Below are several of the artists that have performed at one of our venues and come back from time to time.
Ariel & Jacob
Fresh out of the Quad Cities, Ariel McReynolds and Jacob Hemenway combine their experience to offer a fresh take on classic and contemporary pop, country, and rock. The blending of their voices makes for a unique experience being enjoyed by all ages.
Ariel & Jacob On Heartland Connections
Avey Grouws Band
“The influence of the Mississippi River on American jazz, blues and roots music is indisputable. Communities that have grown up along “Old Man River” gave birth to a unique sound. – Rick J Bowen
“Semi Finalists at the 2020 International Blues Competition, Avey Grouws Band channels its pent-up enthusiasm and not slight musical ability toward an individuated brand of blues-rock that recommends its first album. Jeni Grouws’ limber voice rings with conviction, ratcheting up intensity on original tunes sans artifice. She shares the dominant aural presence with far-above-average guitarist, Chris Avey, who ranges from Robert Crayish spikiness to jazzy lyricism. – Frank-John Hadley
Avey Grouws Band On Heartland Connections
Avey Grouws Band-Spotify
Avey Grouws Band-Instagram
Evan Bartels has continued to learn and collect stories following the release of his 2017 debut album, The Devil, God, & Me. His experiences of touring throughout the United States and becoming a father have enhanced his perspective and widened his lens of the world. The past two years of his life have offered deeper insight and empathy toward the struggles of the human experience, and he clearly expresses this in his poignant and personal songwriting.
Storytelling has always been a fixture in his writing, and Bartels continues to evolve his narratives by digging deeper beneath the surface and clinging to an authentic message. He captures a moment and fleshes it out to its barest, rawest form, thereby creating a piece of art that—regardless of genre or setting—moves the listener. Bartels’s most current work embodies this action and directly reflects his mission to convey truthful narratives.
Evan Bartels On Heartland Connections
Clark Beckham’s killer vocals and profound music abilities as a multi-instrumentalist has led him on a journey from busking on the streets to performing on national television in front of millions of viewers.
Clark gained national recognition in 2015 when he became runner-up on season 14 of American Idol. Since Idol, Clark has been nominated for the Teen Choice award for Music’s Next Big Thing, signed with Quincy Jones, and released his first single “I Need”, produced by Steve Jordan.
Clark Beckham on Heartland Connections
You can smell the dirt in the fields, hear the wind as it blows across the plains, and see the people that Chicago Farmer sings about. Each track captures a moment in time, whether for a person or a particular place. Imagine if a John Steinbeck short story had been written as a song, and this will give you a fairly good idea as to what Chicago Farmer accomplishes on his albums.
Chicago Farmer on Facebook
Chicago Farmer on Heartland Connections
Barry Cloyd is a Midwestern based, full-time touring singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and educator who has spent a lifetime creating a performance style that weaves the genres of Celtic, Blues, Folk and Roots music into a unique blend all his own. Performing over 200 shows per year, Barry, a strong vocalist as well as a storyteller, theatrical performer and historian, delivers his music on a multitude of guitars (6 & 12 string, Dobro, high-strung, archtop jazz, electric, etc.) and other stringed instruments, such as 5-string banjo, mandolin, requinto and bouzouki. Barry is also the founder of the band “Celtricity”, a fusion group that weaves together the genres of Celtic, Blues, World and Original music.
Barry Cloyd On Heartland Connections
Hailing from the Ireland cities of Armagh and Derry, Ciara McCafferty (vocals), Ciaran Carlin (Flute/Whistles) and Paul Starrett (Guitar) Emer Mallon (Harp) and Conor Mallon (Uilleann Pipes/Whistles). Labelled as the Hottest New Group out of Northern Ireland, (Chicago Irish American News) Connla have been quickly making an impact on the folk/traditional scene.
Since the release of their EP in April 2015, and album “River Waiting” in July 2016 they have received fantastic reviews at home and internationally. They have already gathered a big following in the UK, Ireland, Europe and the USA. Songlines magazine made Connla their “must see act” for the tour of the UK and stated “A band this young shouldn’t be this good”. Their sensitive and innovative arrangements of traditional and modern folk songs and tunes, have helped them create a sound which is very identifiable as Connla.
Connla on Twitter
Connla on Youtube
Connla on Soundcloud
Connla on Spotify
Sit with him for five minutes and you’ll know that Gerdes is a natural-born storyteller. Part of the burgeoning, modern, underground, outlaw, country music field, Craig Gerdes is makin’ tracks and on the move. Steeped in the white lines, black tar and diesel smoke of the American highway, Craig Gerdes—is raw and real, a document of a road-tested band fast on the rise. Ever since the central-Illinois songwriter released his lauded 2018 debut LP, Smokin’ Drinkin’ & Gamblin’, he’s been on tour almost constantly, playing upwards of 150 shows per year, including opening slots and festival support for top country and Americana artists from Tyler Childers and Paul Cauthen to Jamey Johnson and Cody Jinks, as well as a lengthy run with hard-rocker-turned-country-star Aaron Lewis.
Craig Gerdes On Heartland Connections
You know that pair of washed out old jeans you put on that are a bit faded from use, but still look great and make you feel like “you’re back” when you wear them? Those jeans that are perfect for a night out on the town, but still hold up at a nice family dinner? Harvest Sons recreate this feeling through their nostalgic blend of folk, rock and Americana, and transport you into their rust belt state of mind. Harvest Sons is based out of Peoria, Illinois, and sound like Counting Crows, Tom Petty and The Wallflowers getting together for a Thanksgiving dinner.
“Call it what you want… Rust Belt Americana, Black Dirt Country, call it authentic. The musical equivalent of driving home from work on a gravel road in your pickup truck, this is real music. Harvest Sons is one of those bands whose music sounds familiar the first time you hear it and gets better with each listening.” – Jerry Kolb, Producer and Founder of WTVP’s State & Water (PBS Peoria) https://www.harvestsons.com/ https://www.facebook.com/theharvestsons
Hermitage Green are a five piece band from Limerick, Ireland. They came together in 2010 as a result of a spontaneous jam session between friends. Their unusual lineup of instruments includes two percussionists playing djembe and bodhran, along with guitars, keys, dobro, banjo, harmonica and four part vocal harmonies. After touring extensively across the globe they finally settled down in 2015 to record their debut album. ‘Save Your Soul’ was released in Ireland in March 2016 through Sony Music and went to number three in the Irish Music Charts. The successful release was followed by more touring in Europe, The Middle East, Canada and the U.S. and a highlight performance on the mainstage of the Electric Picnic festival. Late 2016 saw them play a sold out Irish tour where they filled Dublin’s iconic Olympia Theatre and the Cork Opera House. 2017 saw them kick off the year with a visit to Kansas Folk Alliance and another UK Tour. This was followed by a sell out performance in their biggest headline show to date at King Johns Castle in Limerick. Hermitage Green have spent the last couple of years touring and selling out shows in Ireland, the UK & Australia.
To say Brook Hoover is an amazing guitarist, would force his many guitars to stand up and fight whoever made such a statement in defense, that he deserved even higher accolades! The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017 Spirit Award winner plays a sound steeped in the rock traditions of Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Buddy Holly, John Lee Hooker… or just name your favorite! Brook also plays with the rock’n “Surf Zombies” while giving back to the youth teaching guitar lessons and reveling in their success!
Brook Hoover On Heartland Connections
Bryce Janey began his career at the age of 13 in his hometown of Marion, IA in a family blues-rock trio called The Janeys and played regionally and nationally from Chicago to Los Angeles. They shared the stage with many Chicago artist and national acts, including Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, Blues Traveler, Johnny Winter, and Elvin Bishop. Bryce has even performed onstage with Kenny Neal, Buddy Guy, Tab Benoit, and including the late great “Queen of the Blues” Koko Taylor. While still in The Janeys, Bryce began a solo career and released his first CD, Practice What You Preach in 1995. Since then, he has released many more CDs, most of which have gained national attention including a five star rating from Blues Access magazine, as well as stellar reviews from Blues Revue and Living Blues. Bryce Was Inducted into the Iow Rock-n-Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007. Bryces albums have been described ed as ”Phenomenal, top-shelf, world-class, soul-powered, retro-70s bluesy heavy guitar with ‘six string mojo’ that truly delivers on all levels of greatness,” and that “this is Bryce Janey’s finest hour and he stands tall in the supreme blues/rock guitar world.” Bryce won the Iowa Blues Challenge in 2011, and in 2012 was an IBC Semi-Finalist in Memphis,TN.
Bryce Janey On Heartland Connections
Angela Meyer has been performing professionally since she was just 16 years old, staying true to “writing songs for empty rooms & broken hearts in hopes to fill them up”. A storyteller with a passion for her listeners, Angela pulls in the crowd with a sweet voice and brutal honesty. She isn’t afraid to tackle heavy topics within her songwriting, but also pokes at the humor in everyday life. Her first love was the horse, and she knew nothing about this “western music” until committing a crime she swore to never do- falling in love with a cowboy. Now she has fallen in love again, this time with the tradition & respect within a community of folks passionate for preserving this beautiful way of life.
Angela Meyer On Heartland Connections
TOM SHARPE is an internationally recognized, award-winning composer, performer, and recording artist. He is a sought out clinician and performer of his own works, and the artistic director and principal performer of the SHARPE WORLD MUSIC ENSEMBLE. Along with his own music, Tom is the drummer for the widely popular, Grammy award winning group, MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER. A classically trained musician, Tom has blended his orchestral background with world music instrumentation and cinematic imagery to create an experience that invites the listener into the heart of the musical moment – wildly emotional and technically precise, with a gutsy edge of percussive frenzy and tribal ritual.
Tom Sharp On Heartland Connections
His gritty vocals and vintage arrangements have reverberated from the Chicago music scene since the release of his freshman EP, What We Say We Are, at the end of 2014. Following his debut, rooted in Americana and Folk, Tyler’s track “Red River” was given EDM treatment with collaborator, Chris Meid, and signed as a single with Warner Music. Following was a slew of collaborations from across the globe resulting in tens of millions of streams on Spotify alone. Since, Sjöström has taken his new role as Singer-Songwriter to heart, working with DJs and producers around the world developing a taste and adeptness for topline writing, studio work, and live performance. As a multi-instrumentalist and avid songwriter, Tyler finds his niche in spanning the genres, and in terms of music he is keen on distinguishing himself as a “jack of all trades”. Equipped with an honest and thunderous voice his live performance has been described as “bone rattling”.
Tyler Sjöström On Heartland Connections
Twice winners of Scotland’s Traditional Music ‘Live Act of the Year’ Award (2016 & 2011), SKERRYVORE have been on a meteoric journey that has taken them from the remote Isle of Tiree on to International tours that have included performances in Central Park NYC, The Ryder Cup Louisville and the Shanghai Expo, China. SKERRYVORE create a unique fusion of folk, trad, rock and Americana that represents all the different personalities and upbringing of the 8 band members who hail from different regions of Scotland. Formed in 2005, the band marked their 10th anniversary in 2015 with a ‘Decade’ concert at Mossfield Stadium, Oban. After selling 3,000 tickets in ninety minutes, the capacity was increased and 6,000 visitors from all over the world enjoyed SKERRYVORE, joined by a host of guests including Dougie MacLean and legendary Irish musician Sharon Shannon.
The success of the Decade concert led to the creation of the band’s own annual festival, Oban Live that has now attracted over 10,000 attendees to enjoy international acts including KT Tunstall, We Banjo 3, Julie Fowlis and Capercaillie alongside SKERRYVORE.
Skerryvore On Heartland Connections
More Skerryvore at Heartland Connections
https://skerryvore.com/ https://www.facebook.com/skerryvore https://twitter.com/skerryvore
Joe Stamm Band
The Joe Stamm Band (JSB) is a Black Dirt Country Rock group rooted in the American Midwest. Born and raised in the fields and fence rows of central Illinois, Joe and the band play a soul pumping brand of music that is uniquely their own. DirtRoadAnthems.com told their readers, “If you are looking for a great new country/rock/Americana band to listen to, [Joe Stamm Band] is the perfect one.” JSB songs are laced with rural American imagery, hard-driving guitar, and songwriting that invites listeners into a deeply personal, authentic life experience.
Joe Stamm On Heartland Connections
https://www.joestammband.com/ https://www.facebook.com/joestammband/ https://www.instagram.com/joestammband/ https://www.youtube.com/joestammband
The Deep Hollow
Also members of other local groups, these three created a world together that brought success not found in other combinations. Beginning with a win in the American Songwriter magazine songwriting contest in 2014, The Deep Hollow then set off on a well-produced, Kickstarter-launched album in 2015 that reached number three on the Folk DJ charts. This harmony-driven, original music acoustic trio of Micah Walk, Elizabeth Eckert and Dave Littrell, has created an attraction between audience and act that is obvious and powerful.
The Deep Hollow On Heartland Connections
The Deep Hollow-Youtube
The Deep Hollow-Spotify
Nebraska natives, The Wildwoods, bring a pioneering sound to Americana Roots Music. “The Wildwoods know exactly what kind of music they want to make. It’s not often we hear a sound this focused…The voices are very different in timbre and delivery, yet mix perfectly…Bring a friend or go alone; either way, you’ll find yourself reminiscing on the good times and finding peace with the bad ones.” Landon Kuhlmann, Paste Magazine & Daytrotter. “The young songwriting tandem of Chloe and Noah Gose harmonize like something out of the Depression Era, fitted with a certain weight yet warmly and triumphantly capable of lifting hearts regardless.” Andrew Stellman, Editor Hear Nebraska Magazine. The Wildwoods’ Noah Gose (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano) and Chloe Pinkman (vocals, violin, mandolin, guitar) discovered their shared love of music shortly after they fell in love back in 2012. They are occasionally joined in their forces alongside some very talented and loving bandmates: Andrew Vaggalis (Bass), Noah Pinkman (Guitar), Nate Morris (Drums), Michele Bartos (Cello), and Jack Rodenburg (Piano).
The Wildwoods On Heartland Connections
https://www.thewildwoodsband.com/ https://www.facebook.com/TheWildwoodsband/ https://www.instagram.com/thewildwoods/
A multiple string instrument performer using both feet for a rhythm section, John is a veritable one man band. John Till cultivates folk, blues & country from the farthest reaches of the Great Plains to the Appalachian foothills, down to the delta & back up to Chicago for a sound that’s equal parts pastoral & main street charm.
John Till On Heartland Connections
https://johntillmusic.com/home https://www.facebook.com/johntillmusicpage/ https://johntill.bandcamp.com/music
Growing up with the Illinois River in his back yard, Daniel Watkins’s roots run deep in the valley. He picked up his first job as a gas attendant at the old lock and dam in Henry. There he would practice guitar while waiting on boaters and playing for tips. Several years later, he began studying guitar with Walnut Valley Festival National Guitar & Mandolin champion, Andy Hatfield. Through a new found love of Folk and Bluegrass music, he discovered many artists including John Hartford, Norman Blake, and Steve Goodman who inspired him to begin writing songs of his own. Daniel incorporates musical and topical elements of the current era across the backdrop of traditional folk and bluegrass music. Daniel is most celebrated for his relatable stories, swift flat-picking, and memorable melodies. In addition to his solo work, Watkins performs as a member of Harvest Sons.
Daniel Watkins On Heartland Connections