The Barefoot Movement – named in part for their penchant for playing shoeless – tours Montana in August with two free shows in the Flathead Valley and a third performance in Livingston.
Heralded by CMT Edge as “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene,” the music of the Nashville-based group is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while. This charming acoustic band takes listeners back to a simpler place and time with a repertoire ranging from emotional ballads to rip-roaring barnburners.
During its seven-year history, The Barefoot Movement has released two full-length albums and an EP of traditional music, made several cross-country tours, and appeared at some of the top bluegrass festivals in the U.S. The group’s rigorous touring schedule included a trip to Burkina Faso, Africa, where they were guests of the American Embassy.
In September 2014, they received the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Band of the Year award. And the year before, they were first runners-up at the 2013 Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s New Band Competition.
They have been featured in Country Weekly Magazine, RollingStone.com, and CMT Edge, and appeared on Music City Roots and the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Their original music was featured on the Outdoor Channel’s program “Huntin’ the World: Southern Style” and their music video for their popular song “Second Time Around” has been seen nationally on the Zuus Country Network.
The “movement” can be traced back to the teen years of singer-songwriter and fiddler Noah Wall, of Oxford, N.C. Just as she had begun penning her first compositions, she met mandolin player Tommy Norris their senior year of high school. Convinced of their musical chemistry and driven by mutual ambition, they continued to build the band from the ground up throughout their college careers.
While Norris studied classical music and recording engineering at Western Carolina University, Wall chose East Tennessee State, where she was drawn to its Bluegrass, Old-time and Country Music Program. There she began to shape her musical identity under the tutelage of ETSU’s renowned staff, and found an instrumental home in old-time fiddling.
With the addition of versatile guitarist and singer Alex Conerly of Hattiesburg, Miss., in 2013, and most recently, Katie Blomarz of Frankfort, Ill., on the upright bass, the line-up was complete. Together, they deliver all the elements that make up the Barefoot sound: lush harmonies, thoughtful instrumentation, and memorable melodies.
The Barefoot Movement in Montana:
• Columbia Falls: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Gunsight Grill in Columbia Falls (406-897-2820)
• Whitefish: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at Whitefish Lake Golf Club Restaurant (406-862-5285)
• Livingston: 7-9 p.m. Aug. 16 at Pine Creek Lodge and Café (406-222-3628)