Somewhere between the base of the Ozarks and the roar of rushing riverheads, bluegrass Americana band Arkansauce has found a home for their rollicking melodies and distinct blend of strings.
The quartet features Tom Andersen (bass), Zac Archuleta (guitar), Ethan Bush (mandolin), and Adam Collins (banjo). Born out of a childhood friendship between Archuleta and Bush, Arkansauce is an homage to the Fayetteville music scene, and an ongoing exploration of improvisational string leads matched with complex melodies. Each song is a legitimate group collaboration, from splitting lead and harmony parts, to contributing authentic lyrics with hard-hitting hooks.
Their latest single, “My Home in Arkansas,” is the band’s second single teasing the independent release of their upcoming album, OK to Wonder, which drops April 21st. This upbeat barn burnin’ bluegrass number puts high speed finger-pickin’ to the test.
“The song came to me after a Bill Monroe bender. It’s a straight-forward bluegrass song about the road and the yearnings for home — with a few twists and turns on the arrangement, as any road worth traveling would have,” says Andersen.
And twist it does, keeping with Arkansuace’s mission statement to create, inspire, and redefine what it means to be a 21st Century bluegrass act. Each musical breakdown feels like a verse in and of itself, as the instruments find themselves in a shining moment over intriguing rhythms and thumping bass grooves.
Previous albums include All Day Long (2015), Hambone (2016), If I Were You (2017), and Maybe Someday (2019), the sum of which has earned the band the 2021 title of Arkansas Best Bluegrass Artist of the Year in the Arkansas Country Music Awards.
Arkansauce has earned their keep as one of the premier progressive bluegrass acts on the circuit today, having played coast to coast over the years with two stints in Europe, and have become a common name on various music festival lineups.
Needless to say, the band is no stranger to the road, and they already have a hearty tour schedule lined up for 2023, from California to West Virginia and much in between.
Keep an eye and an ear out for shows in your area, and be sure to check out OK To Wonder on April 21st.
Featured photo by Phil Clarkin