Flat Iron String Band
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Flat Iron String Band


Band Americana Country


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The Flat Iron String Band - s/t debut album (Yodel - Ay - Hee, 2008)



What can a band do with 19 strings, 4 tires, a diesel engine and a bucket of used french-fry grease?

Tour this grand country of ours -- and bring people's hearts back to the music of Appalachian Barn Dances and the American countryside. Just as the Carter Family spread the Sunny Side of Life to Depression-era families through the radio waves of Dr. John Brinkley's XERA, the Flat Iron Stringband brings its old-time Appalachian sound to the homes, streets and watering holes of one-horse towns and big cities alike this coming winter with down-home music that everyone can relate to.

The Flat Iron Stringband plays a high-octane mix of traditional American music, carried by fiddle, fretless banjo, guitar and bass. Ranging from Appalachian Old-Time square dance music to 1950's Honky Tonk, with a smattering of original takes on old standbys, Flat Iron's heart-wrenching country-duet vocals and whoop-and-holler dance tunes evoke a sound and emotion not often found on today's indie/folk stage. A throwback, if you will, to simpler times of mountain-country life in the hollers and foothills of the Appalachian range, yet still using the modern day approach learned from their rock and punk music influence.

* Nick "Scarface" Stillman: Fiddle

Nick Stillman was born with perfect pitch, only to lose it several days later. He grew up, forgoing a promising tennis career, and finally, after losing a game of chess for the first and last time, decided to embark on the wayward way of the busker. After looking this word up in the dictionary, he said goodbye to his computer, bought a new one, and left wherever he was, to go...wherever. All joking aside, he spent the next 7 or 8 years playing fiddle on the streets of Maine, California, North Carolina, New England, Old England, Ireland, Denmark, France, and Spain, just to name a few, constantly repeating the phrases "No, this isn't Irish music," and "No, I don't know how to play the Devil Went Down to Georgia," in various local dialects. He has turned down his fair share of marriage proposals to devote himself to a life of lonely wandering, along with many of his closest friends. He had stomped his right foot 38,746 times at last count.

* J.P. "Squash" Harris: Fretless Banjo, Guitar, Vocals

J.P. Harris (called more often by the nickname "Squash" his momma gave him) started playing early Country and Honky Tonk while traveling the country at 16. His love of Old Time music was inherited through his kin in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, where his family has lived since well before the Civil War. He now resides in Halifax, Vermont, where he builds custom fretless banjos, works as a restoration carpenter, and runs a small low-impact forestry operation. When he is not working at home, he can easily be found under a tattered tarp at a fiddler's convention, in a lamp-lit shack on a mountainside, or busking on the streets wherever he may be. His trademark fretless banjo sound was formed by the desire to play as close to the fiddle as possible, whether right on pitch or "between the keys."

* Sabra "Scope" Guzman: Guitar, Uke, Vocals, Feet

Sabra Guzman remembers beginning her musical journey as a youngster, banging away at the piano, then on to the electric bass while living in Long Beach, California. By the good graces of the gods, she moved up and down the West Coast, familiarizing herself with other port towns such as Portland, Oregon and Oakland, CA. While in the Bay Area, Sabra began venturing into American Roots music when she found herself drawn to the guitar-styles and voices of country musicians such as Lefty Frizzell and Mother Maybelle Carter. Soon, with a guitar in one hand and a banjo uke in the other, she was off to France and Switzerland with the Mercury Dimes, a San Francisco-based Old Time string band, returning to the States to play more with the Dimes, and also work with the Crooked Jades. Now, on the East Coast, and as she rests for a moment in Charlottesville, Virginia, Sabra continues to indulge in this roots music as she takes in the vast Appalachian horizons, as she embarks on her late night musical larks to nearby states, and as she begins to tackle the intricacies of moving around this country without as many things as you think you may need.

* Amanda Kowalski: Bass, Feet

Amanda Kowalski is a West Virginian living in Portland, Maine. She has one gray cat, two basses, and three cameras. Amanda spends her time eating ice cream, dancing in the living room, reading magazines on public transportation, playing bass and taking pictures. In 2006, Kowalski moved from Nashville where she worked as a touring bass player to Portland, Maine where she studied photography at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. These days, she is focusing on maintaining both interests. She shoots for publications, photographs musicians for albums and publicity material, and visually documents moments in the lives of interesting people. Musically, she has spent the past