Upstate Rubdown is an acoustic septet drawing inspiration from every corner (and decade) of America’s musical heritage. Based in New York’s Hudson Valley region, the band has spent years cultivating its sound, and continues to grow by the tune. The instrumentation includes Harry D’Agostino on upright bass, Ryan Chappell on mandolin, Dean Mahoney on cajón, and Christian Joao on flute and alto/baritone saxophone. The dynamic rhythm section supports a three part vocal harmony powerhouse of founding members Mary Kenney and Melanie Glenn with recent Nashville-transplant Allison Olender.
Over its five year history, the band has played in more than twenty states, from intimate house concerts to prominent festival stages, including Mountain Jam, Frendly Gathering, and Green River Festival. The band has opened for Cory Henry, Phox, The Felice Brothers, and many others.
Big, bad beauty from Boise, Idaho, Emily Braden covers a lot of ground. Whether she’s fronting an orchestra on the west coast or leading a world-class trio in the heart of Manhattan, Braden has the innate ability to win the heart of any audience with her powerhouse vocals and striking stage presence.
Winner of New York City’s prestigious “Best of the Best” Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Braden’s signature sound is an effortless blend of jazz and soul. Her knock-out debut album Soul Walk is composed of high-energy originals and “flipped-out” jazz standards. Producer Misha Piatigorsky says, “As a singer, Emily has no boundaries. She gives me goose bumps.” Braden has performed as a headliner at NYC venues such as the Blue Note Jazz Club (Late Night Groove Series), Nublu, Smalls Jazz Club, Zinc Bar, The Kitano and the Iridium Jazz Club as well as on international stages. She recently completed a weekly residency at Richard Bona’s Club Bonafide in New York City with guitarist Richard Padrón. Braden’s versatility and infectious energy make her a highly sought after collaborator and special guest. She is the lead vocalist and lyricist for the twenty plus member Sketchy Orkestra and works regularly with her band Double Bass, Double Voice, Oliver Swain’s Big Machine and saxophonist Matt Parker.
In April 2014, Braden was selected by the US Embassy to travel to Burkina Faso, West Africa as part of the Arts Envoy program. The Emily Braden Quartet closed out the Jazz a Ouaga Festival with a standing ovation. This past fall she headlined a weekend of performances at Club Esse in Moscow, Russia with trumpeter Vitaly Golovnev. This past December, her love for groove and percussion led her to Cuba where she performed and studied with local musicians putting her Masters degree in Spanish to good use.
See Braden live and she’ll make you a believer. This girl is smokin’, smokin’ hot.
Mollie O’Brien and her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, have for nearly 30 years quietly made it their mission to find, mine and reinvent other artists’ songs. They are geniuses at the craft of interpretation in the way that great singers, since the beginning of popular American music, have made the songs of their era their own. As songwriters they add their own tunes to the canon of American roots music they inhabit and show us they’re completely at home with their musical selves.
Grammy winner Mollie has long been known as a singer who doesn’t recognize a lot of musical boundaries, and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles. She is a singer at the very top of her game who’s not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the material she chooses.
Rich, while known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, is also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O’Brien’s twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership.
Upstate New York based indie folk-pop duo-band featuring what Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.” Their 2014 debut release, Love We Are We Love, received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, and No Depression, among others, gathering nearly 10 million streams on Spotify. The animated video for their song “Waiting” sparked viral interest including Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, and inclusion at the international TED 2015 conference. Mountain Stage host Larry Groce calls them “ready to take their place among the best young male/female duos now performing.” Their 2016 release, the six-song EP In the Altogether, recently earned features by Apple Music including Best of the Week and A-List Singer/Songwriter. The Sea the Sea will be performing a full band show with Steve Struss on drums and percussion and Cara May Gorman on backing vocals and percussion.
Charlie Baran has lived a life of music. Before moving the the United States he was a founding member of the legendary Honduran musical group Banda Blanca, who’s song “Sopa de Caracol” became the #1 Billboard Top Latin Songs hit in 1992. Now a maintenance man at a Catholic grade school by day, Charlie has kept his musical flame glowing largely through acoustic solo performances around the Chicago for the past ten years.
Charlie Baran is a true virtuoso. No one sees him perform without recognizing the presence of a true master – an heir to a rich tradition of Honduran music, as well as a guitar slinging showman and a gifted songwriter whose skill transcends all genres. But throughout most of his career he has existed in the shadows – until the formation of Radio Free Honduras.
Radio Free Honduras is a diverse collective of Chicago musicians, all united under one goal – supporting the artistry of Charlie Baran and bringing this tremendous talent into the spotlight where it belongs. Founded by Dan Abu-Absi, longtime guitarist for JT and the Clouds and Birds of Chicago, Radio Free Honduras plays mostly Baran originals, but their live shows often feature a wide variety of reimagined cover songs. This band provides Charlie with the wide musical pallet his talent (and songs) deserve. Abu-Absi has gathered a large, revolving collective of some of Chicago’s most talented musicians; lively percussion, eclectic instrumentation, and rich harmonies all provide the backdrop, allowing Charlie to do what he does best – stunning guitar work, tapping into what seems a limitless supply of energy and enthusiasm for music.
Charlie Baran has lived a long and storied musical life – but very few are familiar with his side of the story. Radio Free Honduras has made it their mission to change that.