PINEDALE, Wyo. — Grace and grit is a sonic balance that Fort Collins band Whippoorwill pulls off both lyrically and harmonically. The double female-fronted, Harvest Moon-era Neil Young-meets-Lucinda Williams inspired project is Alysia Kraft (guitar, vocals), Staci Foster (guitar, banjo, harmonica, vocals), and Tobias Bank (drums, vocals). The trio will expand into a quartet with a bassist when they headline the Pinedale Fine Arts Council (PFAC) Soundcheck Summer Music Series this Saturday, with support by Denver-based singer-songwriter Brianna Straut.
“We’ve been getting together and working on new material and doing some DIY recording. Everybody has space for their own personal passion work,” said Kraft, who has been sharpening her skills with online guitar classes at Berklee College of Music in lieu of touring. “I really wanted to work on my chops. That’s been so enriching and exciting. I’ve been loving it. Tobias has been building banjos, at Clocklick Banjo Shop, and Staci is making an amazing garden.”
Some may recognize Whippoorwill’s Kraft as frontwoman for rock band Patti Fiasco, which has Wyoming roots and previously performed in the region with the WYOmericana Caravan Tour and Contour Music Festival. Kraft was raised on a family-owned cattle ranch in Encampment, Wyoming, while Foster hails the rivers of the Texas Hill Country. The pair of singing songwriters linked up by chance at a South by Southwest porch picking party in 2013.
What would follow is an alt-folk and alt-country, boots-in-the-dirt project that kicked off with the 2016 EP, Good to Be Around, followed by 2019’s The Nature of Storms, and a recent single release of John Prine’s “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” that appeared on World Café. With just one other August date standing on their Facebook page, this will be one of the only chances to catch the band this summer.
Kraft, who also works as the Artist Development Coordinator at the Music District in Fort Collins, misses playing music for people and shared, “Whippoorwill is excited to play in Pinedale and trust that the community is playing it safe.”
Whippoorwill with Briana Straut, 5 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Park in Pinedale. Free, all-ages. The show has an attendance cap of 475 and a social distancing safety plan that includes a checkerboard seating arrangement. For more information about shows and safety measures, visit PinedaleFineArts.com.
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