Album Notes - The Artisanals - The Artisanals

Dispatches from the Highlands

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“I wish it was more like Appleton, Wisconsin.” Says nobody ever. Until they do a comparison of music festivals. The 7th annual Mile of Music took place in the eastern Wisconsin city over the first weekend of August. The entirely free-entry event features up-and-coming artists, largely of folk and indie rock leanings, from around the country. Any bar, restaurant, or makeshift space around, indoors or out, stretching up and down College Avenue might be used. If there's room for a performer or two and their instruments, consider it a stage. Hundreds of artists play nearly a thousand sets over four days at 70 venues. In addition to the gracious musicians and welcoming Badger State locals, the organizers bettered the experience by placing a unique rule upon artists: no covers allowed. It’s impossible not to discover new music.

Without a doubt, one highlight was a five-piece out of Charleston, SC. At the mention of the name “The Artisanals,” we were told in 100% simultaneous unison by two artists also performing at the festival and their manager, “go see them.”

And so we did. And so they were right. Watching The Artisanals perform, the easy and accurate comparison is Tom Petty. Another would be the Eagles. The melodic intonation of the former, the harmonies of the latter, and like both, lyrics featuring geographical references, escapades with woman, and numerous drug references. Despite being largely unfamiliar to the audience, The Artisanals won the crowds over, so much so that the Spinal Tap-like moment of guitarist Clay Houle's proclaimed enjoyment of being back in “the Hoosier State” was merely chuckled at politely. With their sophomore album currently being mixed, enjoy the classic rock radio sounds of their 2018 self-titled debut.


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