The B-Side Growlers, from Grand Rapids, MI, are:
Mary Lewandoski: vocals, percussion, guitar
Matt Porter: bass, vocals
Pete Lewandoski: guitar, banjo, fiddle, vocals
The short version about us:
The B-Side Growlers are an acoustic trio who engage audiences with musical performances that are both entertaining and informative. They do this by focusing on what’s become their tagline: “Tradition inspired, toe-tappin’ fired, vintage acoustic blues, jazz and country”.
The long version about us:
The three of us have been playing music together since the 1980’s. Collectively, our backgrounds include a wide range of musical experiences, ranging from classic rock covers to classical chorus arrangements. However, as B-Side Growlers we’ve decided to focus on what’s become our tagline: “Tradition inspired, toe-tappin’ fired, vintage acoustic blues, jazz and country”.
“Tradition inspired” music allows us to revive some of those songs and tunes that have been passed down from prior generations, that have both survived and been honed by the passage of time to become part of our musical DNA. We enjoy relating the rich history and circumstances of this music, and emphasizing some of its recurring themes. Many contemporary artists have done a fine job of emulating traditional music, and some of those songs find their way into our sets as well.
“Toe-tappin’ fired” music is naturally upbeat and perfect for creating a festive atmosphere, which is a goal of ours. Much of the music was originally intended as dance music, so it’s only normal for feet to keep time to the beat when we play. Plus, it allows us to have a heck of a good time!
“Vintage acoustic” instruments are used predominantly: a resonator guitar, originally developed for its ability to project…washboard, homegrown percussion at its best…open back banjo, with its simple rural community roots…upright bass, a natural rhythm-keeper…fiddle, the dance-maker…and of course vocals, humanity’s first instrument. But it’s more than the instruments, it’s an overall sound we’re going after, something friendly and close we refer to as the ‘living room sound’. Even when amplified we incorporate a system that allows us to project this unified, intimate sound.
“Blues, jazz and country” reflects the breadth of our interests, giving us many more wells from which to draw. Incorporating all these influences also varies our sound, keeping things fresh from song to song, set to set, night to night, and year to year.
Tradition inspired music is alive and well…and we enjoy being part of it!