Simon Tucker Group

Simon Tucker Group

Simon Tucker came to Portland, Oregon from his hometown Lewiston, Idaho in 2011 to expand his music career, then 13 years in the making. Less than two years later, Simon has performed at some of Portland's most renowned venues (Crystal Ballroom, Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, The Goodfoot, Mt. Tabor Theater, Laurelthirst Pub, Mississippi Studios, Horning's Hideout), and with some of it's most respected players (Damian Erskine, Mike Snyder, Ben Darwish, Tyler Thompson, Russ Kleiner).

Simon artfully blend his roots in blues, soul, and gospel with more contemporary styles from the 60s onward, and performances highlight his virtuosic guitar skills, and soulful, yet refined voice.

Simon has enjoyed appearances onstage from his friends and fellow Portland musicians Katelyn and Laurie Shook (Shook Twins), Jay Cobb Anderson, Kellen Asebroek, and Mimi Naja (Fruition), and has sat in as a guest with Fruition (on the Cascadia Cafe Stage at Northwest String Summit 2012!), The Quick & Easy Boys, Jay Cobb Anderson Band, Rose City Thorns, Brad Parson's Band, Bitterroot Kory Quinn and more.

Device Grips

Writer Tyler Jon is combining hip hop/blues with fingerpicked guitar through analog synth filters over a live beatbox then looped live. The vocals are heavy, melodic, and hook driven. Device Grips includes Bassist Briton Fortner and Drummer Kyle Nichols.

Sean Anonymous

From humble beginnings at house parties to touring the country and climbing the independent charts, Minneapolis rapper Sean Anonymous has taken his passion for music and ran with it. Rooted in the art of freestyle rapping, his style makes a conscious effort to create fun, energetic music with a message, ideal for both headphones and the dance floor. While still a member of the acclaimed groups Wide Eyes and Bottom Feeders, his 2012 solo debut Anonymo displayed his full range of talent, quickly gaining attention from college radio and hip-hop fans nationwide. It rose to #6 on the CMJ charts and remained there for twelve straight weeks, leading to a highlight slot on the 2012's CMJ Music Marathon in New York. Since then, a spot on Warped Tour, gracing Minneapolis' famed First Ave, and opening for Macklemore at SXSW have all become new notches on Sean's belt. He's achieved everything from a strictly DIY standpoint, building success off pure passion, drive, and raw ability.

"I knew music was my passion for a long time," Sean says, recalling feverishly buying up any hip-hop album he could get his hands on while in 6th grade. Having always played music to some extent, from singing in a choir to playing assorted instruments, freestyle rapping with his friends on the school bus began to spark a certain flame within. While his early favorites like Tupac and Ludacris built a foundation of fandom, discovering local Minneasota rappers like Eyedea and Heiruspecs became the turning point from fan to artist. After transitioning to an alternative high school in 11th grade, he gravitated to like minds Tony Phantom and Dimitry Killstorm, known in the school for making and recording their own hip-hop. Freestyling together became more serious, and eventually led to an invitation to join their group Wide Eyes. Over the course of four days in 2005, they recorded the Seasons EP, which wound up in the hands of Big Zach from Kanser, who saw the spirit behind the rough edges and began to help them get gigs around town. As albums continued to be released - from 2007's Situation, 2008's Inside, 2009's full-length Hands Tied, and 2011's Follow Through - Wide Eyes have continued to build a fanbase and have cemented themselves as a name to know in Twin Cities hip-hop.

"It's really fun being in a group; I like bouncing ideas off each other, people always have different perspectives on where to take a song. But there's a lot of pressure to do certain things, or you have to pressure people to get things done, it's a lot of people's schedules," says Sean of working with his crew. "I've always liked the group mentality, it's a fun way to work. But through the years, I've kind of been taking the solo stuff more serious, it's a little more fast-paced." Originally thinking his first solo venture would involve Wide Eyes producers, Sean instead opted to work with Cincinnati's DJ Corbett - known for producing multiple tracks with Saigon as well as tracks with Bun B and Royce Da 5'9 - to prove he could do something independently from his group. Endless nights in the studio led to the beginnings of what would become Anonymo. "If he was taking the time to work with me, then he believed in the music that we made, probably even more so than I did." Some songs were two years in the making, while some were more spontaneous, but the project came together to a cohesive whole. Features from Abstract Rude and Blueprint on "No B.S." drew some looks from uninitiated rap fans, and the eventual release surpassed initial expectations. Highlighted by CMJ, Bandcamp, and CD Baby, the album set forth Sean Anonymous' business infrastructure to begin his career as a successful musician. A nearly sold-out two night CD release show in Minneapolis in July of 2012, featuring separate shows with a live band backing one night and DJs another, Sean Anonymous officially made his stamp on the local Minneapolis scene and beyond.



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