The Tillers

(Cincinnati, OH)

There is something subversive about a banjo. That’s the only explanation for the number of punk rockers who grow up to find that their hearts truly lie with old-timey pickin’ music, and The Tillers are no exception. Sporting a lively and robust crop of beards, these recovering hardcore/punk rockers formed the group in 2007, gripped by the urge to play songs older than their grandparents. They were catholic in the songs they chose for their new musical outing, from Woody Guthrie to Southern blues laments or anonymous Appalachian folk relics. True to their rock roots, The Tillers (Mike Oberst, Sean Geil and Aaron Geil) bring an extra pint of piss and vinegar to the proceedings. They are relentless road warriors, gigging all over North America, the UK and Europe, and slam-dunk favourites when they end up at home. They bring all the tools in the box to bear in the making of their music, from folk and bluegrass to jazz and punk rock. A Tillers stage show is a joyously hard-driving and percussive event (a bit reminiscent of The Avett Brothers), with startlingly pure tenor harmonies floating above the belly-shivering stomping rhythm.

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