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The Urban Hillbilly Quartet


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What started as a jam session in late fall 1995 in a now burnt-out St. Paul hole-in-the-wall bar has become an international curiosity. The Urban Hillbilly Quartet has grown into an award-winning Twin Cities-based ensemble that delivers an eclectic mix of musical styles, blending fiddle, electric guitar, accordion, bass and other toys. On stage, the Hillbillies perform mainly original material—most of which can be found on their seven albums: Living in The City, St. Paul Town, Beautiful Lazy, Lanky But Macho, Hot And Now, Amelias Boot and their latest:The A-List. Erik Brandt recently released his first solo album entitled Green Eyed Alone.

Their music has been influenced by: Midwest powerhouses The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo; UKs Grand Drive; Canadas Bruce Cockburn; and folk/jazz star David Grisman. UHQ has been compared to R.E.M., The Grateful Dead, and 16 Horsepower.

The core of the band is Erik Brandt (guitar, accordion, piano, lead vocals), Jeremy Szopinski (electric guitar), Greg Tippett (bass), Noah Riemer (drums), Dave Strahan (banjo, telecaster), and Milo Mietzner (percussion) who have been performing together in the UHQ for ages. They perform regularly at nightclubs, bars, colleges, festivals, park bandshells, coffeeshops and anywhere people connect with intelligent music.

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