PLATTSBURGH - The Bloodroots Barter is coming to town.
The band was "forged through the winter doldrums of our dry county in the coal mine mountains of southeast Kentucky," said Laura "Gap Tooth Larry" Gregory, one of the band's members.
"I reckon the band was born out of necessity," said Gregory.
Gregory and two of the band's other members, Casey "Poodledog" Papendieck and Tyler "Crazy Lloyd" Emery, wound up in Hyden, Ky., because of their passions for bluegrass and traditional music. Band member Ishi "Chelsea" Wooton, however, has deep roots in the region and has lived there since age 13.
The band has been performing its own brand of "dirty, raw, passionate, desperate, intricate, moonshine-driven American roots music" across the country, said Gregory. It's music that is mainly composed of original material peppered with "a few tasty covers."
"We uphold a generally anti-genre attitude towards our music and strive to be real and genuine to who we are with everything that we produce," she said.
Gregory plays doghouse bass, accordion, washboard, and tambourine in the band. Papendieck plays mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar, and kazoo while Wooton plays fiddle, tenor banjo, doghouse bass, and slide whistle; and Emery plays guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, and doghouse bass. Each of the four also contributes with their own vocal talents.
"Through our bluegrass emersion," said Gregory, "we realized that we had a mutual appreciation for bluegrass and traditional music but we had individual and starkly different influences and backgrounds that we brought to the table as well. Basically, we liked to drink moonshine and pick around on some tunes - traditional and original alike."
The band collectively has musical influences of artists Tom Waits, Man Man, and Mungo Jerry, with some of the band members having a shine to artists that range anywhere from Neil Young to Lady Gaga. Though their unique sound draws a crowd, there's much more to their stage presence than music to rock out to, said Gregory.
"It's not just our sound that has been causing people to come see our live performances, though it is a great contributor. We strive on every level to give the audience a visual experience as well as audio," she said, adding stage props like a life-size dragon, styrofoam head experiments, and "the occasional baby doll" can turn a few heads at their live performances.
"We believe a band can be a vehicle in which to inspire creativity throughout the masses, with the goal being to cause a positive and infectious creative movement," said Gregory. "Art inspires art."
The band is currently on its latest tour - "The Buffalo is Born! The Tour!" - and making stops in the New York area for the first time.
"We believe that people living amongst mountains share some common interests. In general, we feel slightly out of place in the big cities we play and more 'at home' in a place like Plattsburgh," said Gregory. "We have high hopes for our time in Plattsburgh."
(Editor's Note: The Bloodroots Barter will perform at the ROTA Studio and Gallery, 19 Clinton St., this Saturday, June 11, beginning at 8 p.m. The band will return to Plattsburgh for a show at the Monopole, 7 Protection Ave., Friday, June 17. Check out The Bloodroots Barter on-line at www.bloodrootsbarter.com and on Facebook, ReverbNation and iTunes.)