For Fans of: Ralph Stanley and Flatt & Scruggs with the Intensity of a Jackhammer
Urban Pioneers are a bluegrass-based trio comprised of a few very well-known artists in the scene. Jared McGovern, Liz Sloan, and Keith Roberts make up the core of the Urban Pioneers and have all been a part of several notable groups including The Broken Band, Bob Wayne’s Outlaw Carnies, Call Me Bronco, and others.
The talents of both Jared McGovern and Liz Sloan have been oft-touted over the years; Jared McGovern has earned a reputation as one of the most talented upright bassists on the road today – though he now aptly helms the band on both clawhammer banjo and guitar – while his fiancé, Liz Sloan, has been the cause of dropped-jaws all over the US and Europe for many years with her classically-trained yet traditional-American influenced fiddle talents. Both take the lead on vocal duties, solo and harmony, to provide the traditional duet harmonies you would expect from any bluegrass duo and trio. Once you include the hard-driving, heavy hands of Keith Roberts on the upright bass, you have yourself the Urban Pioneers, one of the fastest rising bands in the roots scene today.
The Pioneers have released two albums; Addicted to the Road in 2014 and Vehicle in Transit in 2015 and always have a new song or two to showcase when they pass back through your town. Addicted to the Road exhibited the bluegrass origins of the band while Vehicle in Transit displays the Urban Pioneers progression towards their newfound Hillbilly Swing. They both stand alone as some of the best roots records released in the last several years. They certainly made a fan of myself and most everyone you run into on the road, especially here at The Westport Saloon.
The Urban Pioneers are one of the premier acts at this year’s Westport Roots Festival and you would only do yourself a disservice if you fail to make it to their set. This show will be one of the highlights of the festival!