The Whistlepigs

The Whistlepigs

BandFolkBluegrass

A hard driving band bridging the gap between pre-war country and classic bluegrass. We have created a distinctly northern version of rural bluegrass and stringband music featuring lots of lush harmonies, hot picking and good old fashioned foot stomping fun.

Biography

"Sing Out!" magazine recently said of us that "there are a great number of fine regional bluegrass bands out there playing at the clubs and festivals nationwide. The Whistlepigs String Band is one of the best" (Summer, 2008)

The Whistlepigs pride ourselves on tight 3- and 4-part harmony vocals and hot instrumentals. We uphold bluegrass tradition and break with convention, playing everything from Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, and Flatt and Scruggs to The Beatles, old Appalachian songs, classic country, and even a swing tune or two. Over our nearly six years together, we've done more and more song writing as well. Our most requested pieces are our originals like "That Water," "Fenceline," and "Faith of My Father."

Our stage show sizzles with variety and the traditional dance around the old style single-microphone set up. We've had the privilege of playing festivals, orchards, coffee houses, churches, clubs, and barn dances all over the Upper Midwest: MN, WI, SD, IA, MI, and Saskatchewan.

"Unjugged," our debut CD, was released in June, 2004, and took off to the four corners of the country. One track was selected for national distribution on InRadio’s audio magazine--10,000 copies went out in January, 2005!

"Fenceline" is our second effort, released Feb. 2008. It's been played coast to coast and WorldWideBluegrass.com plays it on the internet. Not only did Bob Everhart's group the "Rural Roots Music Commission" (Le Mars, IA) award it the "Best Traditional Country Album" of 2008, but both "Bluegrass Now" and "Bluegrass Music Profiles" have had flattering things to say about it.

We've had the distinct honor of opening for grammy-award-winning artist Mike Compton and his musical partner David Long. You'll know Mike from his mandolin work on "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," the Down From the Mountain tour, and his work with the Nashville Bluegrass Band. We've also opened for Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain as well as Special Consensus (March, 2009).

The 2009 calendar is filling up rapidly. Our new fiddler adds a dimension we've just begun to explore and we look forward to meeting you at a show.

Discography

"Unjugged" a home-grown effort
"Fenceline" our 2nd CD, released 2/2/08

Selections can be heard at www.whistlepigs.com

Set List

We do approximatlely 40% covers, 25% traditional material, and 35% originals in a 3-set night of work. We've got hundreds of songs worked up in our repertoire. We usually perform 2-3 45-60 minute sets per show. Here's an idea of what we do.

We cover Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Hank Williams, Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin. We do a couple Bob Wills numbers, a couple Beatles tunes, some gospel, a couple of this and couple of that.

We do a lot of weird old traditional music, songs like "I Picked Up A Hammer And Knocked Him on the Head," "I Could Love You All The Time" (by Estil Stewart), and old time fiddle tunes. You'll hear a bluegrassified blues tune or two (like "Step It Up And Go") as well as plenty of gospel and spiritual numbers.

We don't stick rigidly to any particular genre, but it all comes out sounding unique and distinctly ours.