Whether they’re at a brewery pub, a music festival, or on a street corner, Michigan-based band The Northern Skies play “acoustic, bluegrass-tinged folk that perks up your ears with an infectious, indie-rock sheen” (The Grand Rapids Free Press, Grand Rapids MI). Ask the band and they will tell you that their music is acoustic folk-rock with teeth!
The band is a culmination of members crossing not only through geographic and generational gaps but likewise through genres of music, drawing influences from indie rock groups as well as traditional roots/bluegrass outfits. The sound is created by front-man and multi-instrumentalist, Eric Engblade and rounded out by a dynamic rhythm section comprised of Emily Carlson on violin, Nic Cole on bass and Paul Wozniak on drums and percussion. Each musician is as talented as they are versatile; together with “Engblade’s clear, strong vocals [that] give power to his lyrics,” (Ludington Daily News, Ludington MI) their sets are rounded out with performances on mandolins, banjos, and more in any given set.
Hailed as a “beautiful”, “up-north, front porch masterpiece” (Recoil Magazine, Grand Rapids MI) their fourth and most recent album, “Northern Skies,” was recorded at River City Studios in Grand Rapids, MI. The 2009 album reflects each season of their home state of Michigan, a journey that begins in haunting January, and continues through a changing landscape “awash in Americana instrumentation and modern songwriting” (Recoil Magazine, Grand Rapids MI). The spirit of each month is captured with eclectic style and diverse instrumentation, an American sound with incorruptible independence
With ties to Grand Rapids and Detroit, the band (formerly known as “Drake”) has performed under the Northern Skies of the Midwest at a pace of over 80 shows a year and they show no sign of stopping. In fall of 2007, they were selected to open for comedian Mike Birbiglia on his Comedy Central Tour at City Opera House in Traverse City Michigan. In the Fall of 2009, they were selected as finalists in the Great Lakes Song Writing Contest for their song “Mission Accomplished” (www.GreatLakesSongs.com). In the Summer of 2010, they are slated to follow up their 2009 appearance at the Royal Oak Arts Beats and Eats Festival and are also appearing at the Wayfarer Roots and Bluegrass Festival (Detroit, MI) and the Hoxeyville Music Festival (Cadillac, MI).