Elemental Shakedown
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Elemental Shakedown

St. Louis, Missouri, United States

St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Band Americana Bluegrass

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Music

Press


"ELSD named 2012 Best Bluegrass band in St. Louis"

The tradition of bluegrass may be as old as St. Louis itself, but Elemental Shakedown isn't content to be a museum piece. The five members of the band come from across different corners of the country and have backgrounds in music about as diverse. They give the Midwest bluegrass scene — which often pits purists against progressives — a much-needed burst of creative energy. After a couple of years of playing pop songs arranged as bluegrass, guitarist Chris Helmick, bassist Matt Flory and funky fiddler Alyssa Avery brought on two long-time music vets to take the helm on staple bluegrass instruments. They struck gold, with Bob Stuckey of Indiana on banjo and St. Louis native Bryan Ranney on mandolin. Last year, Elemental Shakedown began performing original compositions that kick up against bluegrass' sometimes-rigid boundaries, exploring subgenres like jazz-grass, jam-grass, avant-garde-grass and, perhaps most wonderfully, funk-grass. To them, it's all booty-shaking, foot-stomping fun! - Riverfront Times, St. Louis, MO


"ELSD named 2012 Best Bluegrass band in St. Louis"

The tradition of bluegrass may be as old as St. Louis itself, but Elemental Shakedown isn't content to be a museum piece. The five members of the band come from across different corners of the country and have backgrounds in music about as diverse. They give the Midwest bluegrass scene — which often pits purists against progressives — a much-needed burst of creative energy. After a couple of years of playing pop songs arranged as bluegrass, guitarist Chris Helmick, bassist Matt Flory and funky fiddler Alyssa Avery brought on two long-time music vets to take the helm on staple bluegrass instruments. They struck gold, with Bob Stuckey of Indiana on banjo and St. Louis native Bryan Ranney on mandolin. Last year, Elemental Shakedown began performing original compositions that kick up against bluegrass' sometimes-rigid boundaries, exploring subgenres like jazz-grass, jam-grass, avant-garde-grass and, perhaps most wonderfully, funk-grass. To them, it's all booty-shaking, foot-stomping fun! - Riverfront Times, St. Louis, MO


"ELSD reviewed by Rex of Rex-A-Vision"

"... Elemental Shakedown, a neo traditional quintet of strong pickers who alternated clean lines with looser jams that elicited cheers from the audience." - Rex Thompson - Rex-A-Vision, Honest Tune - The Southern Journal of Jam (Aug 10, 2012)


"Bluegrass at The Focal Point"

“There's bluegrass, newgrass, slamgrass, jamgrass, funkgrass, grab-ass and also, in this case, disgruntled crabgrass. Converging from all corners of the country and now somehow ending up in St.Louis, this truly insane group of musicians brings their own brand of all of the above to the table! You will hear very traditional and very not so traditional breakdowns, buskings and jams of all the old time & new school faves! And find yourselves strangely endeared to the shenanigans along the way.” - The Focal Point


Discography

Currently recording first LP (all original music).

Photos

Bio

Elemental Shakedown has been entertaining fans since 2009 with infectious string-bending rhythms enticing toe tapping, foot stomping and booty shakin'. Fast forward to 2012... and they have developed tight commanding original pieces which serve as a strong foundation for their interesting interpretations of the standards and creatively arranged familiar pieces by artists ranging from Jimmy Cliff to Coldplay to The Beatles. 2011 was a year of major growth and expansion by the band including the addition of three new members, beginning the production of their first full length album of original music and transitioning from a 'local only' to regionally influential ensemble.

The band kicked off 2011 with a bang as they hosted the after-party following Yonder Mountain String Band's New Year's performance at The Pageant in St. Louis. Soon after this, they brought on Alyssa Avery, whose high level of command on the fiddle and scorching solos, combined with hard work from the existing members, propelled the band's sound to levels that demanded your attention.

2011 continued and Elemental Shakedown found themselves collaborating with Bluegrass and Jamgrass giants like Greensky Bluegrass, The Henhouse Prowlers, Mountain Sprout and Mountain Standard Time to name a few. This growth and momentum attracted two talented and established musicians to fill vacancies at mandolin and banjo.

For the role of banjo/dobro Elemental Shakedown hired Bob Stuckey, formerly of The Smokehouse Allstars (1995-2004). Bob contributes hot banjo rolls, screaming dobro licks and adds a high tenor vocal compliment helping ELSD add full vocal harmonies to their repertoire.

On mandolin, the most recent addition to the ELSD family is a phenomenal St. Louis singer/songwriter named Bryan Ranney. Bryan has established himself as a top artist in the St. Louis area as the founding member and manager of 'Following the Water'.