GOSHEN — They’ve got the banjos and they’ve got the fiddles, but The Way Down Wanderers are more than just a bluegrass band.
They call themselves a song-based group.
“Each song is it’s own entity, whether it’s a rock vibe, or a folk vibe or a hip hop vibe, but at the same time it’s all in the same realm of our creation,” vocalist and guitarist Austin Krause-Thompson explained.
The band, out of Peoria, Illinois, got its start in 2013, but finalized the lineup in 2015.
Collin Krause plays mandolin, violin, electric guitar and performs vocals. John Williams plays upright bass and performs vocals. John Merikoski plays drums and Travis Kowalsky plays bajo, fiddle and electric guitar.
A lot of instruments offer a variety of sounds for the group.
Their music is the merger of traditional bluegrass influence and Americana with elements of pop, reggae and multi-part harmonies.
“We kind of blend it all together to get the folk Americana bluegrass medley that we are,” Krause-Thompson said.
Their self-titled debut album was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Texas, released in 2016.
The band’s second album, Illusions, was released in February of this year.
A live album recorded at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri, has already been released, and the band is revving up for another that they’re hoping to have released by the end of the year.
Live shows are the band’s forte, with Krause-Thompson saying that the band’s goal at any show is to leave the crowd in feeling great.
“We always try to leave people with high spirits,” Krause-Thompson said. “Live music is one of those things that brings people together no matter where you are from.”
The Way Down Wanderers next stop will be the Ignition Music Garage in Goshen, along with Christian Wargo, guitarist and vocalist from the Fleet Foxes.
“People love live music and they love a good time,” Krause-Thompson said. “People can always expect a good time from us whether they know the band or not.”
The Way Down Wanderers will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Ignition Music Garage, 120 E. Washington St., Goshen.