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Green Mountain Rebels  

Meeting in the spare rooms and on the back roads of Eau Claire, Wis., in the spring of 2004

Meeting in the spare rooms and on the back roads of Eau Claire, Wis., in the spring of 2004, David Koenig (guitar) and Jered Shaw (vocals/guitar) developed a friendship using two guitars and conversation over drinking cans of beer. With help from their heros like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Zeppelin and Muddy Waters, Koenig and Shaw established the basis for what would become their new adventure: the riotous Green Mountain Rebels.

The songwriting process was rapid and burgeoning. Both Koenig and Shaw had been nesting on songs, riffs, lyrics and basic structures from before they met, clearing a path for a successful collaboration. During the latter part of 2004 the writing process produced songs like “The Sweetheart Dance”, "Down & Dirty Blues" and “12th and Vine” that would mature and become staples of their live setlists.

Within that same period, a band was assembled to strengthen the delivery of the songs, sidestep the singer/songwriter channel and surge toward the power of a 5-piece. Chuck Caldwell (drums) and Matt Staudenmaier (bass) were enlisted to protect the basic principles of the newly constructed music by driving the rhythm section. Susan Renee-Thiede fittingly shared vocal duties with Shaw, bringing a forceful and spirited dimension that balanced well with Shaw’s gritty Wisconsin delivery.

The live Green Mountain Rebels experience was a high-energy, beer-drinking, back-country dancing, gathering of rock and roll, in it’s rawest sense: country-based blues with attitude.

In the summer of 2005, the Green Mountain Rebels won a fan-voted contest sponsored by Lienenkugel’s Brewery that sent the band to Milwaukee to play the Harley-Davidson stage at the Summerfest festival: a big stage offering a big sound to a much larger audience.

In the winter of 2007 the Rebels recorded their first full-length album, If It Don’t Shine. With some regional touring and internet-based marketing, the album found critical acclaim, labeling the record “down home, front porch, country laced, blues infected roots rock that's stripped of pretension and glows with sincerity” and “rebellious, faithfully rooted in classic country and roots music yet unafraid to toss their blues and punk aspirations into the mix.”

2008 and into 2011 proved to be a reorganizing time for the Rebels as family and careers required more attention. But, Koenig and Shaw remained linked and retained their musical communication in an effort to revive the Rebels for another attack with added spirit and allegiance.

By 2013, the Rebels were once again ready to record, but this time, as a stripped-down three-piece. The songs were disassembled and revised to their simplest form: guitar and vocals. The EP “Headed Home” was recorded over a weekend in the dells of Wisconsin during the heart of winter. The title-track connects Zeppelin-like guitar parts covered in emotive lyrics with a buoyant nostalgia. The call-and-response vocals in opposing sexes effectively convey comfort and serenity with sincerity, making it relatable while even provoking intense emotions. Another crowning moment is “Just to Get Myself to You.” The communication coupled with its strolling vibe pulls the ear through the country into a battered love song. Again, it’s sensitive and arousing sentiment with scuffing vocals that can propel this into a spirited live track.

The attitude during recording was relaxed, the atmosphere was lighthearted and the result is an authoritative rendition of their rebel-rousing, dirty-country rock and roll.


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