Goldmine Pickers
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Goldmine Pickers

Band Americana Bluegrass


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The Goldmine Pickers are delightfully "on the edge," but which edge? These talented Indiana-based musicians could be described with several tailor-made adjectives. Their instrumentals often have a sweet clarity that brushes up against on old-time style. Vocals are tinged with an edgy, contemporary bluegrass attitude delivered with either a strong Texas swing drawl or a clear easy-on-the-ears baritone. And, then they blow you away with some full-steam-ahead hot picking.

To be sure, the Goldmine Pickers have lots of edgy stuff on their "Lonesome Gone" CD. Take for example, the nine-minute wildcat instrumental "The Split." It's a rousing jam melody until that split comes. In fact, you'll think the jam (as well as the track) has ended and an entirely different, exploratory jazz tune has taken over. But, eventually, it creeps back into jam mode, resuming the original melody for the final couple of minutes.

There's a wealth of music styles on "Lonesome Gone," which makes for an album loaded with interest. "Barroom Waltz," for example, is a poignant ballad about those last few minutes before the bar closes. It's just one voice (Lukas Simpson's), soft instrumental backup, and a story that aches for human contact, proving that less is often more. "Mud," on the other hand, is on the bluesy side, and Jay Lapp's gravelly voice is the perfect vehicle for delivering the philosophical lyrics. And, then there's the lovely "Iroquois Waltz," a beautiful tune that evokes a time long passed.

All tunes (except "Mud") are band originals, giving the Goldmine Pickers free reign to explore their talents and their souls. You won't find elaborate harmonies on "Lonesome Gone," but you will be able to understand the lyrics, a worthwhile trade-off. This is a band for today's bluegrass fan who doesn't mind poking around in fresh, new territory.
JK - Bluegrass Unlimited - May 2008

SING OUT! magazine

"The band's web site describes 'Lonesome Gone,' the Goldmine Pickers' latest self-released effort, as 'deconstructionalist,' which is one of those words that almost by definition can mean almost anything you want it to. In the case of this solidly all-acoustic band from the Midwest, it appears to mean a core of old-time music with a healthy overlay of Celtic overtones and plenty of room for unexpected twists and turns along the way. These tangents include the only song not written by one of the band's four members, the Guy Clark/Buddy Mondlock gem "Mud." Guitarist and mandolinist Jay Lapp has a voice that shares some of the same qualities as Clark's and it's one of the album's strongest cuts.

"Lukas Simpson, who shares guitar and mandolin chores, takes the lead vocal on "Don't Leave Me Here Tonight," a tune with something of an engaging Grateful Dead feel to it, and it's also an arresting track. And it's safe to say that you don't often find tunes drawn in spirit from William Butler Yeats ("After Yeats"). The band is rounded out by fiddler Sean Hoffman and bassist Brian Cook, and on both vocal and instrumental numbers, the quartet supplies a nice fluid drive that's never too frantic or too laid back. 'Deconstructionalist' perhaps, but not at all hard to take in and savor."
-JL - Singout! Magazine

"Goldmine Pickers' material represents what folklorist Kenny Goldstein called the 'folk process'...[With] neotrad picking complexity and lyrical introspection, their presentation, words, and exciting, driving performances are done with respect for their sources."

-Mike Miller, Foolscap
(Philadelphia Folksong Society - Philadelphia Folksong Society


"Lonesome Gone" (Self-released, 2007)

"Goldmine Pickers" (Self-released, 2004)

Radio airplay on 30 Americana stations around the country:

--"Barroom Waltz"
--"Mud" (G. Clark)
--"After Yeats"

--"Hoad's Tornado"
--"Loneliness & Desperation"
--"Too Many Things"
--"Cold Coffee, Sour Oats"
--"Riding on a Load of Hay/Riding on a Load of Hay"



Goldmine Pickers have been brewing a fresh blend of acoustic music for audiences in the U.S. and Europe since 2003. Reviewers and concert-goers alike have reached for culinary terms to describe the music of the Midwest four-piece, including, "fresh", "tasty", "choice ingredients", "savory", and "a pleasing, hearty stew." Described as having a "timeless approach yet a style that is uniquely their own," the band effortlessly serves up a rich, fun blend of bluegrass, folk, and Irish music--with dashes of country, jazz and jam for good measure.

Nat Keefe of Hot Buttered Rum said, "From the first notes I heard, I was impressed with Goldmine Pickers. Solid vocals, good picking, tasty repertoire ... it all mixes to be a pleasing, hearty stew. In the shows we did with them, I witnessed them take a room of people who had never seen them and turn them into fans."

Goldmine Pickers has focused on crafting a unique sound that nods to Americana genres while crossing traditional borders to create a fresh new sound - one that draws audiences together. The band's set a Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago (June 2008) featured all original music. Lead vocals are shared smoothly by Jay Lapp (mandolin, guitar) and Lukas Simpson (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, harmonica), with Sean Hoffman (fiddle) and Brian Cook (bass) leaning in with additional layers of harmony. The Pickers "capture the audience" with "really nice, tight three-part harmonies,"described a reviewer at, who also wrote, "I was virtually stunned at the quality of play at the concert. [And] chemistry and stage presence weighed nearly as much as musicianship in reasons for enjoying the concert."

The band has been noted for an ability to shift from high-energy barn-burners with remarkably tight musicianship into skillfully rendered and laid-back ballads. "With a "penchant for hooks, melodies and dynamic soloing, "the band also shines on its slower numbers highlighting emotional songwriting skills well beyond that of your average barnstormers," said Seven Days of Burlington Vermont.

In 2006, a Goldmine Pickers original song titled "Conversation's Free," written by Lukas Simpson and included on the band's 2004 self-titled album, was heard by television and radio audiences in 40 countries around the world as the soundtrack for a Nissan_SHIFT commercial to advertise the Note. (Video at

In addition to performing in diverse settings from the U.S. Midwest to Ireland, the versatility of the band has delivered them to stages alongside artists such as Del McCoury Band, Hot Buttered Rum, The Waybacks, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pierce Pettis, Cornfed Girls, Greensky Bluegrass, Emory Lester Set, Wayne Hancock and many more.