Fruit Bats started in the mid 1990’s as the four-track project of Eric D. Johnson. The name “Fruit Bats” was actually one of many cryptic monikers scrawled on the cassettes. Somehow that one stuck. Some of the other band names included “Holiday Inn,” and “Senseless Tripe.” For a number of years there were many warbling, feedback laden tapes, but no shows and no band.
In early 2000, Johnson joined the cast of characters that made up Califone and the whole Perishable Records family. It was this kinship with a bunch of like minded folks that coaxed the Fruit Bats from out of the bedroom and turned the shy lo-fi project into a real band. Brian Deck produced the first record, Echolocation, which featured hi-fi versions of many of the old four-track tunes. The album sold poorly, but garnered rave reviews in places like Mojo and The Village Voice, the latter calling it “a mini-masterpiece of zoology rock.” Shows were offered, and a band was hastily put together. The lineup would remain ever shifting after that, always revolving around Johnson and a rotating cast of characters.
Fruit Bats would sign with Sub Pop records in 2002 and release 4 successful records with the venerable Seattle imprint. They then toured the world, played on the TV and had a generally great time. Besides the aforementioned “zoology rock,” the two best obscure genres the Fruit Bats have been linked to by the press are “bootgazer,” and “rustic pop.” So there you go. They’ll be touring with My Morning Jacket in fall 2015, and will release their sixth full-length in early 2016.
Based out of Louisville, Kentucky, singer/songwriter Joan Shelley’s warm and mellifluous voice evokes both the deep south and west coast, drawing from both old-time country and ’60s folk. A talented songwriter and prolific performer, Shelley splits her time between solo outings and collaborations with other area musicians like Daniel Martin Moore and Joe Manning, with whom she issued the albums Farthest Field (2012) and Outside Stay Outside (2014), respectively, and with the old-time music trio Maiden Radio, which also features the talents of Cheyenne Mize and Julia Purcell.
Paul Spring is an independent singer-songwriter from St. Cloud, MN and based out of Minneapolis. With his band, he writes, performs, and records a unique combination of lyric-driven folk and melodic rock. Spring’s poetic writing style and unmistakable voice are at the center of his high-energy shows and his self-titled debut album (2012). The young singer and talented backing band have performed a wide-range of styles for years (Mister, Midnight Moss) and have now captured a cohesive sound that truly supports Paul’s songs.