With every run on tour, string band Arkasauce goes a bit further, and each time banjo player Adams Collins is amazed at how their Ozarks sounds are received. Time on the road has developed outright stage chemistry for a band built by an amalgamation of musical backgrounds.
“It’s a really unique blend,” Collins says. “There’s some kind of special recipe that’s going on with this band. There’s about a 10-year span in age differences. Most of us grew up in Arkansas, but everybody’s background is extremely different.”
Collins says he grew up a “music nerd.” He worked as a jazz musician playing spiritual songs in Colorado for nearly a decade. Zac Archuleta and Ethan Bush grew up metal kids, and Tom Andersen, Collins says, was raised on rock.
“‘Grass music is not as readily available to young people. None of us grew up as bluegrass kids. We arrived in the jam/bluegrass scene later on. You can hear hints and whispers of influences that are embedded from what we listened to individually.”
As the band gears up for its seventh western stretch—mostly through Colorado and New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos) where fans who know the words have been multiplying—Collins says the band has been feeling the love.
“We saw that in Arkansas, every time we played people singing the lyrics,” he says. “That made sense because the spirit of the music was very Arkansan. It feels like it’s building a community of people and friendships surrounding the music.”
Arkansauce formed in 2011, a trio featuring Archuleta, Bush and Jolly Princess. “Me and Tom (Andersen) plugged in right before the last Harvest Festival on Mulberry Mountain. Right away, we had a really good chemistry, slowly writing together, progressing, touring more and expanding our range.”
In mid-June, the band signed a booking deal with Midwood Entertainment, a talent agency out of North Carolina.
Their next run to the west, which includes a June 30 dock concert in Springfield, MO, at Tie & Timber Beer Co., has add-on dates in Colorado of intimate house shows, barbecues, and even a wedding for fans met on a previous tour. “It’s a special feeling. Club dates are great and important for exposure,” he says. “Private events is time to have an intimate show and spend time with fans of our music and get to know them on a personal level.”
The band members hope to have a new record ready by spring 2019. “The problem right now is time to get into the studio,” Collins says. “We booked ourselves up through the summer—out pretty much every weekend.”