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The Northern Skies / Bio

Folk-Rock With Teeth! Whether they're at a brewery pub, a music festival, or on a street corner, Grand Rapids Michigan based band The Northern Skies plays “bluegrass, Americana, and Celtic music and pours it through an indie rock funnel to distill something that sounds like a party out in the back yard. And yes, there is moonshine at that party" (Revue Magazine Grand Rapids, MI).

The sound is created by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eric Engblade and dynamically rounded out by violinist Jefferey Niemeier, bassist Eric Raby, and drummer Jake Castillo. The band’s 2009 self titled release was called a "beautiful", "up-north, front porch masterpiece" (Recoil Magazine, Grand Rapids MI).

As impressed as local publications were, their 2012 newest release “Thick As Thieves” has “leveled expectations” and has been hailed as a “homegrown, handmade work of art” (On The Town, Grand Rapids, MI). The album was recorded at Stone House Studio with Peter Fox as well as at Mackinaw Harvest studios in Grand Rapids, MI with producer Michael Crittenden (Pop Evil, Hello Dave, Drew Nelson). Thick As Thieves features performances by top notch regional musicians such as Mark Lavengood (of Lindsey Lou and The Flatbelly’s) and Erin Zindle and Randall Moore (of The Ragbirds).

Together with “[even more] inspiring musicianship and songwriting” (Grand Rapids Press), the result is a poignant album “with an overwhelming amount of musical density, which completely smothers the American right to pigeonhole a band into a particular genre” (Revue Magazine).

Some of their accomplishments include opening for national artists and bands such as Ekoustik Hookah (2012), Greensky Bluegrass (2011), The Ragbirds (2011), and Paul Thorn (2010).

They are also making a splash in the summer music festival scene with performances at The Beaver Island Music Festival (2011), Hiawatha Music Festival (2011), Farm Block Festival (2011), Hoxeyville Music Festival (2010), The Wayfarer Roots and Bluegrass Festival (2010), The Royal Oak Arts, Beats, and Eats Festival (2010, 2009) as well as other regional community art/music festivals. In the fall of 2009, they were selected as finalists in the Great Lakes Song Writing Contest for their song "Mission Accomplished" (www.GreatLakesSongs.com).

With over 120 regional and national bookings a year, The Northern Skies keeps spreading its “accessible”, “infectious”, ”eccentric”, “off beat” and “danceable” Folk-Rock With Teeth while touring the Great Lakes Region and beyond (Grand Rapids Press).

General Info

Band Members
Eric Engblade, Jeffrey Niemeier, Eric Raby, Jake Castillo
Artist Name
The Northern Skies
Profile Page
Active Since
Folk / Americana / Indie Rock

Contact Info

Grand Rapids, MI
Eric Engblade

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