Renegade Stringband is a five-piece ensemble (sometimes six-piece when the wonderful fiddler, Ben Hunter, can join in) based in Portland, Oregon. The band formed in the summer of 2010, uniting around their love of danceable acoustic music and bluesy vocal harmonies. Original music forms the heart of their repertoire, but the band also interprets traditional tunes and the work great American songwriters such as Gillian Welch and Tom Waits. Whether you hear them in a street fair or a concert hall, Renegade Stringband will tickle your wits, soothe your soul, and get your money-maker shaking.
“Six piece Renegade String Band started things off with their lively, uptempo bluegrass, effortlessly trading instrumental solos like a jazz sextet throughout frisky covers of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Black Keys tunes. Lead by front woman Jessica Jarris’ bold, rootsy vocals, the band played a generous set and had a few fans dancing by the stage, but the venue was so crammed everywhere else my boyfriend and I left for a drink at a nearby bar hoping the crowd would thin out by the next act.” – Seattle Weekly review (High Dive, 1/27/12)
After meeting at the crossroads of blues and folk music in the Pacific Northwest, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons established their duo act after their first year at the Pt. Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival. Delving deeper into their shared love of traditional and communal American musical styles, they developed their sound by adapting the arrangements of luminaries such as Blind Willie McTell to work on fiddle and banjo.
The next year at Pt. Townsend, Dom Flemons (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) caught their act, and invited them to North Carolina to form a new trio. In the spring of 2013, they recorded an album together and began touring across the South. Joe and Ben’s duo sound matured as they worked with Dom and explored the cultures that spawned the music they had come to love. Now, as they prepare to release their own duo album of blues, rags, folk songs and fiddle tunes, Joe and Ben have begun to fuse the graceful grit of the south with the ethos of their home in the Pacific Northwest. Their debut album will be released in the summer of 2014.