Fronted by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Travis Ward, Hillfolk Noir’s peculiar take on traditional acoustic mountain music is filtered through a half-century of folk, country and rock ‘n’ roll and fed by an affinity for medicine show culture and Depression-era string-band blues. The band calls it Junkerdash, which has multiple definitions up to and including “psychedelic swamp-shack rags.” However, if you’re looking for something neat and tidy to place in print or casual conversation, feel free to use current music-journalism parlance and call it “indie folk.”
Hillfolk Noir’s touring lineup usually but not always consists of:
Travis Ward: Resonator guitar, vocals, harmonica, kazoo, words
Mike Waite: Stand-up bass
Jared Goodpastor: Snare, washboard, tambourine, harmonies
Alison Ward: Singing saw, washboard, banjo, harmonies
Shaun King: Banjo
Hillfolk Noir is touring behind its latest album, Hillfolk Noir Radio Hour (March 2012). The full-length studio recording is sequenced like an old-timey radio program straight out of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, complete with commercial breaks plugging a bunch of fake products they made up. The album is available on CD, MP3 and limited-edition 10-inch vinyl packaged to resemble a 1920s-era 78 (but sounding much better).
Hillfolk Noir has performed with Built to Spill, James McMurtry, Neko Case, Justin Townes Earle, Deer Tick, Gourds, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Gerald Collier, Heroes and Villains, Train, Jesse Dayton, The Dusty 45s, Neva Dinova and tons of other great acts that you may or may not have heard of. The good Junkerdash word also has been spread on countless American street corners because the Hillfolkers hold the busking tradition in high regard and, well, sometimes they need the gas money.
For music, complete bio, discography and archival miscellany, visit Hillfolk Noir at hillfolknoir.com, petometz.com and sonicbids.com/hillfolknoir. Interact with the band at facebook.com/hillfolknoir and myspace.com/hillfolknoir.
Please list the show in your calendar and consider further coverage. Hillfolk Noir is available for interviews. For interview/CD requests, high-resolution photos and/or more information, contact Chad Dryden with Bandwagon PR, 208.284.0355 or email@example.com.
A sampling of accolades for Hillfolk Noir:
"Hillfolk Noir have made a classic roots record using old style, one mic, low-fi technology, the music is fantastic but the feel of the record "Skinny Mammy's Revenge" has captured the passion and love of this genre absolutely perfectly. As soon as you hear it, you are there with them, in that circle of musicians, hearing up-close their great songs, the heartfelt stories and you are next to them for every note... a roots classic without a doubt."
~ Barry Marshall-Everitt, House of Mercy Radio
"Hillfolk Noir - modern day old time wonderment."
~ Rick Stuart, Roots and Fusion Radio of Pure Radio, UK
"If John Steinbeck had a Speakeasy, Hillfolk Noir would be the house band."
~ John Doe, of John Doe, X, The Sadies, and The Knitters