Photo by Ryan Nosbush
The Insider Sessions are inspired by the emotion, power, and soul that go into one, simple song. The aim is to get closer and more personal to the music and the art. The acoustic sound, I believe, is perfect for this. It allows you to hear only instruments, only voice, no background fuzz, and nothing channeling the noise but our own ears. The artists will choose their own place to play, sometimes in a van, sometimes on a bus, sometimes simply in an alley way; either way each session is authentic and personal. So take a look at these artists, some are from Iowa, some just passing through, and as you'll sometimes find, just getting started. Listen and enjoy the sounds that erupt throughout our beautiful state.
~ Erika Iverson
Useful Jenkins is a spirited young group that mixes campfire mystique along with a driven acoustic rock show. Their music takes you back to the front porch with a jug of ‘shine and a foot stompin’ good time. The bands’ original songs are well crafted and will stick in your head long after the show. Their nicely placed cover tunes span their influences that include Wookiefoot, Michael Franti and The Grateful Dead. The show has a great festival feel and the UJ family is always growing, so you are sure to run into people you have met before. Guaranteed to put a dip in your hip and leave you smiling!
Useful Jenkins is a jam band with come rockin' folky-bluegrass color from Mancato, Minnesota. They came to Ames and played at DG's Taphouse downtown. The show didn't start until 10:00 and the weather outside was frightful, but as soon as we entered the venue the music warmed us up and was oh-so-delightful! There were hippies with tails hanging from their pants dancing all around the bar and foot-stomping, hooting and hollering fans filling the floor. The band filled DG's with some toasty, warm good energy for the bitter, cold winter night in Ames, Iowa. After the show I asked the band back to my apartment to record a session and they agreed! In between the tiny, but cozy, walls of my new efficiency apartment in downtown Ames, Useful Jenkins jammed out at 2:30 in the morning setting my apartment, and the winter, off to beautiful start!
Erika Iverson attends Iowa State University for Journalism and Philosophy. She is a music fanatic that moonlights as a writer for Insider Iowa. Some of her old favorites include Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Bill Withers, The Who, The Doors, Buddy Guy, throw a little Cher in there (Half-breed!!!), Stevie Nicks, and a list that could be a story all it's own... When her heart plays music it plays bluegrass, when her soul plays music it plays the violin.