Born to an ever-moving military family in Texas, Jonathan Warren got his musical start in Knoxville, TN. He quickly developed an ear for traditional folk and americana while listening to greats such as Townes Van Zandt and Hank Williams. While playing bass for Christabel and the Jons (one of the original Jons) he started experimenting with his own songwriting and playing guitar, banjo and harmonica. David Sather-Smith, born and raised in Jackson, MS, grew up alongside classical music, which helped to form his knack for the cello and operatic singing. He attended Western Illinois University where he majored in Vocal Performance and fell in love with the tunes of Frank Sinatra. Andrew Smith, born in Los Angeles, CA, spent many of his years studying jazz from legends like Charles Mingus and Count Basie. As a young-teen, he moved to San Francisco, where the diverse music scene allowed him to experiment with a variety of styles including latin, funk and blues music. Somehow these 3 crossed paths and collaborated in Boise, ID where they created the amalgamation they call "Progressive Psychobilly Folkgrass."
What is it? t’s a goat chewing on a can, it’s a cat scratching at your door, it’s foot stompin’ music that makes you want to eat a biscuit. Melodies you wake up humming in the morning, that stick to your bones like peach cobbler. It’s new-timey, post-retro, pre-apocolyptic, southern Appalachian, gypsy porch swing. It’s Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats.
Jonathan Warren - Vocals, Guitar, Upright Bass, Harmonica, Banjo
David Sather-Smith - Vocals, Cello, Guitar
Andrew Smith - Drums, Percussion
Jonathan Warren - Guitar, Vocal, Upright Bass
David Sather-Smith - Vocals, Cello
Andrew "smitty" Smith - Percussion
"A Little Something Stronger Than Wine" 2011
"You Just Relax Honey" 2009
"Picture Book Collection" 2006
Tracks available at CD Baby, iTunes, Jango, Rhapsody, and Lala, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora or go to jonathanwarrenmusic.com for more information.
Walk Around You
Who Really Knows
Worn Out Shoes
Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats - On This Very Evening
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Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats strut forth with an amazing album of what they call "Prog...Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats strut forth with an amazing album of what they call "Progressive Psychobilly Folkgrass." seeped in a traditional foundation; Jonathan Warren got his musical start in Knoxville, TN. He quickly developed an ear for traditional folk and Americana while listening to greats such as Townes Van Zandt and Hank Williams. He attended Western Illinois University where he majored in Vocal Performance and fell in love with the tunes of Frank Sinatra. Andrew Smith, born in Los Angeles, CA, spent many of his years studying jazz from legends like Charles Mingus and Count Basie. As a young-teen, he moved to San Francisco, where the diverse music scene allowed him to experiment with a variety of styles including latin, funk and blues music.
‘On This Very Evening’ their third album from start to finish is unlike anything you’ve heard in a long while, soaring in boisterous instrumentation and a gallimaufry of influences Jonathan, David and Andrew have created an original brand of Americana you’ll immediately fall in love with as I did.
Released 10/15 Available free on their website in exchange for an addy
2 I'd Rather
3 Rules Bending
6 Quite Clearly
7 Living Room
8 On This Very Evening
9 She Gets The Blues
10 Coin Toss
11 On The Hill
12 Partly Cloudy
13 Honey Dear
10.22 - The High Dive w/ Origami Ghosts - Seattle, WA
10.23 - Goodfoot w/ Kory Quinn - Portland, OR
10.24 - Sam Bond's Garage w/ Hillstomp - Eugene, OR
10.25 - Silver Moon - Bend, OR
10.26 - Club 66 w/ Ponderosa Breeze - Ashland, OR
10.27 - Parade Grounds of Fort Barry - San Francisco, CA
10.28 - Amnesia w/ The Earl Brothers - San Francisco, CA
10.30 - The Torch Club - Sacramento, CA
11.1 - Plough & Stars - San Francisco, CA
11.2 - The Crepe Place w/ Windy Hill - Santa Cruz, CA
11.3 - The Starry Plough - Berkeley, CA
11.5 - The Mucky Duck - Monterey, CA
11.6 - Frog & Peach - San Luis Obispo, CA
11.7 - Muddy Waters - Santa Barbara, CA
11.8 - The Standard w/ Hoist The Colors - El Segundo, CA
11.9 - The Tin Can - San Diego, CA
Of course I always love a creative Bio:
Between the delicate blades of grass, moist with the anticipation of the morning’s dew, tread the thoughtless hooves of an angry old goat weary from the night’s toils. The goat had wandered through a briar patch, searching for the juicy berries his friend, the farmers cat, had told him of. The goat did not find any such berries, only pain and entanglement from the sharp briars and finally emerged exhausted, bleeding and with a long stick hopelessly matted to his tail. Try as me might, he could not remove the stick and continued walking aimlessly through the night with the stick dragging behind him.
He lumbered along until he could bear his burden no longer and decided to rest under the shade of a tree, contemplating life and where he had gone wrong.
Not far from our weary hero, another hapless goat was struggling through the same briar patch, as he was tricked by the same conniving cat. The goat emerged from the briar patch in much the same fashion as the previous goat, exhausted and with his hair and tail matted with thorns. He also drug a stick behind him.
Around midday he came upon a goat resting beneath the tree. As he approached, he heard the goat sobbing.
“Brother goat, what troubles you?”
“ Oh, it is this stick that troubles me. That damned cat that belongs to the farmer tricked me into walking into the briar patch and I have been unable to untangle this stick from my tail since.”
“The second goat thought for a moment. “Well you see, it isn’t all that bad, for the same cat tricked me into the patch, and I have come out tangled in briars as well.” He turned to show how he also had a stick tangled in his tail. The first goat stopped crying, his remaining tear falling to the grass.
“So you too? We’ll what should we do, we must get these sticks out of our tails!”
The second goat thought for a moment. “It is simple, we will swing our tails against this oak tree until the sticks break and we are freed from our burdens.”
“Excellent idea brother goat let’s try it.”
And so the two goats began swinging their tails with all their strength against the trunk of the tree. They began swinging harder and harder, showering off bark in vain. They began to tire, and finally stopped, seeing that they had made no progress.
The first goat began to weep again, “How will we ever get these damned sticks from our tails?” At the word “tails” he beat the stick against the tree, making a solid “boom” sound. In his rage he continued beating his tail, feeling a little better for his efforts. He continued, striking the stick between his outbursts, “How” (boom) in the hell (boom) are we going to get (boom) these Goddamned (ba-boom) sticks off?”
As he continued his temper tantrum the second goat had an idea. He trotted off to a nearby fallen log, hollowed out by the seasons. With every off beat of the first goat, he struck his tail on the hollow log, making a cleaner “chick” sound. The tantrum continued and a song began. “Just how in the hell (boom) (chick), are we (boom) (chick) going to be (boom) (chick) FREE again?” (boom) (chick) The second goat thumped a few more times and the first goat, hearing the newly combined sounds, stopped.
“Wait, let’s try that again, I’ll beat first, then you.” The goats began to swing their tails, and their first song was written, (later entitled, "Boom, chick.”) Both the goats were elated, they had discovered music and their burdens were suddenly lifted. It was then and there they decided to form a band and travel the countryside to bring people the music of the “Boom Chick.”
The goats did extremely well for themselves and their fame spread quickly. Wherever they performed, they were always given plenty of leafy grasses, apples and soft hay to sleep on. Fate continued to show its’ good fortune on the goats for several months and they traveled the region sharing their music, and their first album, "Thwack, Thump." One night they were woken by a strange metallic scratching sound. There was a hound dog breathing heavily and staring intently at the goats. He was standing with his front paws on a wooden board covered in a metallic shingle. He was scratching his claws in a rhythmic pattern. Both goats began to panic.
“It’s okay goats, I came to join the band, listen.” He continued to scratch and the goats became less alarmed and more intrigued. The first goat stopped him, “Listen hound dog, we already have a band and we are doing just fine, just look at this hay we’re sleeping on.”
“I know, but I need to join the band. I have run away from the farmer and stolen this washboard, his cat’s favorite scratch toy. I have nowhere to go. God I hate that cat.”
The first goat was still wary.
The hound spoke again. “Okay goat, I’ll prove it, just play "Thwack Thump”
So the goats began to swing their tails and the dog began to scratch. The sounds turned into flawless music, and the goats began to giggle and grin. They had found their soloist, and the rest is history
Jonathan Warren- On this Very Evening
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by Shawn Underwood in Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Reviews What if Quentin Tarantino or ...by Shawn Underwood in Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Reviews
What if Quentin Tarantino or the Coen Brothers wrote music instead of making movies? I think it would sound like Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats. There’s a simple story line to the music, yet the cast of characters and quirky delivery make for something unique that keeps your rapt attention. Their latest album, On This Very Evening hews closely to that notion.
The first thing to note about the record is the instrumental choices of the band and how it influences the sound. Singer Warren plays guitar and many of the “traditional” Americana instruments like banjo and bass. Billy Goat David Sather-Smith is featured frequently on cello, which sometimes picks up the bass part and sometimes is a feature on its own, like on Quite Clearly and She Gets the Blues. Billy Goat Andrew Smith plays drums and percussion and really drives many of the songs. Although not a Billy Goat, the sound of this project also owes a lot to violinist Austin Clark. Between Clark’s fiddle and Smith’s drums there’s a clear ambience across the entire album that fans of Old Crow Medicine Show will definitely relate.
The other thing to note about this record is the use of time signatures and tempos to contribute to the overall feel. On This Very Evening starts out at a kind of murder ballad tempo, but halfway through, boom!, it’s suddenly danceable. Same thing with Honey Dear and I’d Rather. The tempo change along with addition of some horns gives a Spanish feel to Living Room.
Jonathan Warren Billy Goats cover Overall On This Very Evening has a live feel to it (and the press release says many songs were recorded that way). The band is in Santa Cruz this weekend and I’m looking forward to hearing them in a truly live setting. Between tempo changes, minor chords, and a line-up of instruments just off center there’s no mistaking this record as yet another Nashville delivery of Americana music, and that’s intended as flattery.
Album Reviews: Skydiggers, Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats, Hawk & Steel
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Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats - On This Very Evening On This Very Evening from Jonathan W...Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats - On This Very Evening
On This Very Evening from Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats is the kind of album that you can throw into the mix pretty much anywhere, anytime--as long as your like your music loud and kinetic. The Boise, Idaho based threesome has a reputation for playing rambunctious live shows and the album showcases that well: it's at it's best when the tempo picks up and the band starts rocking on songs like album opener Greyhound, Angeline and the exclamation mark imbued Party! Cloudy.
The band mixes styles nicely here ranging from backcountry-twangy numbers to solid rockers and blues tinged material. It's a testament to a band that knows itself that the album's got a good solid coherent sound driven by solid banjo and fiddle work despite wandering through all these different styles.
Sounding a bit like the voice of Tom Waits meeting with a younger Steve Earle or the Reverend Horton Heat, On This Very Evening is the perfect collection to throw on for your next backyard bonfire or camping trip. I'll bring the bottle of bourbon, you bring the mason jars. We might need more than one bottle.
Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats Arrive This Weekend!
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Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats Arrive This Weekend! by Sam Moon-Wainwright Oct. 23, 2013 Ind...Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats Arrive This Weekend!
by Sam Moon-Wainwright
Oct. 23, 2013
Indie band Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats are coming to Club 66 in
Ashland for some fall folk music entertainment! The three-man band feature
plays an impressive seven-plus instruments, including cello, banjo, and
upright bass. The Billy Goats are touring to promote their new album,
released just this week, titled This Very Evening, and to raise awareness of
their online Kickstarter campaign, aimed at funding the album.
The band’s members, Jonathan Warren, David Sather-Smith and Andrew
Smith, come from various musical backgrounds, including folk, classical
and jazz. When they met in Idaho, they formed a new, exciting sound, which
they describe as “progressive psychobilly folk grass”. The Billy Goats
promise an evening of roaring folk and bluegrass inspired music, and a
lively performance that they describe as “a raucous, rambunctious ride on a
rusty wagon down a dusty road.” You can check them out and listen to
selections from their previous albums at their
Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats are performing next Saturday, Oct.
26th. The show begins at 9 p.m. at Club 66, located at 1951 Ashland St., and
has a $5 cover charge. For more information on the event, call 541-450-
Common Folk Music: Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats
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Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats January 16, 2013 by Andrew The dry air and high altitudes of...Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats
January 16, 2013 by Andrew
The dry air and high altitudes of Colorado must be good for the new breed of young bluegrass bands. In the same company as other mountain state champs, The Lumineers and The Hackensaw Boys, Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats play a catchy, high energy version of bluegrass. Their new song, “GreyHound,” has that cold and lonely feel that brings to mind the minor key winter classics “Hazy Shade of Winter”and “California Dreaming.” They’re a string band, yeah, and they have some of that old timey vaudeville thing going on but they mix it with some great pop sensibilities and end up with a unique sound. I was also tempted to say that Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats have totally skirted any jamgrass tendencies but when I heard the wah-wah pedal on the violin at about 3:15 into the song, I realized that must have been wishful (and admittedly, biased) thinking. Regardless, it’s a great song that makes me anxious to hear more.
Word has it they’ll be heading in to the studio in February and will have a new album out sometime this spring. In the meantime, you can check them out on tour (head to their website for details).
Boise's Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats
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Boise’s Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats JANUARY 13, 2013 tags: jonathan warren and the billy g...Boise’s Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats
JANUARY 13, 2013
tags: jonathan warren and the billy goats
by Garland Harwood
Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats
Boise, Idaho-based Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats is a self-described “progressive psychobilly folk grass” band. Warren and the Goats describe the genre as “foot stomping music that makes you want to drink a beer and eat a biscuit.” Because I’m always up for an excuse to justify a biscuit, that description sounded delicious enough to take a listen.
The band, which has gained a strong regional following, released A Little Something Stronger Than Wine (Amazon MP3 & Spotify) in 2011, their second album. Just given the genre, I expected something similar to the Felice Brothers, but it’s not (thank God) like that. The album has quite a bit of variety, with roots in Warren’s Appalachian upbringing, but for an overall finish of modern Americana rock.
The band recently released two videos that feature two songs off of their forthcoming album due out this Spring. “GreyHound” is darker tune with a Brownbird-esque kind of sound. The second video introduces the band to the backdrop of their song, “Coin Toss.”
Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats CD Release Party
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Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats’ self-described “independent and DIY band” vibe imbues the group...Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats’ self-described “independent and DIY band” vibe imbues the group’s records with a kind of down-home, organic feel. That is particularly evident on the band’s latest release, On This Very Evening.
The album’s 13 tracks were written by Warren and Billy Goats' David Sather-Smith and Andrew Smith and recorded by them with help from Ty Clayton on mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar; Landon Lemieux on trumpet; and Austin Clark on violin. JWATBG knows how to lay down sing-along Americana, and On This Very Evening shows the band’s range, with tracks like the folk-tinged “I’d Rather” and “Rules Bending,” and the rock/country sound on standout track “Handshake.”
Download "Greyhound" free from the band's website and then hear it and the rest of On This Very Evening Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. at VAC. Tickets are $7 advance, $10 at the door, which is a steal, because locals Hillfolk Noir and Stoneseed open the show.
Your Choice: Best Nanobot Rock Reviews Discoveries of 2012
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A Nanobot is a force that, if put together with enough Nanobots, can change everything. A Nanobot is...A Nanobot is a force that, if put together with enough Nanobots, can change everything. A Nanobot is commonly referred to as “the little guy”. Well guess what, we are enough “little guys” to change music!
We support Local and Independent Music! We Are Nanobots!
Of the 117 albums we discovered here at Nanobot Rock Reviews in 2012, we asked you to select what you believed was the best.
Here are the top 25 discoveries of 2012 as selected by YOU:
25. Gumshen: Everything What We Recorded
24. Dead Fingers: Dead Fingers
23. Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats: A Little Something Stronger Than Wine
22. Tidelands: We’ve Got A Map
21. The Bombay Royale: You Me Bullets Love
20. Glim Dropper: The Last Days Of Analog
19. Russell Howard: City Heart
18. Lord North: Naked EP
17. Lilygun: Lilygun
16. Starcar Sunday: Starcar Sunday
15. Time & Energy: Strange Kind of Focus
14. Ben Draiman: The Past is Not Far Behind
13. Item 9 & The Mad Hatters: Old Style
12. 20 Foot Forehead: Static the Airwaves
11. Honey & the 45s: The Need
10. Trichome: Trichome EP
9. BeeTunes: BGO
8. Mystery Ship: EP
7. Skinny Lister: Forge & Flagon
6. Jerad Finck: Stuck In Your Riddle
5. MilkDrive: Waves
4. The Everyday Losers: Social Paradise
3. Marc Berger: Ride
2. Blue Gillespie: Seven Rages of Man
1. Cobalt Blue: Still a Natural Condition
Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats
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Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats have one of the strangest, but yet a very accurate description of ...Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats have one of the strangest, but yet a very accurate description of their music “Progressive PsychoBilly Folk Grass. It’s a goat chewing on a can, it’s a cat scratching at your door, its foot stomping music that makes you want to drink a beer and eat a biscuit. It’s music that makes you jump up and down, and wake up humming in the morning. It’s tunes that stick in your bones like peach cobbler. It’s new timey, post retro, pre apocolyptic, south appalachian, gypsy folk rock.”
Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats are something different, and I like that. I like the upbeat Americana and Rock feel that The Billy Goats have. Based out of Boise, Idaho it’s no wonder these biscuit eaters are starting to gain a following. Up here in the Northwest music is a big deal, especially Americana & Folk, and being just a few hours away from Seattle, Jonathan and the band are going to fit into that picture very nicely.
Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats are currently on tour in March through UT, CO, KS, TX, AZ and NV. If you’re in the area make sure you check out a live show! You can get more information on JonathanWarrenMusic.com
The band has recently released a few music videos for an album coming out this Spring. “GreyHound” is a darker song and I have a feeling you will enjoy it. Grab a beer.. maybe a biscuit or two.. sit back and enjoy.
If your interested in supporting the band you can purchase their previous album by clicking here:
A Little Something Stronger Than Wine – Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats
You can also get the album at JonathanWarrenMusic.com for whatever you think it’s worth!
Follow the band on | Twitter
Up there: Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats
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Boise, Idaho-based Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats is a self-described “progressive psychobilly ...Boise, Idaho-based Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats is a self-described “progressive psychobilly folk grass” band. Warren and the Goats describe the genre as “foot stomping music that makes you want to drink a beer and eat a biscuit,” and only those who seem them live know what that means.
The band, which has gained a strong regional following, released A Little Something Stronger Than Wine (Amazon MP3 & Spotify) in 2011, their second album. The album has a wide variety of music, with roots in Warren’s Appalachian upbringing, but for an overall finish of modern Americana rock. Their previous album, You Just Relax, Honey (2009) flexes more of the raw folk and rockabilly sound of Warren’s time spent guiding rivers in Tennessee and taking long bus journeys out to the Northwest. The band pulls sounds and inspiration from artists such as The Avett Brothers, Blitzen Trapper, and Old Crow Medicine Show.
“The band recently released two videos that feature two songs off of their forthcoming album due out this Spring. ‘GreyHound’ is darker tune with a Brownbird-esque kind of sound. The second video introduces the band to the backdrop of their song, ‘Coin Toss.’” – Garland Harwood (grassclippings.com)
Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats will be on tour in March, 2013 through UT, CO, KS, TX, AZ and NV. If you’re in the area make sure you check out a live show. You can get more information on the band and download their music for whatever you think it is worth at JonathanWarrenMusic.com
Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats
[+ Show ]
The dry air and high altitudes of Colorado must be good for the new breed of young bluegrass bands. ...The dry air and high altitudes of Colorado must be good for the new breed of young bluegrass bands. In the same company as other mountain state champs, The Lumineers and The Hackensaw Boys, Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats play a catchy, high energy version of bluegrass. Their new song, “GreyHound,” has that cold and lonely feel that brings to mind the minor key winter classics “Hazy Shade of Winter”and “California Dreaming.” They’re a string band, yeah, and they have some of that old timey vaudeville thing going on but they mix it with some great pop sensibilities and end up with a unique sound. I was also tempted to say that Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats have totally skirted any jamgrass tendencies but when I heard the wah-wah pedal on the violin at about 3:15 into the song, I realized that must have been wishful (and admittedly, biased) thinking. Regardless, it’s a great song that makes me anxious to hear more.
Word has it they’ll be heading in to the studio in February and will have a new album out sometime this spring. In the meantime, you can check them out on tour (head to their website for details).
Billy Goats: No Bluff
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Jonathan Warren’s voice has that overt tremor and twang of any bluegrass vocalist. But Warren’s sti...Jonathan Warren’s voice has that overt tremor and twang of any bluegrass vocalist. But Warren’s still fresh, and you can hear it. The Tennessee-to-Idaho transplant brought his “progressive psychobilly folkgrass” to the Northwest four years ago and has since proved himself to be not just another string pickin’ and whiskey drinkin’ honky tonker.
To most, bluegrass conjures images of long summer evenings sitting on stoops, sipping whiskey sours to the strum of a guitar or a tambourine’s jangle in the background. Other times it propels its listeners into an irresistible fox trot or jig. Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats have those prototypical renditions down, but what’s more striking is listening to Warren transition from genre staples into softer melodies — ones that interpret the sound of snowfall on Idaho’s Lost River Range or salmon running up the Snake River. Such is evident on tracks like “Car Keys.” where Warren laments: “The night is long here, I’m feeling dirty/So I’m keeping your picture right here in front of me/The night is long here, I’m feeling lonely/So I grab my car keys and go where the girls should be.” The roundabout manner of the song’s circular guitar riff, backed by the chime of the harmonica and the quiet echo of a woman’s voice seem to come from an isolated cabin rather than a rustic saloon, though really there’s a bit of both; enough for the foot stompers and the candlelight readers.
Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats on Women, Whiskey and the West
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On their new release, A Little Something Stronger Than Wine, Boise's Jonathan Warren and the Billy G...On their new release, A Little Something Stronger Than Wine, Boise's Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats have straightforward interests: women, the West and whiskey.
Frontman Warren seems to have a particular closeness to the brown liquid, singing, "She'll make a man lose his mind / but she'll help him / make it through the night."
While the whiskey panacea might make things easier at first, the rockabilly quintet acknowledges that drink doesn't solve everything: "It didn't take a lot to learn her name / but it'll take a long time for him to forget."
While their tastes may seem transparent, their style of barroom bluegrass on this album won't leave a guy crying in his glass. JWBG are the type to drag in a straight-laced suit off the sidewalk, sling one back with him and then get him stomping to the beat on dusty floorboards.
"I never was much a gamblin' man / But I gambled with your love," Warren croons in "Sara Jean," a story of love lost. "I thought it best to let you run for a while / But now I can't see you smile."
"Boise, Idaho" and "California Green" round out the album, with the former providing a party track and the latter adding an acoustic ditty that will stick to your cerebrum.
JWBG's upbeat sonorous chords, blended with Warrens' tremulous vocals and a syrupy mix of cited influences like Keller Williams and Mason Jennings make for tracks reminiscent of the Foggy Mountain Boys but with more eclectic instrumentation. And less jug blowin'.
JWBG shows progression since their self-titled album, with Something Stronger showing that they've sanded out the rough bits of their sound--fortunately, they haven't shaved off all the rawness that makes their music so much damn fun. It's precisely that level of grittiness, that lack of glitz, that makes a band like JWBG a different breed than their CMT counterparts.
Greg's take: Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats: A Little Something Stronger Than Wine
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Like a wandering mysterious traveler, Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats don’t quite belong in countr...Like a wandering mysterious traveler, Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats don’t quite belong in country, or folk, nor alternative, yet they spend their days smoothly passing through each, leaving an identifiable and memorable fusion of all. Raggedly soothing duel vocals, violin, banjo, mandolin, upright bass and heavy dose of swagger make up the Progressive PsychoBilly Folk Grass that is the Boise band.
With a plethora of live shows under their belt, including Idaho Down and Sawtooth Music festival, Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats have established a sound that resonates well from stage to album. I caught them live in Boise at the Neurolux and having never heard of them before this show, I was clawing for more. Their presence on stage was simply infectious. It takes all of two seconds to see the passion in their music as they don’t just simply play; they become one with their songs. Though they played to a modest crowd, the energy was definitely impressive.
A Little Something Stronger Than Wine is best taken in two doses, the A side and B side. The first six tracks kick off heavily with “Walk Around You.” A gentle strum opens the door to a strutting track that is easy to become engulfed in. Jonathan Warren’s rough/raspy vocals sing with purpose and a whisky-like worn finesse. Backed by David Sather-Smith, Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats craft an authentic sound other Folk, Bluegrass, even Country, would be hard pressed to find. The purity of their genuine sound is exemplified by the contributions from Austin Clark, Andrew Smith and Ty Clayton, whose instrumental contributions mold the identifiable style and sound of these Treasure Valley visionaries. Ambitiously moving forward, songs like “Sara Jean,” with the smooth violin breakdown, the rambling “Don Quixote” and “Who Really Knows” it is really easy to settle right in to the album.
Launching into the raw purity that shall be referred to as the “B side,” A Little Something Stronger Than Wine proves it’s title. “Brown Liquor” is an addicting track that will leave your body swaying in time with the banjo. By the time we reach “No Dame,” the track which sings to the album title, it is as if you’re gathered around a camp partaking in the intimate honkytonk bliss of Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats. The latter half of the thirteen tracks changes tempo and lingers on the essence of Folk with heart.
Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats embodies the purity of Folk/Bluegrass. They sing with sincere emotion, drift on simple instrumentals that peak on waves of energetic breakdowns and most importantly, they live within an unrefined foot-stomping elegance that brings you back again and again. Progressive PsychoBilly Folk Grass is the genre you didn’t know you’d like and A Little Something Stronger Than Wine is the album that will open the door.
Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats - Not Your Ordinary Backwoods Story
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If I were to tell you three things about Boise-based Americana band Jonathan Warren and the Billy Go...If I were to tell you three things about Boise-based Americana band Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats, you'd probably think I was simply tossing around some of the same old clichés we often hear about country, folk, or bluegrass music. Consider: The band only exists because someone's dog died, because Mel Bay wrote some very useful guitar books, and because a local Western-themed buffet restaurant provides good food at a reasonable price. Sound like some familiar themes?
I thought so.
But life and music ain't that simple, as you find out when you scratch the veneer off this band's story, listen to their tunes, and see them at work. That's when you find that Mr. Warren and his Billy Goats are anything but ordinary, and that they've got an honest, soulful sound that is well beyond their years.
From left, Dave Sather-Smith, Ty Clayton, Jonathan Warren, and Austin Clark
A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Jonathan Warren has an enviable beard, a dog named Cletus, and a predilection for "foot stompin' music that makes you want to eat a biscuit." There's nothing really unique about that, considering the description could fit a lot of folks in the part of the country where he grew up. But there's something different about this guy.
For starters, if you talk with him awhile, you might notice that he lacks the heavy, distinct Tennessee accent you might expect. It's debatable whether this is by conscious choice or by his ongoing exposure to the civilized parts of Idaho, although every once in a while the Knoxville in him creeps back out, such as when he fails to give Ada County the long A sound and pronounces it Adda instead.
He also has a degree in therapeutic recreation from Georgia Southern. Yes, therapeutic recreation. I looked it up on the Interwebs and it does actually exist. Here's the curriculum sheet.
After graduating from Georgia Southern with such an estimable degree, Jonathan led backpacking trips in Northern Minnesota and Southwest New Mexico, after which he came to Idaho to serve as a wilderness guide for at-risk kids. As he puts it, his time in the boonies was a semi-futile attempt to put his college degree to use, which is enviable considering how so many people paid a lot of money for college degrees that have nothing to do with their occupations. His attempt to spread his therapeutic recreation expertise in Idaho only lasted a year, however, because he found the growing urge to play music just a little too great to be satisfied in the mountains of Idaho. Despite taking his Martin Backpacker guitar on the trips and coaxing the teenage campers into teaming up with him to sing the periodic radio reports he was required to provide to his program directors in Shoshone, Jonathan soon left the wilderness behind and found his way over to Boise, where he started looking for a band.
This is pretty remarkable, audacious even, when you learn that he didn't begin plucking a guitar and writing songs until just a few years earlier. Unlike most musicians, he didn't play in his childhood or even in his teens. Then in his early twenties he found himself quite beset by grief from the passing of his first dog. One of his friends, hoping to break Jonathan out of a prolonged funk, gave him a guitar for his college graduation and said that because he now had a guitar, he had to learn how to play it. So he did, he says, practicing "nearly every damn day," with a lot of help from those legendary Mel Bay instructional books and videos you used to see advertised on The Nashville Network in between Crook & Chase and Dukes of Hazzard reruns. He was 23, a late bloomer in the music world, as he says, but in the end the guitar did more than just soothe the pain of a departed canine; it got under his skin.
It was that itch he hoped to scratch when he escaped the wilderness and rolled into the more civilized parts of Idaho.
After playing a lot of solo gigs in coffee houses and wherever else he could find a microphone, he eventually met enough other musicians to form himself a little band. At first he had quite a problem figuring out what to name this new band, which is understandable since all the good names like the Oak Ridge Boys and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were already taken. But a chemical-fueled moment of genius solved this problem.
"When I started the band, the bass player's name was Billy," says Jonathan. "It was kind of a joke. I was in a bar and it was actually the night before I was going out into the desert for two weeks, and I had a few adult beverages. And I just thought, how about Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats? Billy was stoked, and the name's appropriate. Billy didn't stick, but the name did."
That was around 2 1/2 years ago, and as was the case with Billy, a lot of musicians have come and gone from the Billy Goat world.
Part of the reason for that is the natural feeling-out process of new members and the fact that people move away, they lose interest, or they join up with someone else. But, as Jonathan admits, he's also rather particular about who he takes the stage with.
"I'm a bit of a muleskinner when it comes to my band," says Jonathan, talking about a musician or two who didn't represent the band very well and were shown the door. "It was a revolving lineup for awhile," he adds, "but this is the most stable it's been."
Part of the reason for this stability is Dave Sather-Smith, a smooth-voiced cellist from Jackson, Mississippi who has an affinity for the fedora. Like Warren, Sather-Smith migrated to Boise after graduating from college. Unlike Warren, Sather-Smith dared to venture across the Mason-Dixon line for his college experience, ending up at Western Illinois University. After getting a degree in vocal performance, Boise seemed to be a good option for where to go next.
"I wanted to move out West and I had some family in the area, and I'd heard that there was a good music scene, so I made my way out here," says Dave. He eventually met Jonathan at open mic night at Pengilly's, and not too long after that he became a Billy Goat.
If Warren is the heart and soul of the band, Sather-Smith is a big chunk of the backbone. His cello fills out the band's sound, and he writes his share of songs and puts his vocal talents to use as well. His affair with the cello started early.
"I started playing at six years old," he says. "I really liked the instrument, it sounded cool, and it was bigger than my sister's violin. I studied the Suzuki method, and I took it until I was seventeen years old. Then I stopped and set it down for about five years. I picked it back up when I moved to Boise."
The end result of those years of practice is an easygoing virtuosity that helps give the Billy Goats instant stage presence.
Mandolin/guitar player Ty Clayton and violinist Austin Clark round out the band. Ty met Jonathan when they were both serving as wilderness guides. He's currently in his second stint with the band, having spent the time away radio tagging deer and performing other wildlife-related tomfoolery. He says he still pays the bills by working in the botany field.
"Ty has come and gone, but he's back now," says Jonathan.
"I've played pretty solid for almost a year now," adds Ty.
Austin is the youngest member of the crew. He was introduced to the band by a banjo player named Tim Pennington, who played as a guest on the first Billy Goats album, You Just Relax Now, Honey.
You might not make a habit of looking very closely at violin players when you take in a musical show, but in this case it's highly recommended. Not just because he's a fine, strapping young lad, mind you. No, it's because he has one of the most beautiful instruments you've ever seen, and pictures hardly do it justice.
"It's actually a locally-made instrument," Austin says, showing off the beautiful wood coloration on the back of the violin. "Right off Rose Hill, a guy has a little violin shop. I met him at Sizzler. He goes there seven days a week. He's 73 years old, and he's been a carpenter his whole life. And one day he decided to start making violins. So I was in Sizzler one day eating and he was there with his violins showing them off, and I had him come over to the table and I played one there inside Sizzler. And then I got myself a job there, so I got to see him more often."
It was only a matter of time before Austin had to have a custom violin of his own.
"He names every violin he makes," says Austin. "He named this one the Austin City Limits, and I hope to one day bring it there."
Considering how good these guys sound together on stage, that's not out of the realm of possibility.
For now, life is good for Jonathan and his Billy Goats. They've got a regular Wednesday night gig at Pengilly's Saloon, and they're playing regular gigs around town at places like the Sockeye Brewery, Neurolux, Liquid, and Tom Grainey's. They're also hitting the road a couple times this winter. After playing a couple shows in McCall during the Winter Carnival, they'll be spending a good chunk of March doing the Western Oregon tour in towns like Bend, Eugene, and Ashland. Our advice is to catch them while you can. Goats this good will be climbing out of this here valley before you know it.
Reviews: Local CDs released in 2011
[+ Show ]
The transition from stage to CD can be tricky for a card-carrying bar band, but it mostly works here...The transition from stage to CD can be tricky for a card-carrying bar band, but it mostly works here. Percussion, violin and mandolin — arguably the group’s defining instrument — are clean and vibrant. Warren’s voice is homey and reassuring
You can’t help but stomp and sing along with energetic standout “Sara Jean” or fan favorite “Boise, Idaho.” Or kick back and enjoy the wistful prettiness of “Recollections.” There’s also some production creativity: A reverberating voice from afar is a surprising touch during “Who Really Knows,” and Warren’s vocals get a transistor radio treatment at he beginning of “Worn Out Shoes.”
Jonathan Warren and the BillyGoats: "You Just Relax, Honey" CD Review
[+ Show ]
Jonathan Warren and the BillyGoats: You Just Relax, Honey CD Review by Sarah Barber For someo...Jonathan Warren and the BillyGoats: You Just Relax, Honey
by Sarah Barber
For someone particularly neurotic, the words, "You Just Relax, Honey," would fall on deaf ears. But for even the most anxious, Jonathan Warren and the BillyGoats' debut full-length album of the same name is as comfortable as a favorite chair. Warren's alt-country style compels beer-drinking and front-porch lounging, while the consistent rhythms and simple themes help erase away any mental chaos.
Warren brings an authenticity to his craft that speaks of an earlier generation, as if he and his BillyGoats—David Sather-Smith on cello and vocals, Conor Madden on cajon, Ty Clayton on mandolin and vocals and Tim Penningtom on banjo—grasp "old-timey" in a way that even actual old timers might not. And Warren's singing hearkens back to long ago time, too.
In "Strangetown," he whispers a soft tangent about an uncertain and inhospitable future, but the very next track, "Dig a Ditch," takes a different tone and an aggressive growl while describing the same subject. Need more cowbell? The upbeat chorus has a cheerful and unmistakable clank in the background. Reminiscent of a church hymnal, "Drop," would easily fit on the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack.
Imagine a hot summer day, a blanket laid out on the grass, a picnic basket, a bottle of wine and a live performance by Jonathan Warren and the BillyGoats. Just relax? You bet.
Jonathan Warren and The Billygoats
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It's a story that retells itself every summer on the whitewater of the Northwest. A southern boy is ...It's a story that retells itself every summer on the whitewater of the Northwest. A southern boy is drawn to Idaho, Oregon or Washington by the mystical pull of the state's mountains and legendary rivers. Boise musician Jonathan Warren followed this tale. And while guiding on the Tieton River in Washington last summer, he heard his father was gravely ill back in Tennessee. Warren planned to drive back to be with his father, but the next day, Warren smashed his finger in a river accident, requiring massive surgery and laying him up for weeks, torturing him with endless days of nothingness.
Dealing with an ailing father and the lost days of recovery inspired the words and music of Warren's album Tieton. Warren describes his music as "progressive psychobilly folk grass" and the amalgamation of those influences are audible.
On the EP, Warren includes four songs from the full-length. "Dig a Ditch," is an upbeat, swinging Americana style song. Following is the progressively folky "Car Key," a stripped-down melodic song with a female voice echoing Warren's words, all highlighted by a reminiscent sounding harmonica. And then Warren jumps into an acoustic blues stomp of a song called "Tread Lightly." The lyrics thread a common folk theme of treading softly over graves and giving your shirt for it. The album is polished off by "Natalie," another mellow tune, the words addressing a girl and sharing lessons learned.
The effects of Warren's travails are audible in his song lyrics. They depict a narrator struggling through a moment in life. The musical style makes for good whiskey drinkin', porch-stompin' music or a mellow background sound while lying on the couch with a book.
Warren and his band, The Billy Goats, are all over Boise this summer, certainly not willing to lose another summer. They've played every imaginable place in Boise: Pengilly's, Terrapin Station, Sockeye and the Boise City Public Market, and they open for LoCura at Alive After Five Wednesday, Aug. 19.
Warren has mulled over the hard times of his recent past and he's sharing his realizations in the words and music of Tieton. It's the kind of music that encourages bellying up to the bar with a beer and hearing what Warren has to say.
Scenes from a Scene: Jonathan Warren and the BillyGoats
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A weekly gig should be the Holy Grail for a working band. But sometimes people get so used to seeing...A weekly gig should be the Holy Grail for a working band. But sometimes people get so used to seeing a band's name on flyers, they think they've actually seen them play even if they haven't.
But that doesn't seem to be much of a problem for locals Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats. The band packs 'em in at Pengilly's every Wednesday and at other rotating gigs on the weekends.
Why? Because as Warren puts it in the new episode of Scenes From a Scene, "We'll stomp a hole in the stage."
Art On the Lake
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As part of the music program on Sunday at the Art on the Lake Festival in McCall, Jonathan Warren & ...As part of the music program on Sunday at the Art on the Lake Festival in McCall, Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats volunteered their talents to help make this first-annual festival a success, and then followed up with an appearance at Crusty’s Pizza. Warren (guitar and vocals) and Dave Sather-Smith (cello and vocals) play original music. Sather-Smith’s deep-toned cello licks enhance the melodic value of their selections, and are typical of increasing string sounds in modern music enjoyed by young people. They play “Progressive PsychoBilly Folk Grass,” which Warren says is “new timey, post retro, pre-apocolyptic, south Appalachian, gypsy folk rock.”
JONATHAN WARREN AND THE BILLY GOATS - ON THIS VERY EVENING
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Goats are surefooted animals so it a natural extension that Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats wo...Goats are surefooted animals so it a natural extension that Jonathan Warren
and The Billy Goats would take the right steps when they climbed the jug
band mountain of On This Very Evening. Jonathan Warren was born into an
ever-moving military family and started to hear the sounds he would chase
when they were stationed in Knoxville, Tennessee. He started on bass,
moving to guitar and harmonica, crafting his styles and songwriting from
influences like Townes Van Zandt and Hank Williams. David Sather-Smith
saw his first light of day in Jackson, Mississippi and was immediately
surrounded by the classical music that would lead to his training on cello and
operatic singing. Andrew Smith spent
years in his native Los Angeles
studying jazz from legends such as
Charles Mingus and Count Basie before
a move to San Francisco led to
experimentation with Latin, Funk and
Blues music. The Billy Goats stand on
their collective history and call the
musical mountain they have climbed
Progressive Psychobilly Folkgrass
The sound from On This Very Evening
ranges from tunes, like the title track, that would feel right at home busking
on a street corner to “Handshake”, which rocks with an Indie Roots edge and frenetic electric guitar riffs. Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats arrive on
the album with “Greyhound”. The song is the perfect calling card as the
story line rides to California on the bus with the band jamming on scratchy
fiddles and determined rhythms to make sure the travel is something you can
dance to. “Quite Clearly” opens slowly over a funereal drum beat and
hesitant chord strums, the sad cello call beautifully complementing the slow
motion before the song hits its halfway point and erupts into a rousing romp
to take the tune home. Jonathan Warren’s voice has a serrated edge that
trims off the fat in the words so only the emotion shows as he digs deeper
into the story. The band slows things down for “Rules Bending” with
Jonathan’s slight gravel tone fully exposed against David’s opera stage
harmonics and the bursts of warning trumpet notes.
I'd Rather- Original
Dig A Ditch- Original
Cold Sweat- Original
Hot Dog- Led Zeppelin
It Ain't Me Babe- Bob Dylan
Car Key- original
Our sets are typically 45 minutes to an hour in length. We can play for three solid, foot stompin' hours. While the majority of our music is original music, we enlist a variety of covers, from Blind Melon to Bob Dylan. Some acts we cover include, David Grey, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Johnny Cash, the Kinks, Trampled by Turtles, George Micheals, The Doors, Old Crow Medicine Show and many more as we discover new music constantly.
|Dec 6, 2013 Friday||7:00 PM||Radio Boise||Boise, ID, US|
|Dec 12, 2013 Thursday||9:00 PM||Neurolux w/ White Buffalo||Boise, ID, US|
|Dec 13, 2013 Friday||3:00 PM||River Run Day Lodge||Sun Valley, ID, US|
|Dec 14, 2013 Saturday||3:00 PM||River Run Day Lodge||Sun Valley, ID, US|
|Dec 15, 2013 Sunday||3:00 PM||Warmsprings Lodge||Sun Valley, ID, US|
|Dec 18, 2013 Wednesday||10:00 PM||Tom Graineys||Boise, ID, US|
|Dec 19, 2013 Thursday||TBA||The Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort||Alta, WY, US|
|Dec 20, 2013 Friday||7:30 PM||The Silver Dollar Bar||Jackson, WY, US|
|Dec 21, 2013 Saturday||7:30 PM||The Silver Dollar Bar||Jackson, WY, US|
|Feb 21, 2014 Friday||TBA||Elk Lodge||Salmon, ID, US|