The Appalachian Mountains are the meeting place of the fiddle and the banjo, and musical culture permeates the entire length of the Mississippi River. Jes Raymond and Jakob Breitbach may have started their musical journey in the rainy bottom of the Puget Sound, but their work is infused with the essence of the homes they wandered West from. Joined by Daniel Ullom on the mandolin and Forrest Marowitz on the upright bass, The Blackberry Bushes draw from the deep roots of American traditional music to create a playful and resonant sound with both twang and sophistication. They are emerging as a band of artists whose Americana is honest and generous with an obvious love of performing, spot on chemistry, and a live show that truly aims to stir the spirit.
Jes’s songs connect the day to day with the muses of wonder, folk wisdom, earthiness, and impermanence. Backed by two, three and four part harmonies, she sings with joy and a desire for every person in the house to feel that she is singing to them. Jakob’s virtuosic fiddle improvisation and Daniel’s longtime immersion in bluegrass and old-time create a thrillingly potent onstage correspondence. Together with Forrest’s exceptionally sensitive and deeply grooving bass lines, they propel a song-focused band to expand outward in exploratory delight. Jes’s skillful flatpicking interlocks these soundscapes while the band simultaneously honors the genius of tradition and innovation.
It is a rare magic that allows a band to use voices from many genres in an acoustic instrumentation that retains distinct threads of sonic color. Elements of jazz, classical, pop and gospel saturate this modern string band sound that is buoyant, bold, and like their thorny namesake, rooted and growing, growing, growing.