6/28/19 at Smoky Run Music Festival, Butler, OH
Genre-melding quintet The Way Down Wanderers will perform at Smoky Run Music Festival on June 28 in support of their independent sophomore release illusions (February 22). Hailing from Peoria, IL, the group crafts stories inspired by the heartland with a unique blend of influences stemming from their varied musical backgrounds in rock, jazz and classical. Though their sound is built on a foundation of Americana and bluegrass, The Way Down Wanderers inject their signature multi-part harmonies with unexpected elements of pop and reggae. Rolling Stone Country just featured them as one of “10 New Artists You Need To Know”, saying “The Way Down Wanderers are taking bluegrass in a wild new direction…their intricate, hypnotic rhythms call to mind ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ more than bluegrass traditional.” View Here.
The Way Down Wanderers are not your average roots/rock band. Produced by Grammy winner David Schiffman (HAIM, Johnny Cash, Rage Against The Machine), their latest release features a melting-pot of genres and genuine storytelling from lead singers/songwriters Austin Krause-Thompson and Collin Krause. With songs that reflect on the simplicity of youth, lost time and the excitement of new love, illusions bridges a raw enthusiasm for life with the sobering reality of how quickly time passes. Combining Collin’s classic crooning over soaring instrumentals (hear the thought-provoking “Crooked Pines”), Austin’s spoken-word breakdowns with island-style beats (listen to the dynamic “All My Words”) and the group’s clear knack for harmonies, the young band delivers an album that is equally as powerful and moving as it is frenzied and uplifting. For more insight, view the extensive PopMatters Feature.
illusions is the follow up to The Way Down Wanderers’ self-titled 2016 debut, which captured the attention of critics and peers alike with their boundary-blurring style and electrifying performances. The band’s fast-paced live shows, complete with foot-stomping sing-alongs, in-audience encores and drummer John Merikoski’s infamous spoon solos, are absolutely intoxicating. Their almost nonstop touring over the last few years has garnered an enthusiastic grassroots following and created a communal environment that feels more like hanging out with long-time friends. Much like the community they strive to create, The Way Down Wanderers use music to encourage us to stay open to the people and things around us. illusions illustrates the idea that, for better or worse, this life is our only one so we should make it count.