The Arts Council of Big Sky’s first Music in the Mountains concert of the summer opens with local band The Well taking Center Stage in Town Center Park at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, followed by the Bozeman-based Kitchen Dwellers for an evening of high-energy, bluegrass-bending jams.
The park will open at 5 p.m. for the second annual Soul Shine celebration, a fundraiser for ALS research and support hosted by the concert’s sponsor The Hungry Moose Market and Deli, which will feature kids’ activities, food and fun for the whole family.
The Kitchen Dwellers is a four-piece band comprised of Shawn Swain on mandolin, Max Davies on guitar, Torrin Daniels on banjo and Joe Funk on upright bass.
“We like to use the term ‘Galaxy Grass’ to describe our sound,” Swain said. “We like to take the ideas of traditional bluegrass music and turn them into something our own which is generally a more progressive, rock ‘n’ roll style approach to the genre. We are huge fans of extending jams, adding some psychedelic effects … we like to have fun with it. This is definitely not your grandfather’s bluegrass band.”
To satisfy fans who might attend a stretch of shows, and to keep themselves inspired, the Kitchen Dwellers are committed to providing a unique experience at each one of their shows.
“We put a lot of emphasis in making sure that when we play somewhere we don’t play the same show we played last time we were there,” Swain said. “We are usually trying to play new songs, introduce new covers, or just sometimes play things differently than we normally do. Sometimes our goal is to keep an audience wondering what the band will play on a given night.”
The Kitchen Dwellers are excited to embark on their busy summer tour, but looking forward to playing a concert close to home, and their first performance at Music in the Mountains.
“We are definitely fired up to play at this epic outdoor venue right in our backyards for our hometown crowd,” Swain said. “There’s not many places more beautiful than that for a band to play.”
Formed in November 2017, The Well is one of Big Sky’s newest rock bands made up of some of its most familiar musicians: Brian Stumpf on guitar, Ben Macht on electric mandolin, Shane Stalling on drums and Lauren Jackson on bass and vocals.
Coming from very different musical backgrounds has given their original music a unique sound according to Stumpf, who said he would describe it as alt/psych rock. “A high energy funky sound with just a touch of instrumental improvisation.”
Although Stumpf has been known to play in a number of local bands, he said he’s so excited about this new project he has stepped aside from all other musical commitments to focus on writing new material for The Well and practicing to get ready for a packed summer tour.
Town Center Park opens at 5 p.m. for the Soul Shine festivities, with an opening artist performing at 6 p.m., followed by The Well at 7 p.m., and the Kitchen Dwellers at 8:30. Visit bigskysoulshine.org or bigskyarts.org for more information.