Musical High Tide for San Francisco Country/Folk-Rock/Bluegrass Jam Band
When a band’s homepage welcomes visitors with an animated video of their original number “Talking Sasquatch Blues” (“I was out walkin’ in the woods one day / And here come Bigfoot puffin’ a J…”), you get the feeling that Ten Mile High‘s set on Saturday at Beartrap will probably not be a solemn occasion.
The band from San Francisco bills its genre as “high-energy folk-rock, feel-good muppet funk, and beer-drenched Bluegrass.” And, they point out, you might even want to dance. Over the past nine years, they’ve built a solid following, both the old-fashioned way (grassroots shows, college radio, word-of-mouth) and the new-fashioned: Internet file-sharing on a pay-as-you-can basis that recently hit a milestone of 10 million singles downloaded worldwide.
The Folk and Music Exchange (FAME) says of the band, “These are high-spirited country-rock centered musicians who fall deliriously together and have a great time. Ten Mile Tide is not a fundamentalist group. They’ve been listening to everything, and they have the right spirit, the chops, the fun, and the artistry in a communal groove on all levels, just like the greats who came before them.”
The repertoire of original numbers on their self-titled album ranges as widely as you might expect, from “Heartbeat of San Francisco”–which one reviewer describes as “an acoustic rock number about the city’s vibrant, diverse energy and how the city finds kindness and tolerance in multiculturalism,” to a more straight-out country vibe whose spirit is evident from its title: “You and Me Gonna Get Drunk Tonight.”
Personnel include founder Justin Munning (rhythm acoustic guitar, vocals, banjo), Jeff Clemetson (electric and upright bass), John Morales (drums, percussion, vocals), and Patrick Blizinski (keys, B3, accordion). In recent years they’ve been nominated for a Jammy for New Groove of the Year, were a finalist in Relix magazine’s Jamoff Competition, and were picked as New Groove of the Month by Jambands.com.
Traveling by tour bus, Ten Mile Tide has shared stages with The Wailers, Dispatch, the Gourds, MOFRO, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Strangefolk, The Clumsy Lovers, Railroad Earth, The Slip, Jerry Joseph, The Samples, Assembly of Dust, Blue Turtle Seduction, Perpetual Groove, Hootie and the Blowfish, and others.
Their album cuts have gotten wide airplay in the U.S. and Europe, and they’ve amassed a street team of 450 members across 10 countries. This November, they’ll fulfill a long-time dream when they play at San Francisco’s historic Fillmore Auditorium.
“Talking Sasquatch Blues” (animated version) by Ten Mile Tide:
Ten Mile Tide’s music video of its single “Time is Right”:
The band onstage at Mulberry Mountain Harvest Festival, with a medley of “Orange Blossom Special” and “Disco Bus”: