement – as well as their own background coming of age in a world of Pandora, Spotify and the melting pot of music that is “independent radio” . The result is something new and unique; a smooth blend of folk and pop music – something the band calls “Soulgrass.”
Featuring Welch and Rawlings styled harmonies and instrumental prowess, Diet Folk presents music that can one minute resemble Amos Lee fronting the Avett Brothers and then a 50’s prom night in the next. Carried along by Boyd Smith’s jazz-infused percussion intelligence, Dedric Clark’s smokey vocals swell and lift melodies over Tony Petersen’s chiming, precise banjo.


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