Way Down Wanderers Coming to Barnesville

The Way Down Wanderers

Skyflight Productions presents an evening with The Way Down Wanderers on Thursday at The Albert S. George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park in Barnesville.

Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, five-piece modern-folk Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers draw listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity. Playing, performing and writing together for just three short years, the Wanderers have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following.

Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores and propensity for performing self-titled, “restSTOMPS” — free acoustic sets at rest and truck stops along their tour routes.

The band’s debut, self-titled album, produced by Mike Marsh of the Avett Brothers and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso TX, is now available wherever music is sold.

International Song Writing Competition finalist, “Dead Birds,” is available on Spotify, iTunes and wherever digital music is sold.

Front-men and founders, Austin Thompson and Collin Krause, met in their hometown of Peoria, Ill., when they joined the same folk band and embarked on their first tour at the ages of 14 and 18 years old. The two became fast friends and soon began writing music together, ultimately forming The Way Down Wanderers when Krause was 16 and Thompson was 20 years old.

Thompson plays guitar, sings lead and harmony vocals, and plays percussion in the studio. He studied music at the collegiate level where he grew as a musician. Thompson finds much inspiration for his lyrics in the beauty of nature and his love for hiking. He adds his unique musical influences of rock, folk and the spoken word to the music he writes and performs.

Krause plays mandolin, fiddle and sings lead and harmony vocals for the band. He became involved in music when he began taking classical violin at the age of 3. Growing up around traditional roots and bluegrass music had a big influence on him. Krause enjoys writing, co-writing and arranging music for the band.

John Merikoski plans drums and percussion. He has been playing drums since age 9 and is featured on dozens of recordings, ranging from jazz and metal to hip-hop and bluegrass. In 2012 he was awarded a full ride scholarship to study jazz performance for drum set at the University of Illinois, where he has taken a break to pursue The Way Down Wanderers full-time.

John Williams plays upright bass and provides vocals. He is a former classical upright bass performance major who also enjoys singing, song-writing and entertaining a crowd

Travis Kowalsky plays banjo and fiddle. He got his start in music at a very young age in his family band. He is entirely self-taught and can play pretty much any instrument he picks up. The Wanderers were lucky enough to meet him at his home town festival in Alpena Michigan and he has been touring with them ever since.

Doors to Saturday’s show will open at 7:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 8 p.m.

For more information, call 423-276-2653 or visit Skyflight Productions on Facebook.

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