Friday, May 4, 8 p.m.
The Redstone Room, 129 Main Street, Davenport IA
Delivering what PopWrapped.com described as “a polished sound filled with strong vocals and fantastic harmonizing made all the better with vivid lyrics and powerful instrumentation,” the folk and Americana musicians of The Way Down Wanderers headline a May 4 Redstone Room concert, demonstrating why BestNewBands.com wrote, “Their live show is full of energy and just a damn good time.”
The group had its beginnings in 2012 when frontmen and founders Collin Krause (mandolin and fiddle) and Austin Thompson (guitar) met in their hometown of Peoria, Illinois, after joining the same band, embarking on their first tour at the respective ages of 14 and 18. That group soon disbanded, but Krause and Thompson continued to write and perform together, and by the end of 2013, they had enlisted a trio of additional talents to fill the Way Down Wanderers lineup: Travis Kowalsky (banjo and fiddle), John Merikoski (drums and percussion), and John Williams (upright bass). Quickly initiating a busy tour schedule, with the group's “Wandering West Tour” bringing them to 25 Midwestern cities in 27 days, the artists established a following for their exhilarating instrumentals, foot-stomping sing-alongs, and self-titled “restSTOMPS” – free acoustic sets performed at rest and truck stops along their tour routes. The Way Down Wanderers were also named 2014's “Chicago's Best Emerging Artist” in the music magazine The Deli, with their single “Dead Birds” a 2015 finalist in the International Songwriting Competition.
To date, The Way Down Wanderers have released the EPs Path to Follow and Wellspring, a live-performance LP, and the musicians' debut album, and with each recording, they've been the beneficiaries of stellar reviews. Regarding 2016's The Way Down Wanderers, Americana and folk Web site MotherChurchPew.com wrote, “Their brand-new, self-titled LP features rip-roaring banjo, carefree mandolin, soaring harmonies, and lush, low-end string … with some snarling guitar rock thrown in for good measure.” Relix magazine, meanwhile, raved that the band “emerged fully formed, possessing a certain savvy that assures their ability to stand apart in a crowded field of nu-grass contenders.”
The Way Down Wanderers play the Redstone Room on May 4 with an opening set by Kind Country, tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $12-15, and more information and reservations are available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.