Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin). Together, these five guys have forged a defiant, powerful sound that, while rooted in classic stringband Americana, extends outwards with a fearless, exploratory zeal. The tension and release between these components – tradition and innovation, prearranged songs and improvisation, acoustic tones and electric volume – is what makes them so thrillingly dynamic, in concert and on record.
If you ever find yourself in Burton, Texas—population 359—you may hear some strange sounds coming from a particularly remote barn. The sounds are those of Khruangbin, a psychedelic trio who draw inspiration from the deepest depths of music history: mixing 1960's funk scene in Thailand, 1970's Persian rock music, and 1980's Algerian symphonia with a dash of disco, soul, and Balearic music. Though the band's inspiration comes from all around the world, their roots are distinctly Texan. Ever since their first rehearsals, Khruangbin have recorded at their remote barn, their spiritual home. Which means their stage performance was honed not playing to hipsters in venues, but to cows out to pasture.
Tune-Yards is the experimental duo of New England natives Merrill Garbus and bassist Nate Brenner. Garbus’s sound draws from an eclectic mix of inspiration and deftly intertwines elements such as loop pedals, ukulele, vocals, and lo-fi percussion. Where the loop pedal and the saxophone were main components of their first and second records respectively, it’s the drum that takes center stage in their recent work, augmented by greater use of synth and Brenner’s growing prowess as a bassist.
Drip painting entails actively splashing myriad colors on canvas. Popularized by Jackson Pollock, Janet Sobel, Max Ernst, and other 20th century luminaries, the art form itself relies on action and motion. In similar fashion, energetic splashes of funk, alternative, rock, R&B, and psychedelia color the music of Brooklyn’s Turkuaz. Balancing male-female harmonies, strutting guitars, wild horn arrangements, and interminable grooves, this spirit takes shape in the color donned by each respective member on stage nightly via larger-than-life performances.
The Welterweights are a rock and roll band from Burton’s home state of Vermont. The union of singer songwriters Kelly Ravin and Lowell Thompson proves the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Every show is a unique mashup of Vermont musicians, including Pat Melvin on bass, Michael Chorney on acoustic, Aidan Lenihan on pedal steel, Caleb Elder on fiddle, Sean Preece on drums, and other assorted characters. Check them out for some genuine sounds straight from the Green Mountains.
Thoreau had Walden Pond. Kerouac had Big Sur. Rayland Baxter? He had an old rubber band factory in Franklin, Kentucky, and it suited him just fine. As one of the hardest-touring artists on the road today, baxter’s spent most of his professional life in transit, but ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of creative seclusion someplace lonely and isolated, somewhere he could sit still and devote his every waking hour to writing without interruption or distraction. When the opportunity finally presented itself in late 2016, the Nashville native pounced and hasn’t looked back since.
With roots in Burton’s hometown of Burlington, Vermont, JUPTR is a five-piece Neo-soul outfit that captures the essence and sound of the music that has influenced each member since the beginning of their musical relationships with one another. Forming in 2017, JUPTR is made up of a conglomerate of local musicians from Smooth Antics, Madaila, smalltalker, and The Renegade Groove who deliver hip hop and R&B inspired instrumentals with a focus on creating a comfortable soundscape for harmony rich vocal arrangements to weave through.
Lowell Thompson & Bob Wagner
Lowell Thompson and Bob Wagner will unite to leave an indelible mark on the U·S·Open with their lyrically charged guitar-slinging mashup of rock, blues, folk, and soul. With both artists hailing from Burton’s home state of Vermont, Lowell is a singer/songwriter from Burlington that has been performing for the past 15 years in the area and beyond. Bob is a fixture on the local scene as well, having performed with a slew of talented people such as Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Galactic, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell.
The champ is here! After finishing in 2nd place in Toronto 2013, DJ BYTE won the most prestigious DJ battle in the world to become the Red Bull Thre3style World Champion. With lots of humor and creativity, he played his final set in front of 5,000 visitors and left his high profile competitors with no chance. Through his extensive music knowledge supplemented with his technical skills, the likeable Latino incorporated so many influences to perform like a true champion so that everyone in the club relished the set. The born entertainer is the answer to the one and only question of Red Bull Thre3style: “Who is the best party rocker?’ DJ Byte!
From breakbeats to soul hits, DJ Cre8 has the vinyl stack and skills to entertain any crowd. With over ten years dedicated to the turntables, this DJ from Burlington, Vermont (Burton’s hometown) has rocked venues of all sizes, from intimate private crowds to opening for international acts like Z Trip and Macklemore. His resident nights at Vermont nightclub staples like Red Square and Nectar’s always draw a crowd, which is part of the allure that’s made him a Burton U·S·Open musical staple for the past few years.