Southern Songs and Stories

Collage of images of band playing at Albino Skunk Festival in South Carolina
John Gillespie and Joe Kendrick

"The Deer is a band that does not fit into any one box, or any single term you might use to describe them," said WNCW Program Director Joe Kendrick. "The term “folk” comes up a lot when you hear about this Austin, Texas quintet. Descriptors like “indie folk,” “transcendental Texas folk,” and “psychotropic folk” are all floating around out there, but like so many handles we try to put on music, they are often slippery and ill suited to pick up what artists are laying down.

Collage of musicians playing music
Images By Joe Kendrick

When talking about how things used to be two decades ago, Adam Aijala, guitarist and founding member of Yonder Mountain String Band said, “We could play a hardcore bluegrass festival, and we'd be the weird band; we could play a jam band festival and be the only band without drums.” That’s not always the case for this now five-piece group nowadays, but they still find themselves in a place where few artists stay for long: bridging the musical territories of classic bluegrass with jam and psychedelia. 

Band members playing music on stage
John Gillespie

Dan Lotti once said, “For me, the whole artistic process is rooted in a sort of spiritual practice. I’m not outwardly yogic, but every single day I’m involved in a yogic practice of meditation and stretching. I think that practice inevitably breathes and inspires the music. It opens you up to a lot of different perspectives.” For Dan and his band Dangermuffin, the music they make is meant for both fun and for healing. Their songs are both for bringing community together, and for letting loose and enjoying a tight jam. Here, those jams are mostly acoustic.

From the desk of WNCW Program Director and Producer of Southern Songs and Stories, Joe Kendrick:

 

John Gillespie