Kickstand Productions Presents!
The Crane Wives, Distant Brothers
In Japanese folklore, the crane wife is a bird disguised as a woman who spins fine silks from her own feathers, until her identity is discovered. The Crane Wives spin fine songs from whole cloth, and you will never want the melodies to leave your head. From murky origins in Chinese restaurants, high school ska bands, and dorm room jam sessions, the band came together in 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and immediately began gathering a following with intricate melodies, sister-harmonies, and compelling songcraft. Initially part of the indie folk boom, their sound has grown and broadened with each new recording till categorization becomes difficult: rock, pop, folk? Just call it really good music.
Audiences and critics agree: seven "Jammie" awards from influential radio station WYCE in '11, '12, '16 and '17; winner of Best Folk/Country song from international competition ArtPrize for "Easier" in '12; a selection as one of ten "Entries We Loved" from the renowned NPR Tiny Desk Contest for "High Horse" in '17; and winners of JBL Professional's Best American Band Competition. Kate Pillsbury: guitars, vocals, a twinkle in her eye that tells you she sees through your BS but chooses to be amused by it. Emilee Petersmark: guitars, banjo, vocals, boots that will stamp out injustice wherever it may lurk. Ben Zito: bass, occasional howls, secret production weapon. Dan Rickabus: drums, harmony vocals, engineering, relentless and frankly exhausting levels of positivity.
Four albums released to date: "Safe Ship, Harbored (2011), "The Fool In Her Wedding Gown" (2012), "Coyote Stories" (2015), and "Foxlore" (2016), plus a series of new singles in 2017, all available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Bandcamp, CDBaby, and hell, even Myspace. If you want to hear about love, life, fear, hope, pain, and the occasional natural disaster, this band, and these songs, are for you.
The Crane Wives are happily endorsed by Deering Banjos and GHS Strings.
Having successfully paid their dues making the rounds of the Chicago open-mic circuit four years ago, the members of Distant Brothers are wrapping up the recording of their first full-length studio album in 2016.
Distant Brothers began performing as a duo between Dan Beirne (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukelele) and Ryan Burns (banjo, mandolin, guitar) at Logan Square’s Gallery Cabaret. A desire for percussion gave way to Tommy Grevlos (drums, djembe) joining the group, while they entertained a variety of monikers for the band including “The Distance Boys,” which was quickly abandoned.
Some months later, while seeking to break further into the Chicago music scene, Matt Cefalu (guitar and bass), a mutual friend of Dan’s, approached the band to offer assistance in gig booking, as well as rounding out the roster with some electric bass. After their first rehearsal as a four-piece group, it was clear that group of four distinct voices was a match meant to be.
One six-song EP, two separate singles, and many Chicago shows later, the band finds itself continuing to evolve musically and philosophically, while maintaining the core values collectively instilled upon them: searching for truth within their artistic composition and bringing people together with their music.