Like an old-time barn dance in downtown New Orleans, the Bumper Jacksons pull together a vast array of early American traditions into a deliciously cohesive sound that strikes you right in the heart. Joyous ragtime dances and roadhouse drinking songs are valleyed by delicate waltzes of loss and regret. The Bumper Jacksons are returning to Pittsburgh’s Club Cafe on Tues, June 21st. They’ll be performing tracks from all 3 of their previous albums as well as new songs set for their upcoming 2017 release. Local favorite Squirrel Hillbillies will open.
The Bumper Jacksons have been honored as the Mid-Altantic’s 2015 “Artist of the Year” by the Washington Area Music Awards, as well as “Best Traditional Band,” and “Best Traditional Recording.” This success blossomed from their simple beginnings in 2012 as a country-meets-city duet between Jess Eliot Myhre (clarinet, vocals, washboard) and Chris Ousley (guitar, vocals, banjo) in the backyards, living rooms and front porches of DC and Baltimore. They crafted a sound built from their time exploring the dark jazz clubs of New Orleans and old-time fiddler’s festivals throughout the southern Appalachians.
As Chris and Jess established the roots of the Bumper Jacksons’ sound, they drew the attention of some of the best players in DC and Baltimore. They’ve added four new members who have helped mature the sound into what you hear today. Dave Hadley (pedal steel), Alex Lacquement (upright bass, vocals), Dan Samuels (drum kit, suitcase) & a variety of brass players masterfully amplify the diversity of tone, rhythm and power that defines the band’s core sound. The success of the band’s last two albums – Sweet Mama, Sweet Daddy Come In(2014) and Too Big World (2015) – demonstrate the ongoing refinement of their scrappy-yet-elegant sound that explores a full spectrum of human emotion in its goal for the caramel core of Americana.
They’ve built a strong community of fans around their sound at home and it was through this community’s support that the Bumper J’s have garnered the respect of regional arts foundations (2013-15 Washington Area Music Award winners, 2015-16 Strathmore Music Hall Artists in Residence, recipients of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Touring Grant 2016-2017) and are able to push out into new cities and communities across North America.
So whether it’s a packed house in a historic amphitheater or a fireside in the hills of Appalachia, the intimate ballads, growly blues, and fast paced two-steps will call you into another world that’s at once like home and the road. Their truly Americana sound that grabs at your soul and connects you with over 150 years of human passion. If you’ve got lips, they’ll smile… if you’ve got feet, they’ll dance… if you’ve got a heartbeat, it’ll quicken… all when you hear the sounds of the Bumper Jacksons.