Six Mile Grove
||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (March 2012)|
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2012)|
- Brandon Sampson - Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and harmonica
- Barry Nelson - Backing vocals, Wurlitzer, Hammond Organ, piano and lead guitar
- Dezi Wallace - Bass guitar, banjo, and mandolin
- Brian Sampson - Drums and percussion
- John Wheeler - Pedal steel, dobro, accordion
Six Mile Grove was founded in 1997 in Lyle, Minnesota (population 566) by brothers Brandon and Brian Sampson, Barry Nelson and Dezi Wallace. The group is known for an Americana/alt-country/roots rock sound.
It all started in the small town of Lyle, MN (pop. 500) with a skid loader and a fence post, when Six Mile Grove frontman Brandon Sampson was 7 years old. He injured his hand when helping his dad on the family farm. The physician recommended guitar playing for rehabilitation, and a few weeks later, Sampson came home from the music store with a new guitar. His younger brother Brian threw a fit, and was appeased with a shiny drum set. And so the seeds of Six Mile Grove were planted.
The brothers spent years pounding away on their instruments in the kitchen of their great grandmother’s old house, as well as singing in church with their mom, an organist and devoted music lover. Soon Brian’s friend Barry, from across the woods, wanted to join the noise, and so his years of piano lessons began paying off. The boys realized they would need a bass player, put an ad in the paper, and dug up Dezi Wallace from the “big city” of Austin, MN, who arrived courtesy of his mom, as he did not yet have a driver’s license.
Fast forward 15 years, and Six Mile Grove has a lot to be proud of. They have weathered the ever changing music scene as a primarily self-managed, self-produced, and self-recorded band. Their music has evolved accordingly, as an organic, honest voice that has not been tinkered with or tainted by the lure of record labels or flashy music producers. You’re sure to find influences of Minnesota music’s founding fathers; from Bob Dylan to the Jayhawks, Six Mile Grove honors its roots, but has also managed to forge its own sound and space on a stage without compromise. They harken most to the genre of Americana, which recognizes the value of songwriting and musicianship over radio charts and record sales, and reflects that in artists as diverse as Emmy Lou Harris and Lyle Lovett. In addition, their friendship, touring and recording with legendary Johnny Cash guitarist Bob Wootton, has lent even more distinctly to their “good all-American boy” sound and style.
Six Mile Grove is releasing its sixth album this spring 2012, titled Secret Life in a Quiet Town.[dated info] In this album, Sampson muses on the responsibilities of providing for a family, keeping love alive, and fighting for what’s right in the world. These themes resonate with all the members of the band, as guys with day jobs, wives and kids. You’ll hear the whines and growls in Nelson’s piano and lead guitar licks; the take-it-easy pace of Wallace’s bass, the newly added color of John Wheeler’s steel guitar, and the simple to furious tempos in Brian Sampson’s drums. As Wootton states, “There’s nothing fancy about them and they don’t try to be something they’re not. And that’s what I like about them.”
Secret Life in a Quiet Town (2012) is the group's sixth studio release. Steel Mule was released in 2008. Bumper Crop (2005) is a collection of "lonesome, spare balladry and buoyant bar-time beats." They are preceded by Friction (2000), recorded and produced by Lou Whitney at The Studio in Springfield, MO, Long Distance Everything (1998), recorded at Oar Fin Records in Minneapolis, MN, and A Day’s Work (1997) also recorded with Lou Whitney at The Studio.
- "Vs. The World" Ranked #4 by Roots Highway Radio (Italy)
- "Later On" Ranked #19 by Roots Highway Radio (Italy)
- "Bumper Crop" Ranked #21 by American Roots Music Top 100 Chart
- "Bumper Crop" Ranked #26 by Freeform American Roots Chart
- "Man of Steel" Ranked #2 by Moxie Radio Top 20 Chart
- Pulse Magazine, Minneapolis, MN[volume & issue needed]