In a wood-paneled country dive bar in the shadow of the San Francisco skyline, Front Country forged a sound hell-bent on merging the musical past with the future.
This West Coast outfit was a loose collection of musical misfits until 2012 and 2013, when Front Country gathered around a single microphone at the RockyGrass and Telluride festivals and won first prize in those prestigious band contests that once launched the careers of the Dixie Chicks, Greensky Bluegrass, and the Steep Canyon Rangers. The contest wins bolstered their confidence in their unique mix of original songwriting, vocal harmonies, and instrumental virtuosity, steeling their resolve to take a leap of faith and become a full-time touring band.
With the release of their debut full-length album Sake of the Sound in 2014, Front Country began the nose-grinding work of making their name as a national touring act. Still based in the San Francisco Bay Area, they would trek the six-thousand-plus-mile circle around the United States for months at a time, introducing themselves for the first time to every room that would have them. Thanks to the glow of their contest wins, festivals around the country caught wind and invited them to play for their large audiences, giving Front Country a crucial first break. Old Settlers in Austin, MerleFest in North Carolina, Wintergrass in Seattle, Strawberry in California, and Grey Fox in New York all took a chance on the promising new band and solidified Front Country’s hold on the imagination of progressive-leaning acoustic music fans.
They somehow strike that perfect blend of soaring vocals, impressive playing and interesting song choices.
In a ground-breaking, genre-shaking performance . . . this San Francisco-based group screwed up every tradition of the sound America gave to the world and remolded it again.