acoustic driven Americana with a fresh twist
Looking back at 2016
We've grown so much as a band this year. Our harmonies and playing keep getting tighter, and we've written loads of new songs. We're heading toward a new cd, in a somewhat meandering way. The truth is, we have a good body of new songs, many of which we've already been performing and fine tuning. But between gigs, things like jobs and family obligations keep popping up.
We had two great tours of the midwest, returning to some of our favorite places, plus playing lovely new venues in Illinois like Maple Street Chapel in Lombard, The Peoria Public Library, Troy Methodist Church, and in Iowa, the Mt. Vernon Community Center. We played new places in Central and Northern CA, including Rose Avenue House Concerts in Oakland. And we had lots of shows at our favorite local spots, including Coffee Gallery Backstage, Republic of Pie, The Songwriter Serenade, Adams Pack Station, and The Federal Bar. It's been a good year for us!
We were especially proud this year to be chosen to play two well respected festivals. Here we are having a blast at the funky, charming Topanga Folk Festival.
At the American River Music Festival we got chosen to do a show, plus a showcase competition, where we won a slot on the main stage! It was a beautiful day in Coloma! A fan grabbed a phone and recorded us having a great time on the big stage.
"If the Dixie Chicks jammed with Emmylou Harris, it would sound like them"
- Dave Harvey, producer of "Dave Harvey Presents"
The Sweet Potatoes come out of Southern California to dish up their own unique blend of country, folk and homespun Americana. Featuring acoustic guitars, ukulele, accordion and harmonica, this trio will bring a smile to your face with their sweet harmonies and finely crafted songwriting. Their music has a back porch charm all its own.
Laura Hall (songwriter, guitar, accordion, ukulele and vocals) and Kelly Macleod (songwriter, guitar, and vocals) write original music rooted in the family ties that made them the women they are today; songs about finding and appreciating love, having faith, family and home. Their writing is influenced by strong female singer/songwriters such as Emmylou Harris, Patti Griffin and Linda Ronstadt. They're also inspired by bands on the contemporary acoustic scene like Red Molly, The Wailin' Jennys and Old Crow Medicine Show.
They put out their first cd after only playing a few shows together! The self-titled cd was produced by Nashville favorite, Phil Swann, and features fine guitar & dobro work from Linda Taylor (Laura's band mate from "Whose Line Is It Anyway"), and Buddy Mondlock (an old Chicago friend, and great singer/songwriter himself). David Carpenter plays stand up bass and banjo, Glenn Jost is on drums, and Dennis Caplinger added some excellent fiddle work.
The Sweet Potatoes second cd, "Faith, Good Neighbors and a Telephone" came out March 2014. Phil Swann produced again, and Linda Taylor, David Carpenter, Steve Borgard and Eric Heinly helped out. The band's songwriting and sound have become even more focused after playing together for a few years.
The Sweet Potatoes do concerts around the country, meeting new folks and having a good ole time. They often play live as a trio, but sometimes they're lucky enough to be joined by Steve Borgard on dobro, harmonica and banjo and Daniel Regal on percussion. They love playing shows and connecting with a live audience, with Rick often adding his funny, freewheeling storytelling. The Sweet Potatoes have played at festivals, colleges, coffeehouses, house concerts, churches, theaters and yes, even an Easter Egg Hunt. Wherever they perform, it's clear they not only make great music together they have a lot of fun on stage.
"Laura Hall and Kelly Macleod coo and warble like a couple of harmonizing honky tonk angels”
- Kevin Burton Smith, Butlers Coffee Music Guy
"The Sweet Potatoes diversity in grooves and lyric content is such a refreshing sound, yet very rootsy in the style of The Trio (Linda Rondstadt, Dolly Parton & Emmylou Harris)"
- Chris Cooke, host of "Acoustic Lounge"
"About as down-home as you can get" - The Jacksonville Journal Courier
Most of the photos on this website, and all the photos for every cd we've made, were taken by the amazingly talented Michaelyn Straub. She shoots great cd covers, promo shots, live events, and also candid, natural family portraits. Check out her work at MichaelynStraubPhotography.com