The B-Side Growlers
Mary Lewandoski: vocals, percussion, guitar, harmonica
Matt Porter: bass, vocals
Pete Lewandoski: guitar, banjo, fiddle, vocals
The short version about us:
The B-Side Growlers are an acoustic trio from Grand Rapids, MI, who focus on what’s become their tagline: “Tradition inspired, toe-tappin’ fired, vintage acoustic blues, jazz and country”. This allows them to create a musical experience with a rich history, festive atmosphere and a wide variety of song styles. Tradition inspired music is alive and well…and The B-Side Growlers enjoy being a part of it!
The long version about us:
The three musicians who make up the B-Side Growlers have been playing music together in some shape or form since the 1980’s. Collectively, their backgrounds include a wide range of musical experiences, ranging from classic rock covers to classical chorus arrangements. However, as The B-Side Growlers they’ve decided to focus on what’s become their tagline: “Tradition inspired, toe-tappin’ fired, vintage acoustic blues, jazz and country”.
“Tradition inspired” music allows them 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. They 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 their sets as well.
“Toe-tappin’ fired” music is naturally upbeat and perfect for creating a festive atmosphere, which is a goal of theirs. Much of the music was originally intended as dance music, so it’s only normal for feet to keep time to the beat when they play. Plus, it allows them 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 they’re going after, something friendly and close they refer to as ‘the living room sound’. Even when amplified they incorporate a system that allows them to project this unified, intimate sound.
“Blues, jazz and country” reflects the breadth of their interests, giving them many more wells from which to draw. Incorporating all these influences also varies their 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 The B-Side Growlers enjoy being part of it!