10 Bands You Must See at Sidepony Express Festival

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This weekend, more than 100 bands will take over the small mining town of Bisbee for an entirely free music festival. Around 75 bands from the Phoenix area will make the four-hour trek down to participate in Sidepony Express Music Festival. Bands will play in over 20 venues around the town ranging from saloons to cafes and DIY spaces.

You can find the entire lineup of the festival here. 

The festival seeks to promote and connect emerging artists as well as to support and enrich the artistic community of Bisbee. The organizers of the fest wanted to create an event that brings musicians to the town in hopes of inspiring them in their art and keeping the spirit of Bisbee alive. The festival will also feature panels and presentations with speakers on artist development.

Sidepony is a festival for discovering music. Most of the bands on the lineup might not be familiar, but you never know what gems might be found. Here are 10 bands you don't want to miss.

1. Citrus Clouds

Citrus Clouds is psychedelic dream-pop. The vibe is very shoegaze, which is perfect for the psychedelic-rock lover that wants a dreamy, chill experience. Band members Erick Pineda, Stacie Huttleston, and Angelica Pedrego offer a surprisingly full sound for a trio.

2. decker.

decker. is alternative psych-rock from Northern Arizona. His tune “The Holy Ghost” was recently featured as KEXP’s Song of the Day, which shows how his music has spread to other parts of the country. As he seems to be gaining a bit of recognition with national airplay, it would be a nice set to catch at an intimate festival like Sidepony. The songs are catchy and danceable with a bright sound.

3. Jerusafunk

Jerusafunk is a big ol’ band of people offering (but certainly not limited to) funk rock with world-folk sounds. In fact, the music is all over the place in the best of ways. It is incredibly eclectic and experiments with a range of rhythmic changes. The band describes itself as “Old School Sexified Jewish Folk Funk Dinner Dance Music.” There’s also a good deal of brass and percussion to get people moving and grooving.

4. Andy Warpigs

Andy Warpigs is a folk-punk artist with a feel-good vibe. His tunes have a quick, punky rhythm that’s paired with a folky vocal delivery. His most recent album, Geek Rock! To the Nations!, is a fun listen with catchy beats and a sort of nostalgic nod to the sound of '90s and early '00s rock bands. Andy’s live performance and musical persona are always very engaging and interactive with the crowd.

5. Fairy Bones

Fairy Bones is alternative rock with lead female vocals from Chelsey Louise Richard. Some of the fast-paced songs have a post-punk quality, while slower tunes get more jammy and psychedelic. There is an eclectic blend of rock feels, and Louise’s vocal range is strong, offering a soulful, theatrical dimension to the sound.

6. Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold

Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold is a duo that blends country, blues, bluegrass, and rock. Jesse Gray is superfast on the banjo and also picks up the electric guitar, occasionally adding in a suitcase drum. Tyler Matock holds it down with lead vocals and a strong rhythm on the acoustic guitar. He also plays harmonica and kazoo. The traditional bluegrass ups the tempo and gets the crowd stomping with the duo's high-energy delivery.

7. Trash Mullet

Trash Mullet is the project of Delaney Moos. The old-timey, soulful voice of Moos paired with gentle banjo picking is a perfect synergy. Trash Mullet is bluesy and folky and sounds like music you might hear sitting on a porch deep in New Orleans. There’s a real down-home feel, yet the delivery is very unique. At times, the lineup is just Moos; other times, she is joined by Robert Quijano, Denise Teixeria-Pinto, and Ted Andreas. While Trash Mullet can be dreamy and melodic, Moos has a lot of power behind her voice, and the ensemble can get the whole crowd dancing.

8. The Psychedelephants

The Psychedelephants call their sound "jazz-grunge." The band’s vocal harmonies and psychedelic undertones are presented with a playful quasimusical feeling. It is very theatrical, and the high electric-guitar tones and solos come through on every song. Groovy bass lines set the backdrop of the chill rock feel.

9. Melissa Reaves

Melissa Reaves is a singer-songwriter with so much soul you can’t miss it. Every year on Sunday, the festival has an unofficial closing jam tradition that Reaves usually spearheads. Her sound has been described as a combination of Janis Joplin and Miles Davis. In fact, when she covers a Joplin song, it’s almost eerie how much similarity there is between the two in their vocal delivery and mannerisms.

10. Larkspurs

Larkspurs present a superinteresting blend of world beat and progressive rock. The fiddle creates a Celtic-Roma vibe and a psychedelic droning effect. The band even incorporates instruments from the theremin to the Greek bouzouki, a mandolin-like instrument. Middle Eastern and Eastern European sounds make their way into the mix as well. The lineup is pretty stacked, with band members including Alexis Ronstadt, Nick Vega, Jesse Srogoncik, Lee Roberts, Mando Torres, and Emily Schalick.

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