By Kate Kuhlman
The Snake Oil Medicine Show Acoustic Trio is making its Michigan debut at Bell’s Brewery on May 30 with an eclectic blend of bluegrass, reggae, and swing.
The Snake Oil Medicine Show Acoustic Trio, from Ashville, NC, is a family band made up of brothers Andy and George Pond and sister Caroline Pond. They are, what banjo player and vocalist, Andy, calls a genre band.
“We play gypsy music, bluegrass, reggae, swing, and even a blend,” he said.
Also joining them onstage is WMU alum, Nicole Potter, Andy’s fiancé, who paints while the band plays. According to Andy, the band has always had a stage painter at the shows.
“We like to inspire creativity,” said Andy. “Sometimes we like to even display art on stage, like a gallery.”
But onstage is not the only place they like to see creativity. Andy says they started the band just to have fun, not to be too serious, and they keep it that way.
“We like to see an interesting crowd,” he said. “It makes the whole show more fun and interesting from up on the stage. We like the audience to dress up sometimes.” They encourage concert-goers to be creative at this show, have fun.
The SOMS does not only inspire artistic creativity, but also a better world through music. What the band calls, “approaching world peace through art and music”.
“Our music is friendly,” said Andy. “You know, what you say goes out far past when you speak it, so we try to keep that in mind when we play.”
The band is inspired by gypsy music and bands that they have played with. They pride themselves on what Andy called “positively conscious lyrics”. Their pop vocals and shows, although clean and “curse word free”, are to older, college age crowds generally. They even play festivals.
“Don’t let the lyrics fool you,” says Andy. “We are not afraid to rock the party!”
Even though they usually play for older crowds, they also like to play for younger generations. The band often goes to Jamaica, where they have some musician friends, to play for orphanages, and play for schools.
“We are a college age show, but we like to play for schools and kids whenever we can,” said Andy. “We like to play for young people.”
Either way, a Snake Oil Medicine Show gig is not to be missed. No performance is like the last, says the band, plus with a painter onstage there will be a whole other element to the performance. Concert-goers will not only get to hear art, but see it being made in front of them.
The band will be heading to Michigan for the first time ever this weekend playing shows in South Haven and Kalamazoo.
“Nicole said we’ve gotta play Bell’s,” said Andy. “So here we are!”
The Snake Oil Medicine Show will be playing in Kalamazoo at Bell’s Brewery on Saturday, May 30 at 8 p.m. The band asks that everyone have fun, come in costume (only if you want to), and be ready to rock!