|Saturday 02 December 2017 @ 09:00pm : -
The Way Down Wanderers
Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, 5-piece modern-folk Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers, draw listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity. Playing, performing and writing together for just 3 short years, the Wanderers have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following. Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores and propensity for performing self-titled, “restSTOMPS” - free acoustic sets at rest & truck stops along their tour routes. The band’s debut, self-titled album, produced by Mike Marsh of the Avett Brothers and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso TX, is now available online, as is International Song Writing Competition finalist, “Dead Birds”.
Front-men and founders, Austin and Collin, met in their hometown of Peoria, IL when they joined the same folk band and embarked on their first tour at the ages of 14 and 18 years old. The two became fast friends and soon began writing music together, ultimately forming The Way Down Wanderers when Collin was 16 and Austin, 20 years old.
Austin Thompson - guitar, lead & harmony vocals as well as percussion in the studio. Austin studied music at the collegiate level where he grew as a musician. Austin finds much inspiration for his lyrics in the beauty of nature and his love for hiking. He adds his unique musical influences of rock, folk and the spoken word to the music he writes and performs.
Collin Krause - Collin plays mandolin, fiddle and sings lead and harmony vocals for the band. Collin became involved in music when he began taking classical violin at the age of 3. Growing up around traditional roots & bluegrass music had a big influence on him. Collin enjoys writing, co-writing and arranging music for the band.
John Merikoski - Drums, Percussion. John has been playing drums since age nine and is featured on dozens of recordings, ranging from Jazz and Metal to Hip-hop and Bluegrass. In 2012 he was awarded a full ride scholarship to study Jazz performance for drum set at the University of Illinois where he has taken a break to pursue The Way Down Wanderers, full-time.
John Williams - Upright bass and vocals. John is a former classical upright bass performance major who also enjoys singing, song-writing and entertaining a crowd
Travis Kowalsky - Banjo & fiddle. Travis got his start in music at a very young age in his family band. He is entirely self-taught and can play pretty much any instrument he picks up. The Wanderers were lucky enough to meet Travis at his home town festival in Alpena Michigan and he has been touring with them ever since.
"...the band actually emerged fully formed, possessing a certain savvy that assures their ability to stand apart in a crowded field of nu-grass contenders. It also assumes that while The Way Down Wanderers may have only just begun their musical journey, they’ve come quite far already." ~ Lee Zimmerman, Relix Magazine
"Their brand new self-titled LP features rip-roaring banjo, carefree mandolin, soaring harmonies, and lush low-end strings. The Way Down Wanderers embark on a locomotive-like barn-burning adventure and beckon us to join—from the first notes of opener “Dead Birds”, a foot-stomping folk tune, to road-trip worthy ramblers like 'Circles' and 'Blacktop Highway', with some snarling guitar-rock thrown in for good measure on tracks like 'Changing', there’s a sparkling gem waiting to be discovered around every single corner on this album." ~ Mother Church Pew
"Infectious - there is an energy in this music that brings a smile." ~ Peter Churchill, AmericanaUK
"We are really liking this." ~ Ricky Ross, BBC Radio Scotland
"The Way Down Wanderers combines folk with boy-band appeal: a quintet with gorgeous vocals, instrumentals, some dreads and a whole bunch of youthful energy." ~ That Music Mag
"These young men create a fresh perspective on the traditional [bluegrass] genre. Kause’s high, ringing tenor carries the band’s enchanting, uplifting drive towards positivity...” ~ Elmore Magazine
"While the band's music won't allow you to sit still, it's their soul-driven lyrics that wend their way into your body and soul." ~ Henry Carrigan
"Even with the cutting, arresting voices of Collin Krause and Austin Thompson on display, the opening tune “Path To Follow” was all about a punchy fusion of drums and banjo. Austin’s vocal leads like 'Dead Birds' had a rippling and dense quality almost like rapping. Collin’s songs like 'Blacktop Highway' had more raspy tenderness. Musically there were jungle drums and mandolin in 'Up North,' alt-Irish-country fiddle in 'Sweet Morning Vision' and punk grass pogo drive in closer 'Truth, Son'." ~ Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots
"A polished sound filled with strong vocals and fantastic harmonizing, made all the better with vivid lyrics and powerful instrumentation." ~ BestNewBands.com