Shoestring Strap
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Shoestring Strap

San Diego, California, United States

San Diego, California, United States
Band Americana Bluegrass


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review for our new 2007 relese, Mudgrass"


Shoestring Strap's latest release, Mudgrass, is a country-rock road house release that begs to be sung along with. They've got an impressive array of rootsy music instruments in their line up including guitar, banjo, upright bass, lap steel, dobro, mandolin, which gives them a richer, deeper sound than your typical bar band. But it's their unapologetic twang slice-of-life ballads that make them so much fun. Highlights include “This Ain't Love,” “I Ain't Right,” “Burrito,” “All Night Wasted” “Quarter In The Jukebox,” “Ride That Train,” and “Don't Think I Love You Anymore.”

- Taproot Radio, Calvin Powers

"Finest Qualities Review"

(Available at

Shoestring Strap

By Ollie
Published May 25, 2006

Album: Finest Qualities, Shoestring Strap
Label: self- released
1) My Seat at the Bar 2) Tongue Tied 3) Quicksand
4) Tijuana Jail 5) Hangin' On 6) Struttin' 7) Through the Night
8) Indian Summer 9) Jamie Girl 10) You Can't Hear Me
11) Rocky Mountain Lady
$9.99 at live shows and
Band: Dave Lowenstein, guitar, vocals; Kent Stephens, guitar, bass, vocals; Keith Tenzer, mandolin; Mickey Lee, bass, vocals; D.J. Bonin, drums, vocals

Shoestring Strap

Shoestring Strap is a blue jeans and camping-in-the-mountains band in sweatshirts and hats. Their sound ranges from the acoustic guitar, mandolin, and harmonized voices of bluegrass to the electric guitar, fiddle, and lonesome vocals of honky-tonk. If you couldn't tell the two apart, you wouldn't be interested in the album Finest Qualities. "Country" music is a taste not shared by all. Hell, even I can't stand that "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" and "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" puerile vomit they pass off as music on KSON.

Shoestring is less glitz and glam and more honesty, fun, and talent, which may hurt them in the long run but makes them a damn better listen. And they are talented. Not one note is missed, fuzzy, or off on the entire album. They're tight and crisp with the timing and sophisticated with the riffs and beats.

Although I don't think it would be out of place in the other tracks, "Tijuana Jail" is the first on the CD to feature the fiddle. It's about a man in the border town's clink. It sounds a little like Robert Earl Keen's "Road Goes on Forever," with a slower pace but just as catchy sing-along-with-us lyrics. It's not a rowdy party song but a bluesy lament.

"Struttin' " is a hop-along country song about walking with a girl that has a pace to match its theme. A few of the songs are about leaving, loving, and the things we ought to do instead of the things we end up doing. One of the "leaving" songs is "You Can't Hear Me." It's a wintry, rainy-day, sad ballad and my favorite song on the album. - San Diego Reader


Finest Qualities 2005

The track "Quicksand" from Finest Qualities is broadcast at San Diego State University during breaks in cable-broadcasted events.

A single of their song "If Jesus Was Whiskey" is in an upcoming independent film called "Circus Of Life" which stars Casey Kasem and William Shatner.

Mudgrass - 2007



Shoestring Strap played their first gig in June of 2004 as an acoustic bluegrass trio. Over 100 gigs and many stylistic twists and turns later they have become regulars in the San Diego music scene and beyond with their Kickass Outlaw Mudgrass sound. Places they have played include Winston’s and ‘Canes in San Diego, the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, Sherwin’s Folly in Mammoth, Humboldt Brews and Six Rivers Brewery in Arcata, and the Bobolink and Ten Mile Tide Summer Explosion festivals.

Most of their original tunes revolve around familiar themes: drinking, Jesus, and forlorn love. Their sound is a rowdy combination of the slide of Brennan's steel guitar, the twang of Kent and Lowie singing their hearts out, Mark pounding on the drums like Animal and Keitho hunched over his mando like a man on a mission. It’s all mixed with lyrics that hit just a little too close to home.

2006 was a breakout year for Shoestring Strap. Along with playing an invite-only national horseshoe tournament as well as two festivals alongside such bands as Garaj Mahal, Zilla, and Ten Mile Tide, they were invited to L.A. to record their song "If Jesus Was Whiskey" for an upcoming independent film featuring William Shatner and Casey Kasem.

2007 will bring more festival appearances as well as their sophomore studio album release. Never satisfied to keep things as they are, Shoestring Strap is always pushing their sound in new directions and always writing songs, refining them by playing them live until all the parts fall into place perfectly.

Shoestring Strap will get you up and dancing, stomping your feet and clapping your hands like there's no tomorrow, so git on down to the show and Get Your Strap On!