The Ballroom Thieves
The Ballroom Thieves started small. When guitarist Martin Earley met percussionist Devin Mauch, he was using a mallet to hit a djembe lain on the floor, because that's all the drum kit that could fit in his Catholic college dorm. They found cellist Calin Peters at an open mic night, and had the good sense to persuade her to try singing; their soaring three-part harmonies give their folk/Americana its heart, and transformed the band from buskers to hometown heroes.
After the success of their debut album, they packed their old lives into storage units and opted for the grueling life of itinerant musicians, nights full of IPA pints and days full of angst and tension, writing songs in hotel rooms and long van drives along the interstate. That ever-present edge of loss and tension infuses their latest album Deadeye with more heft, more rock and blues, expanding and deepening their chops and ironically making them a tighter performing unit in moments when they were struggling to hold the band together. "Often the only thing that would bring us back together at the end of a hard day was to step on stage and play our music together," Mauch recently told a radio station in southern Oregon. The struggles of a band on the road are very real, but so too is the musical salvation they find onstage together.