ONE TON PIG
It’s hard to believe that a band that recently released its fourth critically acclaimed record, played hundreds of shows, appeared at festivals, and topped regional polls, began as an accident. But nine years ago, Americana visionaries One Ton Pig were just two guys with no band contracted to play a bluegrass night at a local watering hole.
“We started with no expectations, “says primary singer-songwriter Michael Batdorf. “We made a pact for it to be a fun project, and to stop when we weren’t having fun.”
The Jackson Hole, Wyoming sextet melds the hard-luck singer-songwriter tradition of artists like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Steve Earle with the dazzling musicality and imaginative genre-bending of jam band musicians for a fingerprint aesthetic that blurs the lines between folk, country, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, and rock ‘n’ roll. One Ton Pig is Michael Batdorf, guitar, vocals, main songwriter; Tim Farris, mandolin, vocals, co-songwriter; Justin Smith, guitar, vocals, co-songwriter; Matt Herron, violin; Marty Camino, bass; and Jason Baggett, drums.
Emerging from the mountain town of Jackson, Wyoming, Inland Isle is a new indie folk-rock band whose members were bound to find each other in a small – but surprisingly deep – music scene. On their eight-song debut album, Time Has Changed Us, Inland Isle reckons with the aftermath of upheaval in America and its effects on relationships, community and livelihoods.
Set in dramatic, dirty rock landscapes tinged with psychedelia, the songs are anchored by accessible hooks and the introspective lyrics crooned by songwriter-guitarist Pat Chadwick atop lush vocal harmonies.
“Grieving for our country/Lost sight of my home/My hands left your side/To fumble with my phone/Little tragedies I didn’t need to know,” Chadwick sings about a politically altered relationship on the moving title track.
Frequently confused as brothers at shows, Chadwick and lead guitarist Dusty Nichols both grew up in Massachusetts – and even lived in the same Boston-area neighborhood in their 20s – but never met until moving 2,300 miles away to secluded Jackson Hole. They had individually earned nods from the likes of Paste magazine and NPR for their songwriting in prior bands. After those projects became dormant, this collaboration became a natural fit in the spring of 2019.
The Inland Isle lineup is rounded out by frequent collaborator and prolific musician Leif Routman as bassist, and Shawn Fleming, an intuitive drummer with industry engineering experience in LA and Portland, OR. With members now spending time in Portland and Boise, ID, Inland Isle is already building a fanbase across the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest.
The newly formed band quickly built its rapport by working out four-part harmonies at weekly vocal-only gatherings; trading out their instruments for copious amounts of wine. Those harmonies quickly became an indispensable part of their sound. Recorded in a Montana cabin, Time Has Changed Us was engineered and produced by Fleming and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, The Shins).