16 Bands That Got Their Start in Goshen
Welcome to the land o’
Goshen – really, really good music.
Here in the Maple City, bands spanning a variety of genres – rock, folk, indie, Americana, metal, jam, Latin – have formed, grown, and launched into success. Music lovers have been able to check them out in local venues including Ignition Music Garage, The Goshen Theater, Goshen College’s Sauder Concert Hall, Constant Spring, The Electric Brew, and many more.
As a helpful guide, here’s our list of bands that made their debut in Goshen. Tomorrow, we’ll feature local musicians who have struck it big both locally and internationally.
Rock / Funk
Formed in the late 1990s, Lotus blends rock, jam, electronica, funk, jazz and other elements into its musical stew. Lotus has toured across the United States and beyond and performed at festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and Rothbury.
Lotus first blossomed at Goshen College where twin brothers Luke and Jesse Miller practiced in the space below Goshen College’s cafe, The Leaf Raker. In 2012, Lotus performed a triumphant hometown show at The Goshen Theater as a fundraiser for the Theater and Goshen First Fridays.
Rock / Americana
Strand of Oaks is led by Goshen native Timothy Showalter. His band’s sound is a mix of churning guitar rock, pop, electronic, and Americana.
Strand of Oaks’ most recent release, 2014’s “Heal,” was lauded by NPR and landed on several top album of the year lists – Consequence of Sound (No. 14), the AV Club (No. 11), and American Songwriter (No. 3.)
Showalter brought his “Heal”-ing power during an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” – and later, to his hometown at an August 2014 gig at Ignition Music Garage.
Kansas Bible Company originated at Goshen College. The group of friends blends brass with psychedelic rock and has several albums to its credit, including “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” “Surf Rock Trilogy,” “Hotel Chicamauga,” “Dads Day,” and the soon-to-be released, “Paper Moon.”
The band members are Jake Miller, James Green, Charlie Frederick, Michael Ruth, Jeff Yoder, Jake Snyder, Nathan Marrow, and Daniel Guajardo.
Bluegrass / Folk / Americana / Irish
The Goldmine Pickers have been picking since 2003, playing an amalgam of bluegrass, folk, Americana, and Irish music. The Pickers include Adam Carter, Lukas Simpson, and Sean Hoffman.
Their albums include a self-titled debut, “Lonesome Gone,” and “Goldmine Pickers Live.” A Lukas Simpson-penned Pickers song, “Conversation’s Free,” was heard by TV and radio audiences in 40 countries as part of a Nissan_SHIFT commercial.
Christian / Metal / Punk
Kingston Falls was a Goshen-based Christian hardcore band. The group’s albums include “Kingston Falls,” “Crusader,” “The Crescendo of Sirens,” and “Armada on Mercury.” Kingston Falls’ membership included Brent Zebell, Josiah Gaut, Jason Goff, Josh Battles, Bill Bowers, John Busenbark, Nate Lambright Dale, and Justin Gibson.
Lalo Cura is a Spanish-style rock band formed in 2012. The band is led by Rafael Chávez y Moreno on guitar and vocals, and also includes Adam Carter on guitar and vocals, Sam Que on saxophone, Sonny Carreño on drums, and Adam Hart on bass.
Lalo Cura’s music is reaching an audience even outside the Goshen area. Latin music source Alt.Latino recently picked the band as one of its favorites from NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest.
Folk Rock, Indie
Double Barrel Darrel was a Americana band that, according to its Facebook bio, wrote and played “its own brand of heart-weight rock and roll.”
DBD was made up by Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley (guitar, vocals), Andrew Gerber (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Nathan Mateer Rempel (drums, guitar, vocals), Philip Kaufman (bass), Sonny Carreño (percussion, drums, vocals), Greg Miller (drums), and Jay Lapp (guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals). DBD albums include “Geophagy,” “Overland Underground,” and “Nashville Made in China.”
Folk / Alternative
“The White Oaks make music to help you fight well with those you love the most,” reads the band’s website. The Oaks are Jason Ropp (guitar/vocals), Michelle Oyer (vocals/keyboard/bass), Tyler Mounsithiraj (guitar/keyboard), and Jordan Oyer (drums).
Rockabilly / Blues
Dos Hermanos Band is a rockabilly/rock/blues band. The gritty, often appealingly loud combo is Chris Gingerich (guitar, vocals), David Guevara (drums), and Brandon Seitz (upright bass).
Sharing strands of musical DNA with The Feelies, Sonic Youth, and electric-mode Neil Young, Mister Three Hearts is actually four: Doug Earl (guitar/vocals), David Hazledine (guitar), Adam Hart (bass), and Jake Driver (drums).
Headed up by Nathan Butler (vocals, guitar), Shiny Shiny Black plays low-volume, high-energy Americana roots music. Shiny Shiny Black is augmented by Nathan’s wife, Amber, on bass and vocals.
Shiny Shiny Black’s full-length debut album, “Travelers,” was released on Record Store Day in 2014. The band has also released a live album titled “A Bright Light on the Horizon – Songs from the Stage, 2012-2015.”
Folk Rock / Americana
The Tumbleweed Jumpers is a folk/rock/Americana collective whose music, according to the band’s website, “ is influenced by rock, blues, folk, jazz, and bluegrass, modern twists on old-time folk tunes, and rabble-rousing sea shanties.”
Ramidus was a metal band made up of Nathan Mateer Rempel and Nathan Yoder (guitars), Brandon Miller (vocals), Philip Kaufman (bass), and Troy Moss (drums). If Danzig and Trouble had a child, that spawn might well be named Ramidus.
Folk / Alternative / Country
Led by frontman Ben Wilson, Wilson’s Reservoir is a folk/alternative/alt country band that also includes Andy Martin (bass), Andrew Hauser (drums), and Rafael Chávez y Moreno (guitar).
Reggae, Funk, Rock
The Apes of Wrath were a reggae band featuring Jason Oswald (drums), Nate Sohar (guitar), Mark Yoder (keyboards), David Guevara (percussion), Patrick Bickle (bass), and Melissa McQueen (vocals). Despite its fearsome name, the only wrath this band inspired was taken out on the dance floor.
“Combine a heavy dose of the Pixies and Fugazi with the melodic vocals of Matthew Sweet and Built to Spill, and the quirkiness of Weezer, and you’ve got a great band, Sad Tropics,” read an estimation of the band in the ‘zine S.L.A.M.
Sad Tropics was made up of Josh Hensley (guitar/vocals), Andy Martin (bass/vocals), and Jeremiah Wade (drums). In our humble opinion, the group’s EP “Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt” is still the best Kurt Vonnegut-referencing album title in music history.