When songwriter Jake Abernathie and drummer Flint Lidar first met in 2009, their love of music formed a strong friendship between them, but it wasn't until later that autumn when the Yucaipa-Pendleton Fire forced them and their families out of their homes for several days that they began to creatively collaborate. With nothing to do but watch their hometown smolder, the two spent their time writing music, and thus Leather Tramp's predecessor, The Pendleton Project, was born. The project grew in size, recruiting several other locals in the area, including vocalist Sydney Funderburk. Pendleton often performed in the Inland Empire, but also reached the Los Angeles area as well. During these shows, strong ties were made with a nearby Beaumont-based band, fronted by Lucas Cathey, and the two groups would often join forces in their proceeding performances.
But The Pendleton Project eventually dwindled in numbers; some bandmates moved away due to schooling, and Jake and Flint's musical pursuits separated. The two began playing in several side projects, and nearly two years passed before they resumed their collaborative efforts.
In the summer of 2013, after a short and spontaneous Pendleton Project reunion performance at a local mic night, Jake decided to start putting together a new group: Leather Tramp. Feeling as though many of the songs he wrote while leading The Pendleton Project, among other pieces written after, never reached their full musical potential, he composed and arranged several of his songs for the massive ensemble that became Leather Tramp. Originally this attempt was designed to be a one-time show, hoping to convey his vision of his music (at least once) for his small hometown of Yucaipa. Planning with former sister-bandmate Lucas Cathey, who booked bands at the local venue, Jake recruited him, former Pendleton members Flint and Sydney, and a small army of musicians for the singly planned debut of Leather Tramp. The search for orchestral members in Southern California was no easy task, but the group managed to focus its efforts just in time for its grand performance in early August. Expecting the band to disperse as quickly as it had formed due to its logistical challenges, Jake was surprised to find that many of the players called upon for the one-time event wanted to know when the group’s next performance would be.
Leather Tramp continued to thrive from that point on, and was joined by an array of the debut performers, including trumpeter Chandler Riley, trombonist Gary Soland, violinist Laura Bedol, and violist Ashley Wright. With Jake and the majority of the members studying music at California State University of Long Beach, the band began performing in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, eventually recruiting keyboardist John-Michael O’Brien, bassist Marc Encabo, and cellist Cole Syverson. Bringing a unique mix of performers to the Greater LA area with their eleven member troupe, Leather Tramp packed stages with surprising agility and ease, showcasing their versatility as an ensemble as well as their talent as individual musicians.
Now joined by violinists Miko Shudo and Elizabeth Chavez, and woodwind doubler Lawrence Pi, the dozen continues to perform around Southern California, taking the stage at multiple music festivals, venues, and showcases while turning heads with their dynamic sound.
Madeline Kenney is an Oakland-dwelling Seattle transplant, who makes twang-hazy dream pop.
Goodnight Freeman was started by brothers Chad Hadersbeck and Joe Schliewe. After years of pursuing music independently, they finally got the opportunity to play together when Joe moved to the same town as Chad in 2010. They got started playing open mics in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas, TX. The Free Man Cajun Cafe was the place that kickstarted their new musical journey. Every Tuesday night, they got together with the talented musicians of Deep Ellum and shared drinks, laughs and music. It was always a good night at the Free Man. Hence the name, Goodnight Freeman. Open mics turned into bigger shows, like the House of Blues, but eventually the mountains became irresistible.
Once in Denver, they found a home playing open mic at the Meadowlark on a regular basis. But they wanted to branch out and create a fuller sound. After playing more shows under their duet moniker, Dinosaur Vacation, the hunger to get a full band together took over and they began searching for drums and bass. 2015 was filled with many different lineups but one has finally stuck. Stay tuned...
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