NEPA Scene Staff

Appleseed Collective sling Americana sound at the Hawley Silk Mill on Oct. 17

Appleseed Collective sling Americana sound at the Hawley Silk Mill on Oct. 17
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From a press release:

“The dictionary defines Americana as, ‘things associated with the culture and history of America, especially the United States.’ Well, if that is the case, then The Appleseed Collective is real Americana.”

Jason Marck of WBEZ Chicago’s Morning Shift said this while introducing the band, who will be performing at the Hawley Silk Mill (8 Silk Mill Dr., Hawley) on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, $16, and $20 and can be purchased in advance online at or in person at AMSkier Insurance Agency (209 Main Ave., Hawley).

No Americana sound could ring so true without miles of highway to back it up, and The Appleseed Collective certainly has that – the past year has seen them travel coast to coast in support of their two studio albums, “Baby to Beast” (2012) and “Young Love” (2014).

Formed in 2010, The Appleseed Collective has become a force of nature, powered by their local community and developed by a strong sense of do-it-yourself drive. In an age of corporations and climate change, the band’s commitment to buying and selling local, eating from gardens, and being their own bosses has led to the kind of success that feels simply organic.

Each part of the Collective comes together to form an amalgam of complementary and contrasting elements. With a Motown session musician for a father, guitarist Andrew Brown was exposed to pre-World War II jazz on a trip to New Orleans. Shortly afterwards, a chance meeting introduced him to Brandon Smith, a violinist, mandolinist, and improvisatory magician who grew up playing old-time fiddle music. Vince Russo, multi-percussionist and van-packing savant, blends influences of funk, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll on the washboard. Eric Dawe comes from a background of choral singing and studies in Indian classical music, providing the bottom end on the upright bass. The whole band sings in harmony.

The band’s latest release is a live album recorded in one night at the world-renowned venue The Ark in their hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. On “Live at The Ark,” the energy is palpable – the crowd ready to receive, and the band primed to deliver. With a mix of new and old material, as well as a few specially requested covers, Appleseed does just that. The album balances barn burners, old soul jazz, and sparse mood pieces, all suspended above a room hungry for more. It’s a daring spectacle, but it pays off – the album feels at once electric and intimate, glamorous and genuine, or as Joshua Pickard at Beats Per Minute put it, “music best served alongside a roaring campfire but that also has the ability to challenge the rafters of any grand arena.”

The Appleseed Collective is not a bluegrass band. It’s not The Hot Club of Paris. It’s not a ragtime cover band. The Appleseed Collective represents Americana music rooted in traditions from all over the world and from every decade, creating a live experience that welcomes every soul and is impossible to replicate.