Blood Washed Band:
St. Paul, MN – Twin Cities alt-country supergroup Blood Washed Band combines classic country-gospel songs, hymns and original music in their debut album Driftin’ Along; now available at Electric Fetus Records in Duluth MN and online at CD Baby, iTunes and Spotify. With a repertoire including renditions of classics from the Carter Family, Hank Williams, The Band, Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash, as well as interpretations of contemporary songs in an archetypal style, they galvanize long-time fans and engage new generations in rich tradition. As the house band for the eclectic House of Mercy Church they lead the congregation in song each Sunday and entertain audiences at festivals, clubs and local watering holes. Multiple songs from Driftin’ Along have also been in heavy rotation on the “United States of Americana” show on NPR Affiliate 89.3 FM The Current in St. Paul. “U.S. of A.” program DJ, Bill DeVille, states: “Blood Washed Band is the perfect blend of country and gospel. They’ll get you to church on time. Just love this band!”
“There’s something beautiful and healing in the words and melodies of the old gospel songs, and our goal is to simply bring that out as best we can,” says band leader Page Burkum (lead vocals & acoustic guitar). “Preservation and performance of this type of music is a way to pass it on to future generations.”
A blend of multi-award-winning, established and emerging songwriters and musicians, the Blood Washed Band is comprised of serious talent that joined forces to create a gospel album for those who still love the taste of whiskey. Its genesis so far has been a wake-like performance Entitled “The Funeral Remembrance of Luke the Drifter.” Hosted by The House of Mercy at a funeral home, the event paid homage to an alter ego used by Hank Williams to record gospel music. The event celebrated the Drifter’s life, while friends and family (including old girlfriends and lost brothers) gathered to say their final farewells in a 1970s ambiance. Many of the songs on Driftin’ Along grew out of this show, and the occasion served as its own eulogy for the funeral home which itself was torn down the following week. Recorded in different studios using primarily live takes, the album practices a conventional approach to minimalism.
“As with all of those classic country albums by artists we love such as Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Buck Owens every instrument we incorporate on Driftin’ plays exactly what it needs to- and nothing more,” says Blood Washed Band electric guitarist, Jeremy Szopinski.
Blood Washed Band keeps country-gospel memories and music alive, while birthing new tunes in the time-honored genre. Leading the group is Quillan Roe, who performs with one of Minnesota’s largest old-time and folk acts-The Roe Family Singers. He was the former leader of the nationally touring act Accident Clearinghouse and winner of the 2012 “Old-Time CD of the Year” award from the Rural Roots Music Commission, 2011-'12 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians, and the 2012 & 2010 World's Best Jug Band Competition. He and his wife Kim co-lead the Roe Family Singers, and she was crowned Best Female Vocalist by CityPages in 2006. Keyboardist Erik Brandt and electric guitarist Jeremy Szopinski have toured across the US, UK, and Canada with the Urban Hillbilly Quartet. The Quartet has released twelve albums on four different labels. The band is rounded out by violinist Chris Becknell of Mursik, drummer Levi Stugelmeyer of Charn, and vocalist Angie Talle. Contributors of original songs on Driftin’ Along include Burkum, Brandt, Brett Larson, Jack Torrey, and Russell Rathbun.