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Wild Iris “Album Release Party” – with Whiskey West and Adrea Castiano
After nine years of writing and performing together, Wild Iris are extremely proud to present their third full-length album, Forward Now, to the world! This album was recorded at Bear Mountain studios in the mountains of Bonny Doon, just weeks after the facility barely survived the notorious CZU Lightning fires that ravaged the hillsides around it. The pandemic was raging and the band, along with their fearless engineer, Andy Zenczak of Gadgetbox Recording Studio, were determined to create a record while sanitizing, masking and social distancing. It was not an easy task, but it was a fulfilling one. Everyone involved agreed that making music was the only antidote to the world’s new normal of constant uncertainty and isolation. These new songs are imbued with longing, grief, regret, retrospection and most of all, hope that we can all move FORWARD NOW.
Wild Iris is the culmination of efforts from Bryan Shelton and Kate Mullikin who formed the band in the fall of 2013 after meeting at a beachside convenience store. Bryan was playing a big, black guitar and Kate started improvising a melody to compliment it. They hadn’t shared more than a few words before they were writing their next song. Bryan already had the name Wild Iris in mind and Kate dug the double meaning, evoking the image of a flower and an eyeball. They adopted the moniker, released their home recorded debut EP in 2014 and began gigging with a back-up band. Kates poetic instincts provided the melodic structure for Bryan to build his flat picking under a style gleamed from years of practice and time well spent listening to Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, the latter with whom Wild Iris has shared the stage. Onstage, the band exuded a kind of therapeutic honesty, which when mixed with their elegant musicality went a long way with the locals. Now, with two full length albums under their belt, Wild Iris are presenting their third album to the world!
Whiskey West combines the sounds of outlaw country, bluegrass and blues to create an edgy, toe tapping, good time acoustic honky-tonk sound. Kinda like if Johnny & June adopted a freight train and trained it to play something that swings.
Adrea Castiano delivers dark, confessional songs with a singular style and a voice described as both sweet and haunting. Her songs have won multiple awards, including “Best Song Of The Year” for 2020 and 2021 from The West Coast Songwriters Association and “Best Overall” in the 2019 Songwriters At Play original song contest. She has been featured in collaborations with producers worldwide, including KR3TURE, Hokima, and Joaquin Sun. A Santa Cruz native, Adrea resides in Nashville where she is recording her debut album.
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