Bio

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The Minnesota-based Barley Jacks is comprised of front–man Brian Wicklund on fiddle and mandolin, Mike Cramer on guitar, Joel Arpin on drums, and bassists Keith Yanes, Kevin Rowe and Josh Granoski. They are jaw–dropping instrumentalists and longtime masters of the fiddle, guitar, bass and drum who meld their divergent backgrounds of blues and bluegrass, Celtic, R & B and bebop to inspire each other and create something entirely new. Their 2010 debut recording Either Side of Night and 2011 recording The Lighthouse has been met with great praise by reviewers. Virtuosity, magic and a little danger combine to make every performance unique.

Their newest album, Coming Down the Mountain (2021) is a collection of crisp, hard-hitting instrumentals, thoughtful vocals and fan favorites. 

 

 

"THE BARLEY JACKS ARE MUSICIANS' MUSICIANS PLAYING SERIOUSLY GOOD MUSIC. IF YOU CAN SIT THERE AND LISTEN TO THESE GUYS WITHOUT SMILING OR TAPPING YOUR TOE, CHECK YOUR PULSE."​

-Ron Arsenault, Rock Bend Music Festival

Coming Down The Mountain - album

The long-awaited third release of the Barley Jacks, “Coming Down the Mountain” features clever writing and virtuosic musicianship matured over the band’s hundreds of performances in the last decade. Band leader, songwriter, fiddle and mandolin player Brian Wicklund is ably accompanied by some of the upper midwest’s finest acoustic musicians in Mike Cramer - guitar, Kevin Rowe - bass, and Joel Arpin - drums. With a nod to their bluegrass roots, the project includes swing, old-time and Celtic influences to create a truly unique sound. Wicklund says, “Of the dozens of recordings I’ve made with various combos to date, this one I am most proud of.”

 

"THE BARLEY JACKS HAD THE CROWD STANDING, CLAPPING, DANCING AND SHOUTING FOR ALMOST THE ENTIRE FINAL HOUR. THEY ARE ONE FINELY TUNED MACHINE. AN ABSOLUTE TREAT TO LISTEN TO!"

 

-Greg Schmitz, Sioux River Folk Festival

 

"I LOVED THE BAND... LOT'S OF GOOD FEEDBACK. THE BARLEY JACKS ARE DYNAMIC, EXCITING AND JUST PLAIN FUN!"

 

-Mary Doub, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

Videos

All Videos

Barley Jacks play "I've Just Seen a Face"

Barley Jacks
Barley Jacks play "I've Just Seen a Face"
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Barley Jacks play "I've Just Seen a Face"

Barley Jacks play "I've Just Seen a Face"

03:30
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In Your Arms

In Your Arms

03:47
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Grassland Jam: The Barley Jacks

Grassland Jam: The Barley Jacks

29:06
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BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED - "A DOUBLE THREAT... THIS EXCEPTIONAL FIDDLER ALSO PROVES TO BE AN ABLE COMPOSER AND APPEALING SINGER."

INDIE-MUSIC.COM - "WICKLUND'S FIDDLING RINGS IN PRISTINE TONALITY... SUPERB ORIGINALS."

INSIDE BLUEGRASS - "WONDERFUL ORIGINAL TUNES, GORGEOUS HARMONIES AND A LEVEL OF MUSICIANSHIP THAT FEW IN THE REGION CAN DREAM OF MATCHING."

CITY PAGES - "THEY RAISE THE NOTCH BY PERFORMING INTERACTIVE BLUEGRASS, ENGAGING THE AUDIENCE AND MAKING EVERY PERFORMANCE UNIQUE." 

Selected Appearances

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival–NY

Minnesota Bluegrass Festival

Porcupine Mountain Folk Festival, MI

Cedar Cultural Center–Minneapolis, MN

Sioux River Folk Festival, SD

Rock Bend Folk Festival, MN

Portage Center for the Arts, WI

Minocqua Performing Arts Center, WI Minnesota State Fair

Grand Opera House, WI

Mabel Tainter Theater, WI

Park Theater, WI Oconomowoc Performing Arts Center, WI Schauer Center, WI

Brian Wicklund

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(fiddle/mandolin) has been an integral part of the acoustic music scene for decades. As a teenager, he won dozens of fiddle contests and has toured  internationally with
bands Stoney Lonesome, Judith Edelman Band,
Kathy Kallick Band, Chris Stuart Band, and with Brother Mule. He is a busy studio musician and producer with dozens of projects to his credit. Brian wrote the bestselling,

American Fiddle Method published by Mel Bay and is in constant demand as a teacher worldwide.  Mike Cramer–(guitar) is a champion flat picker and jazz phenom. Keith Yanes –(bass) is as comfortable in a bebop combo or a bluegrass band. Joel Arpin–(drums)grooves on cajon and trap set. Together they are synergy.

Photos

Downloadable Files

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