Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

high-octane jazz grass band

$16 advance / $18 door

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August 12 8:00 pm

MilkDrive They call their music jazz-grass, and it’s loose, tight, thoughtful, improvisational, fun, and full of life. The band features Brian Beken on fiddle and lead vocals, Noah Jeffries on guitar and harmony vocals, Dennis Ludiker on mandolin and harmony vocals, and Matt Mefford on double bass. Brian, Noah, and Dennis met as younsters competing in the National Old Time Fiddlers’ Contest in Weiser, Idaho. Eventually, they migrated to Austin, Texas, where they played in various configurations before joining up with bass player extraordinaire Matt Mefford and forming MilkDrive. “There was a road called Milk Drive and an old abandoned milk factory,” Noah explains. “We’d go out there and light fireworks and, you know, just do things we weren’t supposed to do as kids. And so that was a memorable thing for us.” When the band’s first album came out, everyone quit their side bands and focused full time on MilkDrive. Their most recent album, Waves, is “a music lover’s delight,” in the words of the website Twangville. “All musicians extraordinaire, they’re as much a jazz band as they are bluegrass or Americana. So the solos and instrumental songs immediately challenge your expectations much like Bela Fleck or Alison Brown do with their best works.”
“We all like everything from rock to just crazy out-there avant-garde type music,” Noah says. “We try to throw in really any influences that we have in there.” Waves includes mostly originals, along with tracks by fellow Austinites Bruce Robison and Drew Smith, and a rootsy rendition of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” Roy “Futureman” Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Noam Pikelny of Punch Brothers make guest appearances on the album. Nashville Music News praises the band’s “sophisticated arrangements and fierce musicianship.” For a distinctive acoustic experience that crosses genres, geographies, and generations, ride along with MilkDrive at the Freight.

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