Show Review: The Kitchen Dwellers Live Stream from the Bridger Mountains

Show Reviews

Cabin porch and portrait photos courtesy of Neubauer Media
Poster print courtesy of Twin Home Prints
Screen capture by David Nowels 

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Following an epic nine show run of streaming shows from Billy Strings, it seemed as if bluegrass fans might be in for a case of with-drawls. Thankfully, the Kitchen Dwellers rose to the occasion, providing a much needed cushion to our jamgrass needs. Presented by American Songwriter, the Montana quartet played three sets of inspired “galaxy grass” music from their rustic and secluded cabin nestled in the Bridger Mountains this past Friday and Saturday. The band consists of Joe Funk (Bass & vocals), Shawn Swain (mandolin & vocals), Torrin Daniels (banjo & vocals) and Max Davies (Guitar & vocals), and they’ve been doing their thing since around 2010. Sharing stages with The Infamous Stringdusters, Railroad Earth and more, the band has played Red Rocks and countless big stage festivals all while honing their craft. The band has released two independent studio albums, 2017’s Ghost in the Bottle, and their most recent and current, Muir Maid, and a good number of those songs made their way into the set lists for both nights, along with lots of teases and cosmic jams.

Friday night’s stream featured two sets, and smoked start to finish. The band showcased inspired, expansive playing, tentative restraint, followed by intergalactic travel and balanced re-entries. The segues were clever, imaginative and jam packed (“Crown”>”Guilty”>”Crown”) . These boys pick fast, rip apart the bounds of conformity and meld together a psychedelic blend of unique bluegrass. There’s rock/metal riffs, world influences and acoustic gold that really hit the target. It’s darn near impossible to keep from moving along with this no matter who you are.

Live From The Cabin
Nowhere, MT
7/31/2020
I:
Five Candles
Here We Go >
Can’t Stop Now
Last Year >
Broken Cage (1) >
Sunday Funday
Down In The Lonesome Draw
The Crown >
Guilty (2) >
The Crown (3)
II:
Shadows
Muir Maid >
No More To Leave You Behind
Red Haired Boy >
Buckle Down
Woods Lake >
Driftwood
Covered Bridges >
High On A Mountaintop >
Covered Bridges >
New Horizons
(1) Last Year tease
(2) Lyric change “Bust right through the cabin door, oh look here it’s Jesse Korb”
(3) Guilty teases

The Rocky Mountains have been a hot bed for the jamgrass movement with a plethora of bands rising among those lofty peaks. Obviously, Denver and Colorado in general has been a mountain view oasis for bluegrass and jambands in general over the years. But, that home range has seen quite a bit of expansion, with talented bands such as the Kitchen Dwellers, building rabid fan bases in areas such as Bozeman, MT. It certainly seems like a great place to be for a music fan, and well, the atmosphere and vibe ain’t too bad either. Things got wild and weird for the third set on Saturday evening, as the boys performed an inspired set of Pink Floyd cuts mixed with originals. I’d never really though about bluegrass covers of Pink Floyd before, so I never knew just how much I needed it as a thing in my life. I don’t know how many bands could have pulled such a thing off, but that’s exactly what the Kitchen Dwellers did, re-inventing and re-invigorating both familiar and deeper cuts. Absolutely the highlight of the set for me was the “Ghost In The Bottle”>”Careful With That Axe Eugene”>”The Living Dread”>”Ghost In The Bottle” segment. It was simply jaw dropping. Definitely worth a listen. Or, to better experience the music, seek out the replay. The camera crew kept things pretty trippy, with great effects and cool angles throughout.

At The Cabin
Bozeman, MT
8/1/2020
Welcome To The Machine >
The Quail >
The Comet
Mother (1) >
Hey You >
Sunday Scaries >
Pigs (Three Different Ones) (2) >
Foundation (3)(4)(5)
Ghost In The Bottle >
Careful With That Axe, Eugene (1) >
The Living Dread >
Ghost In The Bottle >
Brain Damage (1)(6)>
Eclipse (1)
(1) Pink Floyd, first time played
(2) lyric change, “Donny you’re nearly a treat”
(3) Hey You teases
(4) Pigs teases
(5) Welcome to The Machine teases
(6) Goodbye, Blue Sky intro

I really came into this livestream by chance. I can’t say that I was really familiar with the Kitchen Dwellers previously, but man, am I glad I tuned in. The mix of these four guys’ personalities and influences create something pretty special. Looks like I need to dig in a little deeper and check out their studio release. If you’re a fan of Yonder Mountain, Greensky or Billy Strings, I’d recommend you do the same. I think you’ll find the Kitchen Dwellers serving up multiple helpings of some tasty pickin’.

You can check out replays of the livestream on the band’s Youtube page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg7bpMFNkjeL9qakEvj1LFQ

For more information on the Kitchen Dwellers visit their official website here: https://www.kitchendwellers.com/

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