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The Ruralist

We all end up where we end up, and if we’re lucky, we find some people to play music with.  Luke Hawley, Laremy De Vries, Titus Landagent, and Jake Miller got lucky, and The Ruralists were born.


In their debut full-length album The Birth of Birds, The Ruralists take Luke’s simple folk shuffles and, using all the instruments in their machine shed, run them against the grain.  Howling electric guitars create a lush landscape of sound, sharp strokes over the fundamental and foundational rhythm section.  Splashes of color like basement brass, the odd accordion, and a century-old pipe organ brighten the corners.  And at the center of this curious carousel, Hawley’s songs of loving, longing, leaving, and coming back again, the fight for fidelity, grabbing and grappling at the impermanent, the interlocular, the veiny and visceral mess of the here and now stacked against the dream and desire of better days ahead.  The songs are melodic, even down to the drums.  Hooks hooked with hooks, like the old barrel-of-monkeys game.  They’re narrative both in lyric and music, dynamic and surprising, at times bombastic, at times almost uncomfortably intimate.


The Ruralists are a band born of necessity, of belief in Dave Kramer’s ruralism, the idea that art and beauty are not a metropolitan monopoly but artifacts that can be found in the back of any old garage, behind the busted-spring door, among the fruited plains of middle America.  They take the best options available in a small town and make something that would hang in any vaunted hall or under any vaulted ceiling of the big city.  Refuting rural as somehow simple or silly or shallow, but rather as vast and veritable and verdant as the black Iowa dirt.  Art is, after all, universal.  And the Ruralists speak to that through an eclectic ensemble of sounds and songs.  Don’t fly over these folks.  Invite The Ruralists to Sunday dinner, push back from the table and listen.  You’ll find yourself in it, humming quietly along with the themes and variations on the heart in conflict.  And don’t worry about it, they’ll do the dishes.


The short list of our music influences is tough to pin down; we’re a pretty diverse group.  Certainly, Wilco and Jason Isbell and John Prine fit in.  And Weezer and other 90’s grunge.  Our drummer loves Earth, Wind, and Fire and dream theater

JazzFest to Open at 3 PM!

Because of damage to the park, JazzFest will begin at 3 PM today!

JazzFest Update

URGENT: There has been a 2019 JazzFest line-up update.

Move and Groove

Join us for a workout at Yankton Trail Park before JazzFest gets started on Saturday, July 20th! This year Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield will be sponsoring YOGA + ZUMBA + CYCLING! Register today and you could be the lucky winner of an Apple Watch!




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