Thu, Mar 21
Nick Shoulders and The Okay Crawdad
Two Runner
8:00PM (Doors: 7:00PM )
$20.00
Ages 21 and Up
This show is at Belly Up
143 S. Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA

Ticket Price: $20 advanced / $23 day of show / $35 reserved loft seating (available over the phone 858-481-8140 or in person at our box office) (seating chart / virtual venue tour)

Not on the e-mail list for venue presales? Sign up to be a Belly Up VIP and you will never miss a chance to grab tickets before they go on sale to the general public again!

There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets once purchased.
All times and supporting acts are subject to change.

Nick Shoulders and The Okay Crawdad

All Bad, the latest album from Nick Shoulders, ultimately encapsulates everything that makes  Shoulders’ inimitable form of country music so vital: a heady balance of dazzling musicianship and  punk defiance, coupled with gritty eccentricity and a generational connection to the roots of the  genre. The album emerged from the chaos of the post-pandemic world, and manages to be a plea  for patience as much as a call to action. With a singing style deeply rooted in his family’s musical  lineage and a heartfelt reverence for his lifelong home of mountainous Arkansas, the incisive yet  wildly jubilant All Bad vocally objects to the reckless destruction of the natural landscape and ever eroding line between church and state, while still offering plenty of joy and dance-ready rhythms.  Having recently experienced their first years of rapid growth and relentless touring, Nick and his  longtime band, the Okay Crawdad, wrote and recorded All Bad while confronting a nation  profoundly changed by development and industrialization run rampant. Spanning a variety of early  country styles, the album’s infectious rallying cry “Won’t Fence Us In” shines alongside everything  from jangling cajun waltzes to surf-rock infused bluesy ballads–all tied together by a voice seemingly  out of place in this century, yet ever ready to speak up about its problems.  

“The idea of country music as our sacred inheritance as opposed to a marketing scheme has been  central to my work for a while now,” says Shoulders. “It’s about finding collective liberation in our  connection to the landscape, to ancient singing traditions, to a way of producing music that predates  the industry built around it. This album came from tapping into what my band and I did as street  performers and moldy little honky-tonkers: it’s continuing that dedication to making music that’s  honest about the lives we’re actually living, rather than trying to create a more marketable reality.” 

Released via Gar Hole Records (a label founded and co-owned by Shoulders), All Bad marks the  first LP made with his longtime band since 2019’s premier full-length Okay, Crawdad and their  subsequent pandemic-imposed hiatus. After writing most of the album from the front seat of a tour  van, the Fayetteville, AR-based musician took a batch of demos he recorded while snowbound and  recovering from Covid to his longtime band (bassist/harmony singer Grant D’Aubin, lead guitarist  Jack Studer, drummer Cheech Moosekian) and collectively headed to New Orleans. Hoping to  emulate the methods of their first two efforts, Nick and the band recorded in a home studio on the  banks of the Mississippi river. 

“We wanted to make the record the only way we know how: straight to tape in a shotgun house with  just a couple of microphones,” he says. “There were times when we had to pause because a barge  went by and blew its air horn, or there were kids out on the levee playing music.” Also featuring  pianist and co-engineer Sam Doores of the Deslondes, pedal-steel guitarist Nikolai Shveitser, and  fiddle player Mickey Nelligan, All Bad embodies an infectiously rhythmic sound partially informed  by Shoulders’ pre-pandemic years living in New Orleans. “As someone who resided in their van and  played banjo on the sidewalk for a while, I eventually found my way toward the magically vibrant  South Louisiana dance culture that gave birth to what you’re hearing on this record,” he says. The  band’s sound, a fusion of rural singing with the sweat soaked rhythms of New Orleans dancefloors,  is influenced by the kinetic nature of the region’s rich musical history, as much as it is Shoulders’  own vocal pedigree.  

Taking a cue from some of his most formative influences (the likes of Hazel Dickens and Jimmy  Driftwood), Shoulders created All Bad in an effort to “honestly interpret the grim political and social  reality we exist in,” as he puts it. “Every one of these songs is carved from some of the hardest 

experiences we’ve ever had,” he says. “The hope is that people will recognize something of their  own lives in those stories and feel understood and seen.” But even at its most sorrowful moments,  All Bad sustains an unbridled exuberance, thanks largely to Shoulders’ riveting vocal work—an  element indelibly shaped by the landscape that raised him. “My musical upbringing at home was  mostly learning owl calls, whistling along with cardinals, whooping and hollering with all my little  friends out in the woods,” he says. “All that primitive yodeling I did as a kid ended up turning into a  physical skill set that became so important to my singing without me even realizing.”  

A prime example of All Bad’s multilayered emotionality, the album’s title track unfolds as both a  painfully real piece of autobiography and an emphatic statement against despair (“We bury friends  and try to share our pain/November hurricanes and acid rain/They built to burn but we will live to  maintain/Because it ain’t all bad”). One of All Bad’s most lighthearted offerings, “Appreciate’cha”  arrives as a piano-laced and sweetly buoyant ode to the “subtle activism that exists in the very nature  of Southernness,” in Shoulders’ words. “We in the South live in a stiff-upper-lip culture where so  much is repressed, but the term ‘Appreciate you’ allows for a shockingly vulnerable moment of  gratitude in the day-to-day,” he says. “I wanted to write a folk song showing gratitude for all the  smaller moments of humanity that deserve recognition, whether it’s the miners who keep the lights  on or the people sweeping the floors after our shows.” 

Over the course of All Bad’s 14 tracks, Shoulders imbues his songs with an elegantly offbeat  musicality that echoes his complex relationship with country music. “My dad is a great whistler, and  his folks apparently were too; essentially every person in my family belonged to some regional  musical lineage: my grandparents on both sides had ways of singing to pass down to me, with  incredible vibrato and richness to their voices,” he says. “Despite all that, I spent years reacting  against the American traditional canon—partly due to overexposure, but also because of recognizing  what people associated with that cultural construct. Instead I just wanted to make the loudest,  scariest music possible.” At age 13, Shoulders got a Walmart drum set and spray-painted it pink,  then spent much of his adolescence playing drums in metal and punk bands. But after discovering  the original blues, folk and country recordings of the 1920’s and 30’s, he found his perception  radically altered. “In those records I was hearing about a world with endless wars, bank failures,  crops drying out in the fields—and that was the same world I lived in,” he recalls. “I felt something  click, and it led me toward reclaiming these rural singing traditions from a space of commercial  propaganda that’s intent on selling a lifestyle we don’t actually live.”  

With his live experience including touring with the likes of Sierra Ferrell and performing at major  festivals like Stagecoach, Shoulders makes a point of bringing an educational component to his  exultant and deeply communal show. “As much as we’re throwing a party, it’s also a priority to be  the teacher I never had, and share this vital information that’s done wonders to improve my  understanding of history, and the present we’re left with,” he says. Both live and on record,  Shoulders’ music achieves the rare feat of imparting difficult truths while inciting a certain joyful  abandon. To that end, the dance-ready rhythms and heavenly melodies of All Bad stir up a potent  contrast to the album’s thorny lyrical themes. The result: a body of work at turns sublimely  freewheeling and profoundly illuminating, primed to permanently warp the listener’s perspective to  glorious effect.

Two Runner
Two Runner is Paige Anderson and Emilie Rose. The American Roots duo from Northern California embody
the hills they grew up in. Through the mediums of clawhammer banjo, flatpicking guitar, vocal harmonies,
and oldtime fiddle, Two Runner puts a hip take on the Appalachian feel.
Front woman Paige Anderson grew up touring in her family bluegrass band, Anderson Family Bluegrass,
starting at the age of 9. The family of six traveled for about 12 years as Anderson Family Bluegrass and later
The Fearless Kin. Paige wrote her first song with Chuck Ragan at 15, which kickstarted her love for
songwriting. In the last few years, Paige has spent her time creating new music, played bass for Family of the
Year (2018), wrote a plethora of new songs to share, and has been discovering a new sound for herself and
Two Runner.
Fiddler Emilie Rose was raised on Scottish Fiddle and fiddle camps starting at the age of 9. In her early years,
she led Celtic band The String Sisters who played together for 10 years in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Emilie
has a deep understanding and love for folk music traditions.
Emilie took the fiddle out of NorCal to study at Berklee College of Music, where she graduated in 2020. In her
studies, Emilie was mentored by the greats such as Bruce Molsky, Natalie Haas, and Darol Anger.
Together, Two Runner brings a rich mix to the folk music world, with their harmonies, banjo pickin', dirt
kickin' duo.

Ticket Price: $20 advanced / $23 day of show / $35 reserved loft seating (available over the phone 858-481-8140 or in person at our box office) (seating chart / virtual venue tour)

Not on the e-mail list for venue presales? Sign up to be a Belly Up VIP and you will never miss a chance to grab tickets before they go on sale to the general public again!

There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets once purchased.
All times and supporting acts are subject to change.