The Mike Strauss Band has existed in various forms over the years. A work in progress, perhaps? Perhaps. I guess you could say that everything begins with Mike. As a songwriter, singer and guitarist his songs, singing and guitar playing establish the outlines that the group embellish, color and sometimes re-shape. It could be country, but it’s not quite country. It could be blues, but it’s not quite blues. Not quite rock, folk or jazz either. Somehow the group manages to live both in and outside of the “Americana” umbrella that these styles inform. Rollick n’ Roll? Rhythm n’ Rues? Perhaps.
At one time consisting of seven (maybe eight?) members spread out on the main stage or crammed in the corner, the current line-up consists of six individuals. Pretty much from the beginning (or at least the recorded history of the group that starts in Charlotte, NC around 2004 with a cd called Gone Electric), Jon Schigoda has been playing the upright bass in the band. Randolph Lewis contributed his unique brand of electric guitar playing (which includes a custom tuning and extensive use of the Bigsby Palm Pedal string bending mechanism) to the second cd How in The World in 2005 and became a regular performer with the band shorty thereafter. Randolph convinced his former band mate (in the band’s “Come On Thunderchild” and “Les Dirt Clods”), drummer David “DK” Kim, to join the group starting with the third cd After All in 2007. By the time the group recorded it’s fourth cd in 2010, Ideal Road, the trombone playing of Molly Jay had become a big factor in the band’s sound. During that cd and the one that followed (2011’s Crooked Heart) the band also included Beth Brown Al-Rawi on fiddle and Donovan Collins on keyboards. When the group began work on it’s most recent recording (The Whole Skinny, slated to be released in early 2014) Beth and Donovan had exited the group and trumpeter Matt Postle had joined. The current line-up with Mike, Jon, Randolph, DK, Molly and Matt continues the musical adventure and expects to be an exciting chapter to the already ten year long journey of this group of music makers.
- When: Saturday, May 19
- Time: 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
- Location: River Jam Stage
- Cost: Free and open to the public
- Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.