the ragged jubilee and erisy watt

The musical landscape is as changing and tumultuous as the ocean. If a musician opts to drift into complacency, it's likely that this fickle current will sweep that artist out into oblivion. Bands must struggle and fight for survival, and only those with a hunger for discovery will emerge as a force capable of tapping into the fundamental core of their audience. As For the Folks begins a new chapter in its second season, it hosts two bands that are constantly pushing themselves to become the artists they've stayed up deep into the night dreaming to be. Ethan Burns & the Ragged Jubilee and Erisy Watt are both forging new paths that refuse to be contented with their past success. They're fighting. They're taking risks. They're changing as fast as the waters around them.

Ethan Burns & the Ragged Jubilee combines the focused drive of a band that for years has left its mark on the Central Coast with a raw emotion reminiscent of a young punk band clawing its way onstage. Their music bursts out at the audience, slaps them around a bit and circles back for more, and at the end of each song both musicians and listeners can be found gasping for breath. The band leaves nothing on the table, and it implores the audience to do the same. The attainment of such musical standing is no coincidence; it's earned by way of refusing to take any of the easy paths offered and by seeing each endeavor through to the end regardless of the toil. The journey is evident in their work and results in an instant connection with those for whom they play. The sound hits you in the chest, wriggles in through your nostrils and wraps itself around your knees, and when the dust settles, all that remains is the smoky silhouette of a band ready to play one more.

Since we first fell in love with Erisy Watt in the summer of twenty-sixteen, the band has steered its course toward mesmerizing audiences the world over. From Thailand to Germany, they've reached out and embraced listeners one at a time, whispering in each individual ear you're my favorite, you're my favorite. Their music flows so naturally, their cohesion so harmonious and their identity so clear that they start to make what they do look easy. In the work of a master, one rarely notices the artist's hand. Now, one year after they lovingly entered our lives, they are gearing up for a summer tour of the west coast by embarking on an extended preliminary jaunt up and down the California coast. It's just our luck that we find ourselves welcoming them back to SLO as their star rises for more and more to see, knowing that they will take a part of us with them as they shine their light into other fortunate nooks and crannies.

William S. Burroughs wrote, "When you stop growing you start dying." These two bands are undoubtedly alive and well as they prepare to kick off a new season of For the Folks with a tangible excitement for what's to come. The more people involved in these celebratory nights the more wondrous they become, and as we welcome new friendships while nurturing those we've already made, we can't think of a better pair of bands to whisk us away onto the soaring clouds of our loftiest dreams.