This Alt Country / Americana band from San Luis Obispo, California is named after the desolate, rattlesnake-fested no man’s land between two tiny central california towns where they grew up. Formed by singer/songwriter Jon Bartel and pedal steel player Brenneth Stevens, the band released an EP, Great Depression, which they followed up with a full length album, Vagabonds in late 2017, both put out by independent label Twang N Bang Records. Songs from both releases garnered regular radio play and local accolades, including an award for “best country / americana song” for the track “No More Heroes” in the SLO New Times annual music awards.
On Vagabonds, the band displays what they call “Twang Pollution”- swampy percussion courtesy of Taylor Belmore and the sturdy, root-driven bass playing of Kirk MacLane undergird the sometimes hauntingly delicate, sometimes crescendoing guitar/pedal steel careenings of Adam Nash and Brenneth Stevens, who trade off leads that range from classic country to noisy, blues / jazz-influenced experimentation, often in the same song. Bartel glues it all together with an old acoustic guitar and lyrics that one reviewer calls “literate, melancholic, often narrative… Lucinda Williams-level lament.”
Much of the material on Vagabonds was extensively road and stage tested all over the West Coast in 2017, and the band is scheduled to tour California, Oregon and Washington in the summer of 2018. Tour dates, music streaming, press photos and social media links are available at the band’s website: www.thecrestonline.com