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story.lead_photo.caption Jess Myhre

The amalgamated six-piece known as The Bumper Jacksons will bring guitars, clarinet, banjos, washboard, bass, percussion, trombone, trumpet and pedal steel to The Blue Lion in Fort Smith at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 for their Arkansas debut.

"Each of the band mates comes from a different genre of music as sort of their home base," says Jess Myhre, founding member, clarinet/washboard player, singer/songwriter and general trouble. When the group began as a duo of Myhre -- who learned traditional jazz in New Orleans -- and guitar/banjo player Chris Ousley -- who picked up old-time and bluegrass music in Appalachia -- the foundations were laid for a group that would meld the tropes and traditions of early American genres in a way that allowed them to use their own voices as well.

"That's something that's really special about this country is our musical history -- so many different kinds of music and sounds and textures that people call 'American' or 'United States-ian,' and other countries don't really have that," Myhre muses. "And having such a broad palette of [genres] to choose from, we definitely end up being pretty eclectic -- we make a lot of grooves, lots of musical choices, stuff that's really melodic, stuff that's a little weirder -- but it all fits under the umbrella of American roots music.

"We love to guide our audience along a narrative journey throughout the whole show," she adds.

Tickets for the show are $25 and Myhre promises a range of tunes from introspective, thought-provokers, to "roadhouse drinking songs about going out to a honky-tonk and getting drunk and dancing with your sweetheart." 788-7300 or visit

-- Jocelyn Murphy

NAN What's Up on 01/14/2018

Print Headline: Band Rooted In Americana

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