Melody Walker’s debut album, GOLD RUSH GODDESS, will be released nationally Aug. 28, but she and partner Jacob Groopman already have reason to celebrate: With their band Front Country, they won the band competition at RockyGrass, the July festival founded 40 years ago by bluegrass icon Bill Monroe.
Walker and Groopman are now spreading the sound they like to call “Americali” on a nationwide tour that includes stops at Aug. 22’s Jerry Garcia Tribute Concert in Berkeley and in Nashville for September’s Americana Music Festival & Conference.
Walker, a Bay Area native, and Groopman, raised in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, describe “Americali” as Americana with a California twist, but just as Americana melds many influences, their music draws from diverse genres including bluegrass, rock, jazz, classical, Afrobeat, samba and even Balkan folk. They never stray too far from their American folk roots, however, preferring to create literate music that honors tradition, yet sounds completely of the moment.
Led by the title track and “Family Band,” GOLD RUSH GODDESS is already drawing high praise. The Turnstyled Junkpiled blog calls it “easily one of the strongest Americana releases of 2012.” No Depression claims, “Melody Walker has created an album of exceptional tunes.” And influential Bay Area radio station KPFA-FM raves, “She kicked it out of the ballpark on this album!”
Walker and Groopman co-produced the album, recorded in a historic former general store on a remote cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But now, they’re ready to spread Americali from sea to shining sea. And this is one gold rush you’re gonna want to get in on right now.
Upcoming tour dates include:
Aug. 18 – El Sobrante Stomp house concert, El Sobrante, Calif.
Aug. 21 – Hotel Utah, San Francisco
Sept. 7 – Plush, Tucson, Ariz.
Sept. 8 – Cowgirl BBQ, Santa Fe, N.M.
Sept. 11 – The Five Spot, Nashville
Sept. 18 – Acoustic Coffeehouse, Johnson City, Tenn.
Sept. 21 – The Bywater, Asheville, N.C.
Sept. 22 – Ashland Coffee & Tea, Ashland, Va.
Sept. 26 – Baine’s Books, Appomattox, Va.
Oct. 2 – The Purple Fiddle, Thomas, W.Va.
Oct. 3 – The Corner Store, Washington, D.C.
Oct. 4 – Rockwood Music Hall, New York
Oct. 5 – Cyber Café West, Binghamton, N.Y.
Oct. 6 – Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Oct. 7 – Outer Space, Hamden, Conn.
Oct. 8 – Cantab Lounge, Cambridge, Mass.
Oct. 10 – The Middle East Corner, Cambridge, Mass.
Oct. 11 – Slainte Wine Bar, Portland, Maine
Oct. 12 – She Doesn’t Like Guthries, Lewiston, Maine
Oct. 13 – MindFull Books & Ephemera, Jaffrey, N.H.
Oct. 14 – Club Passim, Boston,
Oct. 21 – Woodsongs Coffeehouse, Milwaukee