“It's kind of a 'craigslist' band,” says Adam Tanner of his three-piece Asheville, N.C-based band, the Twilite Broadcasters. And he's kind of right. First a duo and now a trio, the band, whose Americana sound is a blend of early bluegrass and country, is a product of a couple of online ads. This Saturday, the Broadcasters will make their fourth appearance at Café Nola in Frederick.
Tanner had plenty of experience in the music industry when he moved to Asheville about 12 years ago. He played fiddle and mandolin with a band called The Crooked Jades and has three albums under his belt. But after moving to North Carolina with hopes of starting his own group, Tanner had trouble finding musicians playing the sound he was searching for a sound largely inspired by his musical tastes as a teenager. Tanner says he began listening to Bill Monroe's bluegrass style at age 14 and was attracted to the simplicity of the music.
“I liked the energy of it,” he says. “It was mobile, you could take it anywhere and play it.”
After having no success finding band members on his own, Tanner says he put an ad on craigslist searching for musicians interested in playing Louvin Brothers-inspired American music. The Louvin Brothers were an American country music duo credited with popularizing the close harmony genre of country music.
The ad caught the eye of Mark Jackson, who'd grown up in southwest Virginia listening to his fair share of vintage country and bluegrass.
“It was interesting how specific the ad was,” says Jackson. “He wanted to do the [Louvin] Brothers' duet stuff.”
Jackson and Tanner connected in 2009 and soon realized they lived only 15 minutes apart. “It was a good fit,” Jackson says.
The band started playing vintage country harmony and old-time string band music together Tanner on the fiddle, mandolin and vocals, and Jackson on vocals and guitar.
“We were a new band and we were trying to find our sound,” Tanner says. The duo released their first album, “The Trail of Time,” in 2011. Twilite takes traditional American songs by influences like The Original Carter Family and, of course, the Louvin Brothers, and re-creates them with their own instruments and vocals.
“We're trying to revive and do [older songs] in our own way,” Jackson says. “We find the song and then we find a way that they naturally work for us.”
Audiences at Café Nola on Saturday night will be treated to new sights and sounds from Twilite. After nearly three years playing as a duet, Tanner and Jackson welcomed bassist Chuck Shreve in September, thanks to what else? a craigslist ad.
“Chuck has a very distinct personality on the bass,” Tanner says.
“[The bass] really ties the tune together,” Jackson adds. “It adds a rhythmic bottom end that people really respond to.”
Something else people might really respond to? New music coming from the band this fall. Like their debut album, Twilite's new record will include some of the band's renditions of older, Americana-based tunes. But the new record also will feature something new from the trio.
“We're writing quite a few original songs that we're including on this album,” Tanner says.
“There was an instrumental that was an original [on the last album], but other songs were older,” adds Jackson, who also says the addition of the bass affects the sound of the new album. “It's a little more excitement. Notches things up a little.”