Three CD's and hundreds of shows from huge outdoor festival stages to elegant theaters to noisy, rowdy bars have resulted in some mighty fine reviews for Kim and Jason. Take a look!
Inspired by Jerry Garcia, Deadwood Revival hits a musical state that equals or exceeds The Grateful Dead at the height of their musical powers with discreet moments of instrumental genius and vocal harmonies that are heavenly.
“They’re on the leading edge of the resurgence and revitalized interest in old-time music. They’re infusing healthy vigor, gusto, and enthusiasm into their new presentation of “old world” inspired music. “
Washington Bluegrass Assn.
“They have a magnificent vocal blend anchored by Kim’s powerful voice complemented by the softer yet perfect pitch of Jason Mogi. Jason does some incredible things with the banjo, getting sounds out of the instrument that are unique and captivating in his use of a slide on his banjo
Portland Folk Music Society
"The original songs sound traditional, the covers are fresh reinterpretations, and it's all spiced with acoustic Grateful Dead flavor (except Jason and Kim are great singers). “
Folk and Acoustic Music Exchg.
Frank Gutch, Jr.
If you like old-timey, there's enough here to turn your head. Of course, if you're a purist, keep an open mind because Deadwood Revival has the spark of a Goose Creek [The Corn Won't Grow (So Rock & Roll] or Cydney Robinson, whose take is maybe a step further toward modern extreme hillbilly music (you have to hear her to understand) but still in the ballpark. That spark, while hard to put into words, works the music until you can't help but move, even if it's just on the inside. Take the Grand Ole Opry-style Secret or Roscoe Stomp (and we're talking thirties and forties here). Crank a little treble up and you can almost see the clog dancin' and boot stompin', Jason Mogi laying super fine banjo licks over Kim Trenerry's bouncy acoustic rhythm, voices singing into one of those huge gawdawful crystal mikes they used in those days. It's a musical vision. The Goose Creek-sounding Bound To Go really could follow up The Corn Won't Grow (So Rock & Roll) on any compilation, having that infectious rhythm (not unlike the song which goes "Every time I go to town, folks keep kickin' my dog around", whatever song that is) and when laid beneath the "aw shucks" voices makes you want to sing along and maybe even do one of those corny shuffle dances. Mogi's solo banjo takes a short ride on Down To the Wire, as good a ride as given on the best of Pete Wernick's old-time recordings. Too short at 1:04, it is a superb preface to Trenerry's modern folk rocking "Shake the Barnhouse Down" which serves up some excellent harmonies and picking. Vocally, Mogi and Trenerry acquit themselves beautifully, but never so much as when they harmonize. There is something about the thin old-timey Mogi voice when it blends with Trenerry's which makes it even better, and vice-versa. Instrumentally, they rock. Trenerry is a fine bass player (though they have added Ches Ferguson on bass since the album was released) and has a touch on the acoustic guitar. Mogi's guitar is top-notch and his banjo is one of the most unique out there. Let's put it this way. If I was booking a folk festival, or was even looking for an acoustic act for a rock festival, I wouldn't hesitate to book DwR. You can tell from the first note of this album that they are crowd-pleasers. They're fun, adventurous and yet true to their roots. They would be something to see. And chances are that if you haven't bought this CD by then, you will buy it then. They're that good.
“Mogi and Trenerry have a vocal chemistry that draws listeners in. Their blend has a gratifying timbre, and their instincts are perfectly in sync. Mogi's clawhammer has a confidence that speaks to his past as a drummer. It's a rare ability to pull off a hoedown and a seduction at the same time, and it bodes well for the future of the Revival.”
Folk and Acoustic Music Exchg.
Frank Gutch, Jr.
It took Deadwood Revival three years and a whole lotta miles to get this album out and it's live. I have to admit to being a bit miffed, not really wanting rehashed live versions of tracks firmly embedded into my head, but they didn't ask me. I mean, after all, I am their preferred audience of one, never haven seen them (a malady I will correct this summer) but having championed their cause in bars at which they've never played, so I figured they should have at least asked. When I heard, I thought, "Live? What the…?" Then I heard it. I was never more wrong. In the first place, the DwR I fell in love with were two: Jason Mogi and Kim Trenerry. A simple duo with complications (meaning that both are multi-instrumental), they had a touch with their writing and blending of styles which caught my imagination and, man, in the studio… It is a bias I've always had—when it's not broke…In my mind, I envisioned a different future for them—maybe Americana musicians of note, recognized and respected by peers. Truth is, you can't eat recognition and the festivals and pubs are where survival money is, so down the road they went, again, without my consent. They worked their asses off, those three (oh yeah, they added Ches Ferguson on bass to give them both added musical wiggle room), before accosting fiddler Julie Campbell and locking her in a closet until she also agreed to join. While the twosome was becoming a foursome, I sat in my room with headphones on, reliving This Old World (reviewed here) probably a little more than I should have. Actually, just enough. It kept me company until Sat 730 and though I was leery, the doubt I had popped like the soap bubble it was. Oh me, of little faith… From note one, I knew I stood corrected. Ain't the Buyin' Kind, impressive in the studio, is equally impressive onstage, maybe even moreso. Ferguson's bass plunges in, a pop dropkick to the country/folk banjo-guitar riffs and shortly after, here comes Campbell. The music is the same and so is the arrangement, but what a difference. The melodic hillbilly Red Rocking Chair carries on and the ride has started. Traditional folk, country, rock and combinations of the three give you a ride you might not have known you wanted but are glad you took. They even throw in their version of the Dead's China Cat Sunflower and make it sound very, well, Dead-like. You'll be impressed. The highlight of the album and the song which really shows how far DwR has come is Mattie's Jam/Shake the Barnhouse Down, a Dead-style jam morphing into one of the best and rockin'est tracks from This Old World, then morphing into jam, part deux, and then morphing back into a Barnhouse coda finale. This track would not have been possible when This Old World was recorded (without the help of studio musicians, anyway) but here it is. We get Deadwood Revival in the whole here, all 11+ minutes of it, and they get a chance to prove themselves as musicians and a band. While Mogi and Trenerry are the songwriting and vocal core, Ches Ferguson and Julie Campbell are the much welcome added power. The sound is fuller, the musical possibilities greatly enhanced and the level heightened. Unfortunately, DwR have kept themselves fairly isolated in the Pac Northwest. Maybe they have their reasons (life on the road is not that much fun and, who knows, there may be family), but I would hate to think that they don't travel because they're not asked. I wrote a review of This Old World and said in no uncertain terms that if I was booking a folk festival or needed an acoustic act for a rock festival, they would be at the top of my list. They still are. Now that they have a live album, maybe booking agents will hear it. Maybe they'll get a chance to expand their territory. Know what? This live album was a good idea. If they'd been smart, they would have listened to me earlier.
West Coast Performer Magazine
“They bring spry sharp harmonies and an effortlessly cheerful energy to every song!” With their sweet, twangy voices and infectious high spirits, they kept everyone moving. The effect was warm, soft, a little prickly, and a little dusty – a haystack in the sun. It was impossible to squelch a smile throughout the set. “
"This Old World" hastens back to less hectic and stressful days when music was primarily made on the porch or around the fireplace. The cover of Deadwood Revival's second CD sets the stage with a historic 1887 photo of Port Angeles, Wa. back when the town was striving for the social and political perfection of Utopia. Originally meeting in Atlanta, Ga. in the mid-1990s, Jason Mogi and Kim Trenerry discovered that their ideas and interests were harmonious. The duo also realized they had a powerful vocal blend accompanied with their guitar and harmonica. They decided to head to the Pacific Northwest in search of that nearly perfect lifestyle where the cows all like to milk themselves. Now, the duo also incorporates banjo, bass and percussion into their music, and Jason has taken to building banjos. With their travelin' shoes on and instruments in tow, Deadwood Revival opens this set with "Bound To Go," a tale of embarkation from this old world to the other side. The liner notes acknowledge banjo-player and song-carrier Stephen Wade for some inspiration. Cross-eyed Rosie's Ellie Holzemer provides some skipping fiddle to the original opener, and she appears again with vocals and fiddle in "Lucky Day," another Deadwood Revival original. In fact, their eight originals are embossed with some eclectic folk, blues, old-time and even classic country flavors. "Down to the Wire" is the most rustic and rawboned offering an instrumental featuring a gourd banjo built by Jay Moschella. Then, "Shake the Barnhouse Down" forgoes banjo altogether for a guitar- centric groove that is a contemporary rendering of Saturday night in a small Tennessee mountain town. For banjo groove, the traditional "Sandy Boys" is just the ticket with additional lyrics from Mogi. There is also clawhammer and slide banjo featured in "Roscoe Stomp," Jason's homage to Roscoe Holcomb. Covers come from Blind Willie Johnson (Church I'm Fully Saved Today), Fiddlin' John Carson (The Farmer is the Man), and Bob Dylan (You Ain't Goin' Nowhere). Blind Willie's forte was his ability to powerfully fuse sacred and bluegrass songs. While I am more familiar with and have more of a penchant for the New Lost City Rambler's up-tempo rendition of "The Farmer is the Man," Deadwood Revival's bluesy version is quaint and pleasant. It's a sentiment that rings true today "The lawyer hangs around while the butcher cuts a pound / But the farmer is the man who feeds them all." Finally, in the Dylan cover, Jason and Kim's vocal interplay would make their offering a sure crowd-pleaser at the coffee houses, bars, clubs, parties, markets, concerts, festivals they perform at. In fact, their music has cross-market potential that has allowed them to find gigs at folk, old-time, roots and bluegrass venues. On "This Old World," old-time and folk sensibilities are being forged into evocative new world music. Deadwood Revival isn't trying to make something out of nothing. Rather, they're on the leading edge of the resurgence and revitalized interest in old-time music. They're infusing healthy vigor, gusto and enthusiasm into their new presentation of 'old world' inspired music. I also sense that they're striving for some Utopian vision and idealism in the music too. (Joe Ross)
Kudos from presenters
“....Their down-to-earth rapport with the audience was part of their charming appeal. They drew the largest audience, which brings in over 20,000 people…” -Anne Hallam, Pres. Coupeville Arts & Crafts Festival “People love them! They are repeat favorites because they possess not only exceptional musical talents, but they are also engaging entertainers.” -Anna Manildi, Director Juan De Fuca Festival “Deadwood Revival caused quite a stir. Everyone who heard them wanted more.”