The Sheepdogs and Whiskey Shivers treated a packed crowd at The Shelter to a night of bluegrass and old fashioned rock n’ roll.

02-Jun-2016: Whiskey Shivers opened the night. Without a doubt, they could not have started off any better. Their fun, punk-rock infused bluegrass sound is unique and energetic. The band jumped from breakneck beats to soaring, almost symphonic, otherworldly melodies.

Each member mastered their instrument. The washboard and upright bass drove the music forward and gave them their unique edge. The banjo and guitar were dizzying while the fiddle danced around everything as a perfect punch. With such frenetic mix of sounds and emotions, it was hard for the audience to stand still. Most were dancing and swaying to their beat.

Everyone in Whiskey Shivers shared vocal work, which resulted in some incredible harmonies. Their songs were witty, full of heart, and kept fans engaged the entire set. This band was happy and playful on stage; they joked with each other and the audience between songs. It seemed everyone in the packed venue smiled while watching this eclectic group. They were edgy, full of passion, and one of the most interesting bands this author has seen in a while.

Whiskey Shivers will continue their tour around the US through September. Their latest self-titled album is available now at their merch store.

This barefoot bluegrass five-piece band from Austin, Texas is Bobby Fitzgerald (vocals/fiddle), Andrew VanVoorhees (upright bass/vocals), James Gwyn (washboard/vocals), Jeff Hortillosa (guitar/vocals), and James Bookert (banjo/vocals).

The crowd cheered as The Sheepdogs strutted onstage, sliding right into “Where I Can Roam.” The headliners hail from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They got their first big break in 2011 after winning Rolling Stone’s Choose The Cover competition, the first independent band to ever do so.

Since then, the band collected multiple Juno nominations and awards, toured worldwide, and earned Platinum certification for their 2010 album, Learn and Burn. Their self-titled album debuted at No. 1 on the Top 200 SoundScan Chart, garnering another gold record. Songs from their latest album, Future Nostalgia, are featured on the current tour.

The Sheepdogs are a band that must be seen live to be appreciated. Their on-stage passion and talent is such a treat to experience.

Their sound is reminiscent of 70s Southern boogie-rock. But instead of being trapped in the past, they have taken the vintage sound and molded it into something new. It is a sound that created the urge to dance and puts a smile in your soul.

The Sheepdogs played all the classic-rock favorites, soulful vocals, tasty guitar licks, and amazing solos. The grooving bass tunes and driving drum beat pulled it all together, with keyboards adding an extra punch to the whole sound. Their lyrics were earnest and the guys soulful. They knew how to have a fun time, joking and drinking with the crowd between songs.

Moving the crowd with favorites like “The Way It Is,” “I’m Gonna Be Myself,” “Southern Dreaming,” “I Don’t Get By,” “Ewan’s Blues,” and more, their energy translates into pure entertainment.

The band is currently amidst their summer tour around the US and Canada, making stops in France and Spain. They recently released fall tour dates in North America with plenty of opportunities to see them.

Their latest album, Future Nostalgia, is available now on iTunes and their merch store.

This Canadian five-piece is Ewan Currie (vocals/guitar), Ryan Gullen (bass), Sam Corbett (drums), Shamus Currie (keys), and newest addition Jimmy Bowskill (guitar).

The Sheepdogs
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Whiskey Shivers
Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Shelter
Website | Facebook | Twitter

About The Author

Calling Detroit, Michigan home, Sami has been photographing for many years and has been with National Rock Review since near the beginning. She works freelance contributing to National Rock Review as well as being the owner of Sami Lipp Photography. Capturing the excitement of live music and the passion of musicians is something she lives for. She looks forward to expanding her career in music photography.

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