“Recorded live, with no overdubs, during the quartet’s “best moments of 2015…,” these five songs capture that characteristically breathless theatricality inherent to each Appleseed set.”
—Jeff Milo, Current Magazine
The Appleseed Collective is poised to become the new sound of string music. Riding the wave of the bluegrass revival beyond newgrass and into a strange new genre-bending territory, they explore the full range of dark and light, old and new, composition and improvisation in a deeply theatrical stage show that transports audiences through time.
"This is music best served alongside a roaring campfire, but that also has the ability to challenge the rafters of any grand arena."
—Joshua Pickard, Beats Per Minute
The sounds of The Appleseed Collective are as diverse as the personalities that create them. Violinist/Mandolinist Brandon Worder-Smith grew up steeped in a rich rural Bluegrass and Irish fiddle culture. Driven to explore beyond the boundaries of tradition, he set off on foot to hitchhike around America searching for his musical kin. After a year and a half of wandering he stumbled across Guitarist Andrew Brown back in Ann Arbor MI, where the band now hangs their collective hats when not on the road. Downtown Andrew Brown, fast-talking vintage garb peddler and son of a Motown session musician had just returned from New Orleans with a piece of that dixieland sound. He gifted long-time friend and funk/rock drummer Vince Russo with a washboard, whose penchant for ripping percussion solos and untamed showmanship were only further enhanced, and the first incarnation of the band was born. Later the boys would join forces with bassist Eric O’Daly, whose passion for Indian Classical music and introspective yet fiery Irish nature would complete the Genre-Bending sound of The Appleseed Collective.
"[The Appleseed Collective] sweeps out the various corners of American music, taking a long look at both the sublime and the strange. The group explores both dark and light in a way that other string-band revivalists haven’t touched."
—Aarik Danielsen, Columbia Daily Tribune
As a triune of songwriters, O’Daly, Brown, and Worder-Smith craft tunes from the sublime to the darkly evocative. In the space of their new 5 song EP, The Tour Tapes they swing from dim club storytelling swagger to rich vocal harmony, from hot club hot licks to spacey ambience, from old Irish reels to modern American indie. Despite the diversity of influences, The Appleseed Collective’s sound is unmistakably it’s own.
"The dictionary defines Americana as, 'things associated with the culture and history of America, especially the United States.' Well if that is the case then The Appleseed Collective is real Americana. I figured out sort of a mathematical equation last night: It's like Satch plus Django plus Joplin plus Bob Wills plus a little Bill Monroe—but the sum is actually greater than the parts."
—Jason Marck, introducing the band for a live performance on WBEZ Chicago's Morning Shift in 2014
PRAISE FOR THE APPLESEED COLLECTIVE
"But then you hear bands like Ann Arbor traditionalists The Appleseed Collective and any notion of fixed aesthetics and vague assumptions are thrown out the window in favor of the development of an organic musical progression and the sense that this music has always been there, patiently biding its time — hovering in the air, waiting for just the right person to come along and pluck it like some tonal fruit. .. -Beats Per Minute
"Appleseed Collective’s version of swing stands a breed apart from today’s standard-issue. With guitar, mandolin, standup bass and brushes on a drum kit, their original songs, with lighthearted lyrics and infectious musicianship, rise above the crowd." -Elmore Magazine
"Not exactly the kind of stuff you're hearing on the radio, which is only half of what makes us think they're pretty darn cool. But the fact that along with a mandolin, violin and banjo, they also include a washboard in their incredibly dynamic, filled-out sound...well, it doesn't get much better than that." - Real Detroit Weekly
"Creating a timeless sound with their unique mesh of Americana, folk, and gypsy jazz, The Appleseed Collective produces music that wouldn’t sound out of place in an era that none of the band member’s are even close to old enough to remember." - AweChasm
"Tearing it up is not something that immediately comes to mind when referring to acoustic Americana-based music (the Appleseed Collective actually describes its music as "Americana folk jazz"), but moments later the band took the stage and proceeded, in fact, to tear it up...The Appleseed Collective is young, talented, full of energy, and playing a type of music that is hardly in abundance in southeast Michigan." - ArborWeb
“The Appleseed Collective are redefining the possibilities of the folk aesthetic, with dashes of gypsy and dixie.” - Deep Cutz“If their songs could speak to the audience themselves, they would demand foot taps, snaps, claps and whistles.” - Shei Magazine"“Whoa” is all I had to say after this group of fine musicians finished each of their tracks for our Harvest Session with The Appleseed Collective...Exploring a genre (or mix of genres rather) not often explored in Michigan, this group has a unique sound and places to go." -Mostly MidwestPraise for Baby to Beast "...dashed with Dixie ragtime, bluegrass, gypsy folk, and swing blues...enough to blow away the most creative kitchen cook" - Americana UK"But there’s something edgier to Beast, something further outfield, that gives it its distinctive glow – it could be how earnestly it embraces the beauty of the folk song tradition and meticulously stirs in foggier, headier sonic concoctions of a more psychedelic flare, it could be their trips into spookier realms of goosebump-pricking tall tale sways, or it could be just how damned harmonious the whole affair winds up being – like these voices, chimes, strums and percussive scrapes belong together – grown together into a five headed beast…" - iSpy Magazine
The Earthwork Music collective believes in the intrinsic and historical power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and serves to facilitate and encourage original music in the state of Michigan and beyond.