With musical roots throughout the Midwest, Blockhouse Valley deeply cultivates a flourishing Americana landscape in southeast Michigan.
The metro Detroit quartet of Ashleigh Glass (vocals), Cody Cooper (mandolin, guitar), Jon Howard (guitar) and Danny Steinkopf (upright bass) combines robust elements of Appalachian folk and Tennessee bluegrass with gritty Rust Belt sentiments on their self-titled debut EP.
“Growing up, my prolific and prodigious grandparents helped shape my vision for my musical endeavors. I was exposed to artists like Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart and Chet Atkins, but my personal preferences skewed more toward rock, blues and indie music,” said Cooper, who hails from Sunbury, Ohio, and whose grandparents reside in northeast Tennessee’s Blockhouse Valley.
“When Ashleigh, a West Virginia native, and I started writing music together, we found a lot of shared experiences tied to the trials of living in the Rust Belt. We both lamented witnessing the impact of lost industry and economy on our parents’ and grandparents’ generations and were concerned about how it was shaping our peers and our perspectives in the Midwest.”
In response, Cooper and Glass penned six thoughtful tracks for the EP that reconcile past struggles and beckon future growth. Wistful stories about heartbreak, home and hope soar alongside rich harmonies and fervent acoustic instrumentation.
“The tie to Blockhouse Valley harkens to the short-lived promise of prosperity, the long-term costs lurking beneath the surface, and the ever-enduring splinter of hope that we might learn to do better as we learn from all we’ve seen,” Glass said.
“From this viewpoint, our music has been influenced by a wide range of artists, most notably Chris Thile and his bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek. They encapsulate so many elements that we relish, including bluegrass instrumentation that blends nods to their predecessors with truly virtuosic musicianship.”
Continue reading “Midwest Americana – Blockhouse Valley Combines Regional Folk and Bluegrass with Rust Belt Grit on Self-Titled Debut EP”