Whiskey Shivers To Headline First Night Of BGVMF

The Blue Grass Valley Music Festival will take place August 12th through 14th. The headlining musicians for Friday evening are an Austin, Texas band, Whiskey Shivers. Fiddle player Bobby Fitzgerald spoke to us about the band.

“Well, we’ve got a bluegrass instrumentation, we’ve got a fiddle, upright bass, banjo, guitar and washboard. But we try to steer away from calling ourselves “bluegrass” for fear of upsetting higher minded folk – so we go with “trashgrass – a little dirtier, a little faster, you know, trashier. We’ve got James Bookert on the banjo; Jeff Hortillosa on guitar; James Gwinn on the washboard; Andrew VanVorhees on the bass. And we formed up in 2009, in Austin, Texas – we all kind of met by happenstance down there. All of us moved there to play some music, and we all happened to run into each other, started playing, and before we knew it, had a band and a gig – well, I guess we had a gig and then we became a band. And we’ve just been rolling since then, just trying to play music that we like to listen to, that we like to hear, that we have fun doing, and we have fun doing – I mean, that’s what it’s all about. We’re out here to have a good time and try to spread around, you know? Life’s tough, and you gotta play tunes.”

The list of the band’s influences provides some more insight into their musical philosophy.

“I’d say Devil Makes Three has been a big influence, Old Crowe Medicine Show, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Motley Crue, Megadeth – you know, the list goes on and on. We kind of came up from non-traditional , certainly not playing folk music growing up, all of us. So we kind of take that feel for the other music that we really love as well, and kind of just inject that, almost subconsciously. It’s just kind of stuff that we know and love, and it comes through with the instruments that we have. And of course, bluegrass and old time is one of the genres that we love, but it’s certainly not the primary focus or influence. We get to do what we like – there’s not really a lot of rules, as far as it goes. Do what you do, and as long as it’s coming across honestly and enjoyably, then why stop it?”

While the band spends plenty of time on the road, they did find time this year to enter the studio to create some new music.

“We’re working on a new record that should be coming out early January, 2017, that we are really excited for it. We got to record in Austin, Texas, at a studio called The Bubble, and our producer was Frenchie Schmidt and our engineer is Sean Hall – great guys, it’s really been a pleasure working with them. They really helped push us to kind of explore new options to see what we have to offer, and again, just grow into, I think, a good expression of where we’re at now, and I’m really excited to get it out there.”

For more information on the band, visit their website, www.whiskeyshivers.com. And stay tuned for an interview with Saturday night’s headliners, Big Daddy Love.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

Current Weather