Elexa & The Hitchhikers
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Elexa & The Hitchhikers

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Band Folk Acoustic

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After only performing together for close to a year, Elexa and the Hitchhikers have made a name for themselves in Emporia.

Josh Thuma and Elexa Dawson, the core members of the band, had been playing around with a group of musicians in Cottonwood Falls.

"Mainly on Sunday, a lot of us good friends get together and hang out and spend the day," said Thuma, the band's upright bass player. "There got t o be four or five of us sitting around with guitars, playing a bunch of songs, so I decided to snag up a bass and give it a shot."

Dawson and Thuma have played just about every Wednesday night for the past year at Natahsa's Billiards and Lounge, 627 Commercial St.

"Somebody said they were looking for a piano payer every Wednesday night but they would be willing to experiment with other formats," Dawson said. "I brought my guitar and sat Eric [Johnson] and Becky [Church] down and played them my songs, then Eric's talking about money, next thing I know."

Having a regular gig is a luxury many bands don't have, Elexa and the Hitchhikers know this and appreciate all the benefits.

"Playing every week really polishes you, I feel like we're a lot better because we've had a steady thing," Dawson said.

People will come up to us and say, 'you must have been playing for years, why haven't we heard of you before?' Well, because we haven't been around that long," Thuma said. "A lot of that is the Natasha's shows and having a gig every week.

The group's local success was anything but over night. They almost called it quits.

"After t he first four or five months, we talked about not doing it anymore. The next week it blew up. From that point on we've had a steady crowd." Dawson said. "There are sometimes it feels like a Saturday night in here."

Although Thuma and Dawson have been a consistent duo, they ha e played with a number of other local musicians.

Nathan "Hippie" LeClear played mandolin in the band before moving out of town and flutist Lani Meyer also joins the group on occasion.

Percussionist Cody Tastove has been playing with Tuma and Dawson for several months.

The band's most recent addition, guitarist Casey Cagle, played with the band at Flint Hills Music's 'Live in the Lot' and at last Friday's benefit concert for Brandon Ayers. Cagle also regularly performs with his other band Instant Grits.

"It's a revolving door sometimes, but we all have a good time and that's what's important." Dawson said.

Tastove, Thuma and Dawson independently released their first full album, "Gypsy Mama" in April 2007. LeClear and Meyer also contributed to the album.

Four songs from the album can be heard on the band's website http://www.myspace.com/pickyhitchhiker.

The group has been able to share the stage with many bands they greatly admire, including Boulder, Colo.'s Elephant Revival Concept and McPherson, Kan.'s Fast Food Junkies.

"[The Fast Food Junkies] said that Emporia is one of the best bluegrass, folk scenes in Kansas," Thuma said. "For a smaller town, Emporia's got a great live music scene and we're glad to be a part of that."

Emporia's own Dewayn Brothers were also cited as a big inspiration for the band.

"They're one of the reasons I moved here," said Dawson. "I saw something happening in Kansas, and I felt like I should be a part of it."

Elexa and the Hitchhikers will be playing Natasha's on Wednesday at 8pm.
- The Bulletin - Eric Sonnakolb


After only performing together for close to a year, Elexa and the Hitchhikers have made a name for themselves in Emporia.

Josh Thuma and Elexa Dawson, the core members of the band, had been playing around with a group of musicians in Cottonwood Falls.

"Mainly on Sunday, a lot of us good friends get together and hang out and spend the day," said Thuma, the band's upright bass player. "There got t o be four or five of us sitting around with guitars, playing a bunch of songs, so I decided to snag up a bass and give it a shot."

Dawson and Thuma have played just about every Wednesday night for the past year at Natahsa's Billiards and Lounge, 627 Commercial St.

"Somebody said they were looking for a piano payer every Wednesday night but they would be willing to experiment with other formats," Dawson said. "I brought my guitar and sat Eric [Johnson] and Becky [Church] down and played them my songs, then Eric's talking about money, next thing I know."

Having a regular gig is a luxury many bands don't have, Elexa and the Hitchhikers know this and appreciate all the benefits.

"Playing every week really polishes you, I feel like we're a lot better because we've had a steady thing," Dawson said.

People will come up to us and say, 'you must have been playing for years, why haven't we heard of you before?' Well, because we haven't been around that long," Thuma said. "A lot of that is the Natasha's shows and having a gig every week.

The group's local success was anything but over night. They almost called it quits.

"After t he first four or five months, we talked about not doing it anymore. The next week it blew up. From that point on we've had a steady crowd." Dawson said. "There are sometimes it feels like a Saturday night in here."

Although Thuma and Dawson have been a consistent duo, they ha e played with a number of other local musicians.

Nathan "Hippie" LeClear played mandolin in the band before moving out of town and flutist Lani Meyer also joins the group on occasion.

Percussionist Cody Tastove has been playing with Tuma and Dawson for several months.

The band's most recent addition, guitarist Casey Cagle, played with the band at Flint Hills Music's 'Live in the Lot' and at last Friday's benefit concert for Brandon Ayers. Cagle also regularly performs with his other band Instant Grits.

"It's a revolving door sometimes, but we all have a good time and that's what's important." Dawson said.

Tastove, Thuma and Dawson independently released their first full album, "Gypsy Mama" in April 2007. LeClear and Meyer also contributed to the album.

Four songs from the album can be heard on the band's website http://www.myspace.com/pickyhitchhiker.

The group has been able to share the stage with many bands they greatly admire, including Boulder, Colo.'s Elephant Revival Concept and McPherson, Kan.'s Fast Food Junkies.

"[The Fast Food Junkies] said that Emporia is one of the best bluegrass, folk scenes in Kansas," Thuma said. "For a smaller town, Emporia's got a great live music scene and we're glad to be a part of that."

Emporia's own Dewayn Brothers were also cited as a big inspiration for the band.

"They're one of the reasons I moved here," said Dawson. "I saw something happening in Kansas, and I felt like I should be a part of it."

Elexa and the Hitchhikers will be playing Natasha's on Wednesday at 8pm.
- The Bulletin - Eric Sonnakolb


Monday, 11 September 2006

The middle of the week can be a tough 24 hours to get through. Luckily, Natasha's Billiards and Lounge, located at 627
Commercial Street is here to help. Every Wednesday evening, with the exception of September 13, will be Open Mic Night.
A preceding performance from 7 to 9 p.m. will feature the impressive vocal stylings of Elexa Dawson, a singer, songwriter, guitar player and entertainer.
"I've been singing professionally since I was about seven," Dawson said. "I was fortunate enough to have a grandmother who was very interested in educating us. That was the basis of what really got me started."
Dawson, resident of Cottonwood Falls, is currently trying to gain experience and establish an individual style.
"I've been actively trying to hone my skills, like with my rhythm guitar," Dawson said. "I'm not a picker but I do like to play rhythm guitar. Also with my singing, I'm working on developing my own style."
People attending Dawson's performances can look forward to original pieces written by Dawson mixed in with covers of
songs by the likes of Janis Joplin and Lucinda Williams. - Amy Harris - ESU Bulletin


Monday, 11 September 2006

The middle of the week can be a tough 24 hours to get through. Luckily, Natasha's Billiards and Lounge, located at 627
Commercial Street is here to help. Every Wednesday evening, with the exception of September 13, will be Open Mic Night.
A preceding performance from 7 to 9 p.m. will feature the impressive vocal stylings of Elexa Dawson, a singer, songwriter, guitar player and entertainer.
"I've been singing professionally since I was about seven," Dawson said. "I was fortunate enough to have a grandmother who was very interested in educating us. That was the basis of what really got me started."
Dawson, resident of Cottonwood Falls, is currently trying to gain experience and establish an individual style.
"I've been actively trying to hone my skills, like with my rhythm guitar," Dawson said. "I'm not a picker but I do like to play rhythm guitar. Also with my singing, I'm working on developing my own style."
People attending Dawson's performances can look forward to original pieces written by Dawson mixed in with covers of
songs by the likes of Janis Joplin and Lucinda Williams. - Amy Harris - ESU Bulletin


Find entire article here:
http://www.esubulletin.com/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2760&Itemid=30

...Elexa and The Hitchhikers will be playing with GCDC Saturday. The two bands met at this year’s Two Sons Acoustic Vacation in Noel, Mo.

"After watching her play, I fell in love with her music," said Stewart. "I think she’s one of the best singersongwriters out there."

"Their set was amazing," Gordon said. "Lexy’s songs are like organic fruit: pure, powerful and sweet."

GCDC are playing Natasha’s, 627 Commercial St., on Saturday at 8 p.m. with Elexa and The Hitchhikers.

- Eric Sonnakolb - ESU Bulletin


Find entire article here:
http://www.esubulletin.com/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2760&Itemid=30

...Elexa and The Hitchhikers will be playing with GCDC Saturday. The two bands met at this year’s Two Sons Acoustic Vacation in Noel, Mo.

"After watching her play, I fell in love with her music," said Stewart. "I think she’s one of the best singersongwriters out there."

"Their set was amazing," Gordon said. "Lexy’s songs are like organic fruit: pure, powerful and sweet."

GCDC are playing Natasha’s, 627 Commercial St., on Saturday at 8 p.m. with Elexa and The Hitchhikers.

- Eric Sonnakolb - ESU Bulletin


Discography

2006 - LIVE in the Laundry Room
2007 - Gypsy Mama
2008 - aha'w kodme'min (live)

Photos

Bio

Contact: by phone: Lexy (620) 273-6342 Josh (620) 794-5020 Contact: by e-mail: hitchhikers@rocketmail.com Send Email

"Elexa Dawson writes home-spun tales of warmth and soul; pure, simple, beautiful. Music that's stirring yet peaceful; tasty like a cold beer." Matt Watt

"Lexy's songs are like organic fruit: pure, powerful and sweet." Jason Gordon

In September of 2006 in the Pecan Grove, an upright bass was sold. The transaction was made on sacred grounds: Spoon Camp. Winfield, KS.

With influences ranging from post-punk to ragtime, The Hitchhikers' music has taken a unique form that stretches your expectations from alternative folk and bluegrass.

The live show is a 5 piece ensemble featuring Elexa singing originals, Thuma on bass, Cody on percussion, and Melissa Tastove on harmony vocals and rhythm toys.

The Hitchhikers have shared the stage with the likes of: The Dewayn Brothers, My-Tea Kind, Fast Food Junkies, Elephant Revival Concept, BuffaloFitz, Shady Lane String Band, The Rounders, GCDC, Tall Cotton String Band, The Haymakers, Fashionably Late, The Canvas, and many more.

A typical set from The Hichhikers will include original music by Elexa Dawson as well as traditional songs and alternative country classics.