An acoustic band born in the land of tech innovation, Front Country was never going to be accepted as an authentic American roots band out of the gate. Cutting their teeth in progressive bluegrass jams in San Francisco’s Mission District and rehearsing in the East Bay, they learned to play roots music their own way, with the tools they had on hand. A mandolinist with a degree in composition and classical guitar. A guitarist trained in rock and world music. A bassist equally versed in jazz and bluegrass. A violinist with technique that could seamlessly hop between honky tonk and electropop. A female lead singer with grit and soul that was also a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. In a wood-paneled country dive bar in the shadow of the San Francisco skyline, Front Country forged a sound hell bent on merging the musical past with the future.
Steep Ravine's soulful songs and fiery instrumentals take roots music in compelling new stylistic directions. Fusing elements of folk, bluegrass, jazz, rock and pop, the band continues to enthrall audiences with their uniquely Californian sound. Simon Linsteadt (guitar, lead vocals) and Jan Purat (violin, vocals) began playing music together in high school in Northern California, later moving on to study music at UC Santa Cruz and the California Jazz Conservatory. They fortuitously met bassist Alex Bice (bass, vocals) through jam sessions in Santa Cruz. Percussionist Jeff Wilson, a close musical compadre, is the band’s most recent addition. Steep Ravine has toured extensively throughout the country and has released two full-length records of all original material.