The following are artists alphabetically by “S.” We are slowly adding our over 200 alumni to this page. Below are several of the artists that have performed at one of our venues and come back from time to time.
Trevor Sensor is an American singer/songwriter from Sterling, Illinois. Raised in an ailing rust belt town (formerly the ‘Hardware Capital Of The World’, now akin to the “Lynchian neighbourhood of Lumberton from Blue Velvet”), Sensor’s slogged through the fading American Dream. Sensor’s vocal inflection is unique to the folk music carrying grizzled and almost punk, as if Dylan and Johnny Rotten had a baby, and allowed this kid to sing. Thus far, he’s been getting a lot of praise for his creative use of lyrics and emotional navigation through his singing style.The rest of the young talent’s music follows suit, too, with timeless-sounding melodies and a sense of songwriting that exudes maturity while still feeling fresh. Sensor wrote the music featured on Texas Girls and Jesus Christ on a borrowed acoustic guitar that he has yet to return, composing songs that sound deeply felt and from a place of truth and honesty.
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.
Click Here: 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”.
Click Here: 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.
Click Here: Skerryvore On Heartland Connections
Click Here: More Skerryvore at Heartland Connections
From an early age, Soultru (Davenport, Iowa) showed a love for music that was encouraged by his family, a family who was heavily involved in their local church band and fostered a love for all types of music. As a child and teenager, he performed in church and the High School Choir. He also showed an interest in the written word form of poetry. It didn’t take long for the young man to combine his love for singing with his poetic skills, and he began to compose original songs. He combines his poetic and lyrical talents with a soulful voice, he has forged his own unique sound. Crediting a wide range of influences, including Gavin DeGraw, John Legend, Yelawolf and Son Little. Soultru credits his versatility as his strongest musical attribute. Having songs that are Soul-Hip Hop based and finishing up an acoustic EP titled “The Truth” set to release in the fall of 2020. Having shared the stage with artists such as Ceschi, Kweku Collins, Neil Hilborn, Magic City Hippies and doing a Sofar Sounds show with Adam Hambrick. Soultru is among a group of young, talented and driven artists that are the backbone of the Quad Cities indie music scene, a scene that has developed into a hidden gem in the Midwest for indie music of all genres in recent years.
Soultru w/Liv Carrow at Heartland Connections
Spotify & Bandcamp
Logan is an Alt-Country/Americana singer and songwriter located on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities.
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.
Click Here: Joe Stamm On Heartland Connectionshttps://www.joestammband.com/https://www.facebook.com/joestammband/https://www.instagram.com/joestammband/https://www.youtube.com/joestammbandJoe Stamm-itunesJoe Stamm-Spotify
One of our resident musicians, Chris spent years learning the signature licks of Eric Clapton, Freddie King & more. Chris plays a smooth, improvisational style of Guitar coupled with passionate performance. “People sometimes ask why I play musical instruments and sing, music is the expression of inner feelings. I particularly enjoy playing acoustic as there is nowhere to hide. I can’t duck behind volume, distortion, or effects.” Plain pure & simple musical expression. Chris has played every festival stage in central Illinois including: The Peoria Blues & Heritage Festival Budweiser Illinois Blues Festival Miller Lite Illinois Blues Festival, Grand Nationals, Ham n’ Jam, Frost Yer Buns, Louie Louie & more.
Chris Stevens at Heartland Connections
Chris at Heartland Connections with Campbell & Percifield
Stone & Snow
“Their rich vocal harmonies and warm vibe will leave you wanting to see more from this Illinois-based duo.” -American Songwriter Magazine “If Florence + the Machine made folk music, it might sound a little like Stone & Snow.” –Katie Anastas, NPR Music. Winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest – 2019 NAMM Edition for “Love is a Weapon.” Stone & Snow is an alt-folk pairing of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, Karen Bridges and Clint Thomson. In 2012, they began a collaboration filled with close harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. They gave it a name that gives nod to the mountain landscapes of the West– Stone & Snow. Successful crowdfunding campaigns resulted in three self-produced full-length studio albums: Love is a Weapon (2019), Devil That I Know (2016), and These are the Hills (2014). Their songs have taken them on the road to places like Summer Camp Music Festival (Chillicothe, IL), Mile of Music Festival (Appleton, WI), the NAMM Show (Anaheim, CA) and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
Stone & Snow at Heartland Connections – Bishop Hill
Stone & Snow at Heartland Connections – Ca d’Zan