This weekend, Saturday, July 15th Bluegrass Underground is excited to host the legendary Jesse McReynolds. As much as we love hearing legends perform underground we equally love to experience new artists in the cave. We are excited to bring Farmer and Adele to the cave this Saturday to warm the cave up before Jesse McReynolds. The Farmer and Adele perform a unique musical style combining classic cowboy music with modern musicality. Their music will at one time take you on a journey to times gone by while retaining modern sensibilities.
Farmer and Adele are self-described as a combo of “Country Western Cowboy + Cowgirl Swing and High Lonesome Sounds.” The band has recently completed a brand new album featuring the legendary Country Western group, Riders in the Sky, titled Into the Wide Open Sky. The album features the lighthearted songbird Grace Adele, and her musical partner Keenan Wade, on a collection of country-western originals and covers. We got the opportunity to talk to Keenan about their upcoming performance and their unique sounds. Come experience them, the cave and Jesse McReynolds this Saturday at Bluegrass Underground. Tickets are still available here.
BGU: What album(s) would we most likely find playing in your stereo these days?
KW: Jazz from the Hills featuring Chet Atkins and Homer & Jethro, Riders in the Sky Live Album, Roy Rogers box set, Jimmy Wakely Trio, Dezurik Sisters, and Marty Robbins!
BGU: How would you describe the sound of Farmer and Adele?
KW: Cow-Folk Country-Western Swing
BGU: Your music can feel old but at the same time it feels modern. How do you capture the old sounds without making it feel copied & fresh?
KW: We love learning a lot of the old songs and it inspires us to write songs capturing the country western swing style. When we recorded with the members of the Riders in the Sky, Too Slim asked us “Who wrote Gone Long Gone? That songs sounds a hundred years old! Where did you find that song?” and which replied that we wrote it. To us, this question is the best compliment!
BGU: Most people expect Nashville sounds to be bluegrass, country or americana. How did this group come to be with such a unique voice?
KW: We love country music and jazz. When we moved to Nashville we heard the Time Jumpers and Riders in the Sky and discovered western swing through them and couldn’t get enough! For us, it’s the perfect combination of both Country and Jazz. Sometimes the style is referred to as Hillbilly Jazz, Country-Western Swing, Cowboy Swing. Through the Time Jumpers and Riders in the Sky we have discovered so much great country-western swing music acts like Homer & Jethro, Bob Wills, Hank Thompson, Gene Autry, Tiny Moore, George Barnes, Delmore Brothers, and countless other acts!
BGU: Bluegrass musicians attend a lot of “bluegrass festivals”, do you tend to attend more “Texas style dances” & “fiddle contests”? Can you tell us what some of the core differences are between the Texas and Nashville music scenes?
KW: To our surprise we are so lucky to attend both: bluegrass festivals and western festivals along with dances to listening rooms. Everywhere we go there are cow-folks!
BGU: Do you think where you’re from originally influences the music you are making today?
KW: We love living in Nashville and it has had such an impact on our style and the music we love to play. We are originally from Ohio, home of legendary cowboys Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy, and heard their music growing up but also heard a lot of great jazz music as well.
BGU: As a musician, what are some tips you’d give yourself when you were first learning if you could back in time?
KW: If you learn the bass, you’ll always have a job.
BGU: Who are the top five musical influences on Farmer and Adele if you had to choose today?
KW: Riders in the Sky. Homer & Jethro, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Bob Nolan & the Sons of the Pioneers, The Delmore Brothers
BGU: Who are some of your favorite young old time artists/bands we should all be on the lookout for right now?
KW: Great question! We love Bill & the Belles, High Plains Jamboree, Quebe Sisters, Milk Carton Kids, Cactus Blossoms, Chris Scruggs and the Stone Fox Five, Rachel Hester, Martha Spencer, Lillie Mae, The Tillers, Logan Ledger, Haunted Windchimes, and countless others that we discover every year through Music City Roots and Americana Festival!
BGU: Where do you guys find new songs for the repertoire? Do you research and scour for old songs? write your own?
KW: We love to collect 78 records at local record stores because so many songs on 78 records have not been digitized and it’s a great way to discover old forgotten artists and songs. We love writing songs and have been so lucky to have co-written several songs with Ranger Doug!
BGU: You’re on a desert island with 1 Album: Bob Willis or John Hartford?
KW: John Hartford sings the Songs of Bob Wills. It’s a vault release coming soon!
BGU: What are some the band’s favorite foods to eat?
KW: Cowboy coffee (from a can), fresh vegetables from our local farmers markets, and Grace Adele’s Famous Strawberry Pie!
BGU: You and Grace have great taste in clothing, do you have favorite shopping spots that you can recommend?
KW: Support your local thrift store and if it’s been picked over, support your favorite vintage store! We are so lucky to have western fashion designers we call friends and they have made us who we are today – We’d like to personally thank Riley Reed!
BGU: Lastly, do you have plans to release a new album or new music in the near future?
KW: Absolutely! Lots of fun coming up! We just cut a whole record direct-to-vinyl, a common recording process done in the late 1940’s-1960 where a band cuts live and the music gets recorded direct to the vinyl disc, and that is set to be released next year. The Farmer & Adele also recorded songs for Electric Fun Stuff, which is a kid’s video game that teaches youth the history of American roots music through interactive learning. We also debut new songs at our once-a-month residency series titled Cow-Folk Western Wednesdays at the Country. Next one coming up will be August 16! Grace and I will be starting our own once a week program for Radio Bristol titled Down the Trail with the Farmer & Adele! This Saturday we will be opening for the legendary Jesse McReynolds at Bluegrass Underground!