Live Stream Archive
Calling Minneapolis home, Kind Country has been instrumental in bridging the gap between the local Bluegrass, Americana, Folk, and Jam-Band scenes to create a diverse and rich blend of musical styles that refuses to fit in a single genre’s checkbox. The high-energy improvisational creative energy of the band’s stage performance infuses their studio albums with the intuitive and nearly telepathic connection they’ve grown famous for on stage. The beaming smiles, joyful laughter, knowing glances, brotherly encouragement, and outpouring of love are so palpable and genuine, their camaraderie leaves the audience begging for more. The ebb and flow of magnetic energy and speed draws the audience closer with each guitar lick, mando pluck, and fiddle stroke.
Kind Country began spreading their kind vibes all over the countryside when they came to life in Mankato, MN back in 2012. The seven-member ensemble features Max Graham (Mandolin/Lead vocals), Brandon Johnson (Guitar), Joe Sheehan (Bass), Chris Forsberg (Fiddle/Backing vocals), Chris Wittrock (Drums/Backing vocals), Mike Hedding (Banjo), and Lee Martin (Pedal Steel), who artfully blend a wealth of diverse experiences, musical tastes, perspectives, and individuality into a colorful tapestry of sound. A full drum kit, expertly played by “Witty,” sets Kind Country apart from the run of the mill bluegrass bands. Not to mention the momentum that builds between Max’s melodic mandolin pickin’ alternating with Chris’ rippin’ fiddle solos, leading to a magical crescendo. Joe thumps low and slow on bass, Lee wails on the slide, and Mike picks the banjo with expert precision. Every musician in the band holds their own with talent to spare. Max’s artful songwriting evokes a broad range of emotions, often drawing from his own life and dreams for the future.
Max Graham describes the overarching theme of Kind Country’s music as “finding beauty and happiness, even when negative experiences and struggles persist. That is a quintessential part of life. You can’t wait for everything to be perfect to celebrate life. Life is meant to be celebrated here and now. Our music is how we make life better.”
Kind Country’s discography includes three full-length albums (Kind Country, Hwy 7, and Hard Times) and an EP (Mountains). Track after track, Kind Country’s albums take listeners further down an energizing and uplifting path to find beauty in the darkness, light at the end of the tunnel, and joy in the hard times. The soul of the musicians’ collaborative synergy sits shotgun as we meander down the dusty trail of life, hitting potholes while simultaneously appreciating rainbows along the horizon. Kind Country’s unique sound takes on a duality of its own, dichotomous in its ability to make a sad song sound happy and a happy song sound ecstatic. Their albums artistically balance catchy numbers that elevate mood and vibrations with energetic barnburner instrumentals, all of which provoke a sea of bodies to move to the beat.
Kind Country has garnered national attention for their unique and optimistic style. Live for Live Music prophetically named them one of the “5 Up-and-Coming Bluegrass Bands Poised to Take Over the Scene.” Kind Country has won several contests and awards including the Minnesota State Fair’s AARP Best Local Band of 2017. They were awarded with the opportunity to support Bruce Hornsby and Lake Street Dive in their first stadium show, where they received a standing ovation from an eclectic audience of mostly new fans who spanned the generations.
These festival and live performance veterans have been playing festivals and venues big and small all over the Midwest for years, developing an especially loyal fanbase in the Minnesota/Wisconsin bluegrass scene. Kind Country expanded their festival footprint in the last few years to the national circuit, sharing stages with Phil Lesh, Railroad Earth, Jeff Austin Band, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Devil Makes Three, Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams, Michael Cleveland, The Steeldrivers, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Lil’ Smokies, Billy Strings, Tyler Childers, Jacob Jolliff, Split Lip Rayfield, Charlie Parr, Trampled By Turtles, Pert Near Sandstone, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Useful Jenkins, The Way Down Wanderers, The Big Wu, Kitchen Dwellers, and a multitude of other phenomenal jam, bluegrass, folk, and Americana roots musicians. They seamlessly meld into the electronic scene as well because of their high energy pickin’, heady jams, and upbeat rhythms that get the whole party moving and shaking.
Flatland Harmony Experiment
Flatland Harmony Experiment is a high octane three piece vocally driven string band from Indianapolis Indiana. Flatland Harmony Experiment dances with a single large diaphragm condenser microphone to share their music with audiences. FHE’s music and stage show drips with intensity and passion and it is easy to tell they love what they do. The trio trades lead vocal and lead instrumental responsibilities through a large and diverse original musical pallet. The instrumental mix of mandolin, banjo, and upright bass allows ample space for musical experimentation and expression. Song craft is very important to FHE. Stylistically you can expect Flatland Harmony Experiment’s original music to flow from tunes that echo the founding roots of bluegrass to progressive gypsy and all places in between. Conscious lyrics, a thread of harmony, and instrumental virtuosity permeates all of the original music of the Flatland Harmony Experiment. This band dares to be labeled simply as bluegrass or americana.
Since its beginnings in 2011 the Flatland Harmony Experiment has played over 1000 dates to enthusiastic audiences numbering into the thousands for people all across the country. FHE was excited to be given the very high honor of being selected as a finalist in the 2013 40th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition. This allowed FHE to play for thousands on the main stage of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In 2016 FHE was also honored to support Bernie Sanders for his downtown Indianapolis rally to a crowd of 8000 enthusiastic supporters.
In six years FHE has earned a large audience with their music. Flatland Harmony Experiment has had over 1000 downloads from radio programmers around the globe supporting their three original recordings and physical sales of recordings number well into the thousands as well. 2018 looks to keep the band moving. FHE rigorously continues to play 100’s of dates across the country and with key festival performances including the John Hartford Memorial Festival, and Merlefest. FHE is also wrapping up their fourth full length studio project and expects to release and begin tour support for the project in the spring/summer.
The Flatland Harmony Experiment is:
Sean First on Upright Bass
Kris Potts on Mandolin
Johnny Plott on Banjo
What people are saying about the Flatland Harmony Experiment:
- “The Flatland Harmony Experiment just keeps getting better and better. The old fashioned way, through lots of hard work! They have good songs and a good vibe. They can sing and can play, and deserve to heard. Great musicians and great guys.” -Danny Barnes
- “Hailing from different backgrounds in the music industry, they are rock-solid players and vocalists who bring their experience and maturity together to create a uniquely organic musical landscape. Playing with the subtleties of acoustic string instruments and human voice, Flatland Harmony Experiment delivers a dynamic performance that will take the audience from sweet harmony to spaces of driving rhythm within each performance. Playing each show like their last, this is a project that must be experienced.”
- ” True artists that can entertain most any crowd. These three possess the talent both vocally and instrumentally to cause any age group to tap their feet or flat out get up and dance. Both jam band and bluegrass crowds alike will have trouble sitting still.”
EP and CD Releases
- “Eleventh Hour” 2011 (EP)(CD Baby)
- “On Our Way” 2012 (CD Baby)
- “A Night With Woody” 2013 (Live)
- “The Great Squirrel Stampede” 2014 (CD Baby)
- “Swamp’n” 2015 (Live)
- “Live from the Mousetrap” 2015 (Live)
- “Chrysalis” 2015(EP)(CD Baby)
- “Sundance” 2017(CD Baby)
- “What’s Familiar” 2017(EP)(CD Baby)