Truman's Ridge
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Truman's Ridge

Sycamore, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Sycamore, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Americana Bluegrass

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"Chicago's Truman's Ridge Appearing In Kansas City"

Truman’s Ridge, an exciting, fast-paced Chicago style bluegrass band, will present a concert at Blue Springs Assembly of God at 7 p.m., Friday, July 22, 2016. They will also be performing Saturday, July 23, 1 p.m. at Papas Coffee Express, 124 S. Forrest Ave. in Liberty, and Sunday, July 24, 1:30 p.m. at Woods Memorial Christian Church, 417 Concourse in Excelsior Springs. All events are free.

The award-winning band, organized in 2008, has been playing festivals and venues all over Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri. Truman’s Ridge has high energy and influences of Chicago jazz and blues and Midwestern string band, making a listening experience that is classic bluegrass yet unique. Their harmonies are varied, at times reminiscent of the early brother bands, and at other times showing a strong rural-gospel influence in the two, three, and four-part vocals. The rock-solid beat of the guitar and bass compliment the driving rhythm of the banjo and the compelling mandolin lead breaks.

The band consists of Steven Sarver on guitar and vocals, Bruce Wallace on banjo, harmonica and vocals, Mark Fowler on mandolin and vocals and Kansas City native Chris Johnson on upright bass and vocals.

Truman’s Ridge has released four cd’s: Tru-Blue, Long Way Home, Cold Cold Feeling, and Louisiana Swing, available on CDBaby and iTunes.

For more information go to www.trumansridge.com.

Read more here: http://pressreleases.kcstar.com/release/messages/83107/#storylink=cpy - Kansas City Star


"Truman's Ridge Louisiana Swing"

This is the fourth release from Truman’s Ridge. There are 14 tracks. Eight are band originals, while among the remaining six tracks are two Bill Monroe songs (“Dark As The Night And Blue As The Day,” and “Blue And Lonesome”), the “Red Hen Boogie” and the nod-to-the-crowd choice, “Fox On The Run.” Two others, both gospel tunes, are more recently written.

From this quartet comes a sound characterized by wide spacing of the instruments. The bass being prominent on the majority of the tracks contrasts with the favoring of the higher strings by the mandolin and with the fair amount of single string work and slowly-articulated rolls from the banjo and adds to that openness. The musical lines are also kept to a simpler form and that, too, contributes to the separation. That results in a more relaxed, loose feel, one that works particularly well on their laconic and harmonica-backed cover of “Dark As…” and on the good humor of “Red Hen Boogie” and on their originals “Louisiana Swing” and “Mexican Prison.”

Vocally, they offer a smoother more urban sound, one tempered with tradition and blues. The band promo notes cite folk influences, and that proves true on quite a few tracks. Their original “Alone” certainly leans that way, as does original “Why Do You Cry,” one of the highlight tracks if only for the oddly-shifting and compelling melody line found in the chorus. You can also hear folk in the way they alter the melody of “Blue And Lonesome.” For contrast, other tracks are colored with melodic ideas based in pop music of the ’60s, most notably the West Coast bluegrass-style “Mexican Prison” and the almost Monkees-influenced stylings of “Sweet Sallie Mae.” In an age of similar approaches, it’s good to hear a band with a different aim and result. (Truman’s Ridge, 1580 John St., Sycamore, IL 60178, www.trumansridge.com.) - Bluegrass Unlimited


"Truman's Ridge Biography"

Truman’s Ridge was organized January 2008 and is based out of Sycamore, Illinois, USA.

Single vocal microphone, well dressed, fast paced, with all the excitement of the early days of Bluegrass. Truman’s Ridge is known for its classic style, high energy, and tight harmonies and instrumentation. A bit of Folk, a hint of Jazz, and a touch of Swing: Bluegrass Music - "Chicago Style!"

Band Members:
Bruce Wallace (Banjo) – Sycamore, Illinois
Steve Sarver (Guitar) – DeKalb, Illinois
Mark Fowler (Mandolin) – McHenry, Illinois
Chris Johnson (Upright Bass) – Sycamore, Illinois

The original bass used in the band had been played at a dance celebrating the nomination of Harry Truman for president of the United States and was named “Truman”. Bruce’s father’s childhood farm was located at the foot of “Crowley’s Ridge” in Arkansas. The band combined these into the name “Truman’s Ridge”.

Cold Cold Feeling is the third CD from Truman's Ridge. Cold Cold Feeling contains 7 original songs and 7 cover versions of classic Bluegrass Songs. Hard driving banjo and nimble mandolin combine with gospel influenced harmonies and some of the best lead vocals in bluegrass today. Two new instrumental numbers, covers of Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, and Bob Dylan, bluegrass “love” songs, 4 gospel numbers, and even some light “uneasy” listening make this album a must have both for fans of traditional bluegrass and listeners interested in new indie bluegrass music.
The band’s second CD, “Long Way Home”, was released in June 2010. This CD includes 17 songs, eight of which are original compositions by band members.
The first Truman’s Ridge CD, “Tru-Blue,” was released in May 2009. The CD includes 17 songs, four of which are original compositions by band members.
These CD’s have been featured on several radio stations throughout the U.S. and in Europe. "Cold Cold Feeling", "Long Way Home", and "Tru-Blue" can be ordered through cdbaby.com .

Truman's Ridge is a member of the following organizations:
Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA)
Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association (NIBA)
Southern Wisconsin Bluegrass Music Association Inc. (SWBMAI)

Additional Information regarding Truman’s Ridge including mp3’s, video clips, and an appearance schedule can be found at www.trumansridge.com .

We play concerts and festivals in Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin. We are also available for bookings in Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan.

Here is what others have said about Truman’s Ridge:

“Truman’s Ridge serves up a lightning-fast set of traditional bluegrass and gospel numbers.”
“the entire experience was marvelous”
“a WONDERFUL evening of worship, fellowship and truly phenomenal music”
“These guys are real troopers”
“unique sound ... real crowd pleasers”
“one of the best bands of the day.”
“You all Rock! (in a bluegrass fashion)”

Truman’s Ridge is now booking for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Contact them at: band@trumansridge.com. - CDBaby


"Podcast 310 Truman's Ridge"

(This is a podcast available through iTunes or on www.chicagoacoustic.net} - Chicago Acousic Underground


"Additional Releases - By Les McIntyre"

TRUMAN’S RIDGE
LONG WAY HOME
No Label, No Number.

Truman’s Ridge is a four-piece bluegrass quartet from Sycamore, Ill. Their second release combines the originals “I Cry Alone,” “The Girl I Dreamed Of,” and the instrumental “Pruschnya,” along with familiar titles “Long Black Veil,” “Walls Of Time,” and “Nine Pound Hammer.” Instrumentally, the group is fairly solid throughout the 17 selections. However, the vocal harmonies falter in places, most apparent on the group’s tepid rendition of “Old Flames.” Regardless of any glitches, Long Way Home should find favor among the fans and followers of Truman’s Ridge. (Truman’s Ridge, 1580 John St., Sycamore, IL 60178, www.trumansridge.com.) - Bluegrass Unlimited


"In The Spotlight: TRUMAN'S RIDGE"

How did the band get its name?

The original bass used in the band was named “Truman” because it was used in the jazz band that played for the Democratic National Convention during the presidential run of Harry S. Truman. Bruce’s father was raised on a farm at the foot of Crowley’s Ridge in the state of Arkansas. We combined these to create the name Truman’s Ridge.

We searched for bands named Truman’s Ridge and found we were the only one using that name (or at least the first one) .


Who are the members and what instruments does each play?

Steve Sarver plays guitar and sings lead.  Mark Fowler plays mandolin and fiddle and sings tenor harmony.  Evan Flower plays the upright bass and sings baritone harmony.  Bruce Wallace plays banjo, harmonica, and fiddle. He also supplies the bass vocals.
Evan occasionally plays banjo while Bruce fills in on the bass.

What towns are each of your band members from?

Steve Sarver is from DeKalb, Illinois. Bruce Wallace and Evan Flower are from Sycamore, Illinois. Mark Fowler is from McHenry, Illinois

How did the band get started?
Bruce and Steve had been playing together in another bluegrass band for about three years. In 2008 they decided to branch out and start their own band with the goals of writing and recording, doing some touring, and just seeing what they could accomplish with their music. They met Mark in Springfield, Illinois at a festival and really liked how he played Mandolin. He agreed to be a part of the band. Evan joined in January of 2010 after their original bass player had to retire for health reasons.



Describe the music you play?
We play Traditional Style Bluegrass.

Bluegrass has strong midwestern roots - the first bluegrass recordings were done by Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys in the studio at the Wrigley Building in Chicago, Illinois in the mid 1940’s.

Traditional Bluegrass has the energy of early rockabilly/rock and roll, the harmonies of good country gospel music, and the instrumental breaks of a good jazz quartet.

The rock-solid beat of the guitar and bass compliment the driving rhythm of the banjo and the compelling mandolin lead breaks. We also feature fiddle and harmonica on some of our songs.

Bluegrass is fun-filled family entertainment.

What makes your act different?

Truman’s Ridge is a four piece band.  We work our stage shows off a single vocal microphone. That means there is a lot of movement on stage.

We dress in the more formal tradition of hats and ties, which makes our performances appropriate for most venues.

Instrumentally the band continues to show the influence of midwestern string band and Chicago jazz and blues on its interpretation of traditional bluegrass arrangements and in our original material.

Truman's Ridge harmonies are varied, at times reminiscent of the early brother bands (Louvin, Everly, Monroe) and at other times showing a strong country-gospel influence in the 3 and 4 part vocals. The lead vocals are always strong.

Truman's Ridge offers an exciting blend of the familiar and the unique. This is Chicago style bluegrass at its finest!


Who are your three biggest influences?
Bill Monroe,The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Del McCoury


Discuss the best concert you’ve ever seen
We’ve seen a lot of great concerts. Recently we watched Dailey and Vincent down at a festival in Pontiac, Illinois. They came out fast - 20 minutes of song after song, then they changed up the show with different instrumentation and harmonies. They played a range of bluegrass styles - their instrumentation was flawless and their harmonies were awesome. They sang through 4 key changes in one song and never missed a chord. Best 50 minutes we’ve seen in a long time.


Why should people come see you (in 50 words or less)?
We offer the finest Chicago Style bluegrass. Single vocal mic, well dressed, fast paced. All the excitement and freshness of the early days of Bluegrass.
“Truman’s Ridge serves up a lightning-fast set of traditional bluegrass and gospel numbers.”
“a WONDERFUL evening of truly phenomenal music”
“You all Rock!”

What is the best thing about being a musician?
There is a synergy that occurs when the music is coming together. You can feel it - it is a beautiful, joyful thing. That and watching the little kids dance - they just can’t help but move!


Pick one:
Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley?
Chuck Berry

The Beatles or The Stones?
Rolling Stones

Michael Jackson or Madonna?
Michael Jackson


What are the URLs for the band's website, MySpace and Facebook pages?
http://www.trumansridge.com/
http://www.myspace.com/trumansridge


How can people book your band?

To book the band - email us at trumansridge@yahoo.com or call us at 815 603 1441.



List your upcoming performances.
We are currently booking for 2011 and 2012.
Wednesday - November 3 on stage at 7:30 PM - The House Cafe in DeKalb Illinois (Corner of Route 38 and 3rd St)
We will be debuting some of the new material we have been writing / working on for our next album. We will also be having a merchandise raffle.   
The House Cafe is a great venue - good food and nice folks.  All ages in the audience.  Come and join us for a evening of bluegrass. 

Saturday - November 20 - doors open at 6:00 - concert begins at 6:30 - Sycamore Baptist Church, Sycamore Illinois (corner of Somonauk and High Streets) 
This is a benefit for the Hope Haven Shelter - no cover: free will offerings accepted.
Performers include Kings Brothers, Basically Bluegrass Band, Ray Rose, and Truman's Ridge.
This will be a night filled with bluegrass and gospel music - all for a great cause.  We look forward to seeing you. 


Wednesday - December 1 - The House Cafe in DeKalb Illinois (Corner of Route 38 and 3rd St)
We will be appearing with Red Tail Ring from Michigan.  Red Tail Ring will go on stage at
 7:30 .  We will go on at about 8:20.  

Red Tail Ring consists of Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo, a duo with roots firmly planted in Appalachian old-time and folk music. This looks to be a fine night of Roots and Bluegrass Music -  


Saturday - December 4 -FEED THE NEED III - doors open at 6:00 - concert begins at 6:30 - Genoa Veteran's Home (311 S Washington St, Genoa, IL 60135)
This is a benefit for the Genoa Food Pantry. All door and raffle proceeds go to the charity.

Wednesday - January 5 on stage at 7:30 PM - The House Cafe in DeKalb Illinois (Corner of Route 38 and 3rd St)

Wednesday - February 2 on stage at 7:30 PM - The House Cafe in DeKalb Illinois (Corner of Route 38 and 3rd St)


We have recorded 2 CD’s, Tru-Blue and Long Way Home. They are available from the band or through CDBaby.com . MP3”s can also be downloaded through iTunes and Amazon.com. - The Northwest Herald, (Crystal Lake, IL)


Discography

Louisiana Swing - 2014

Cold Cold Feeling - 2012

Long Way Home - 2010

Tru-Blue - 2009

Photos

Bio

Truman’s Ridge is a regional bluegrass band based in Sycamore, Illinois, a small town about 60 miles west of Chicago and 40 miles south of Wisconsin. Truman’s Ridge has been together since 2008. We play concerts, fairs, and festivals in Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin. We are also available for bookings in Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. We have a gospel set available as well.

Truman’s Ridge is a four piece band. We work our stage shows off a single vocal microphone. Steve Sarver of DeKalb, Illinois, plays guitar and sings lead. Mark Fowler of McHenry, Illinois, plays mandolin and sings tenor harmony. Chris Johnson of Sycamore, Illinois, plays the upright bass and sings harmony. Bruce Wallace of Sycamore, Illinois, plays banjo, harmonica, and fiddle. He also supplies the bass vocals.

Truman's Ridge harmonies are varied, at times reminiscent of the early brother bands, and at other times showing a strong rural-gospel influence in the 3 and 4 part vocals. The lead vocals are always strong. Instrumentally the band continues to show the influence of midwestern string band and Chicago jazz and blues on its interpretation of traditional bluegrass arrangements. The rock-solid beat of the guitar and bass compliment the driving rhythm of the banjo and the compelling mandolin lead breaks. Fiddle and harmonica are also featured on some songs. Truman's Ridge offers an exciting blend of the familiar and the unique. This is Chicago style bluegrass at its finest!

Here is what others have said about Truman’s Ridge:

“Truman’s Ridge serves up a lightning-fast set of traditional bluegrass and gospel numbers.”
“the entire experience was marvelous”
“a WONDERFUL evening of worship, fellowship and truly phenomenal music”
“These guys are real troopers”
“unique sound ... real crowd pleasers”
“one of the best bands of the day.”
“You all Rock! (in a bluegrass fashion)”