Grand Stafford Theater welcomes international acts Baskery and Fresno to the stage in Downtown Bryan for a free First Friday concert, March 7. Both bands will head to Austin next week as part of this year’s South by Southwest Music Festival.
Sisters Greta, Stella and Sunniva Bondesson formed Baskery in Sweden in 2006. One could say that this three piece treads the ground of alternative Americana folk rock, but Baskery has filed itself under genres such as “killbilly,” “mud-country,” and “banjo punk.” Needless to say, it’s difficult to put Baskery’s sound into words. Since 2006, the band has put out three albums and one EP, but it’s their live performances that really showcase what Baskery is about.
“Performing live has become the most natural thing to us,” says the group. Perhaps no truer words could be said to explain just what happens when Baskery hits a stage. They really are naturals, expressing a genuine passion for music every time they are met with an audience. The trio has done more than their fair share of touring, playing shows in upwards of ten different countries on four continents. Fueled by an opposition to tradition and a devotion to the purely unique, Baskery is nothing short of phenomenal.
Baskery is composed of Greta Bondesson (Banjo/Guitars, tambourine, drums, harmonica, vocals), Stella Bondesson (Double bass, vocals,) and Sunniva Bondesson (Acoustic/Electric guitars, vocals). The trio of sisters began playing live music in their teen years as a cover band in hometown bars and pubs. Even as a cover band, Baskery has “never played songs we didn’t like just to please the crowd.” They began in 2006 as an offshoot of The Slaptones and toured the U.S. later that year with The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Since then, they have played at many festivals around the world, including the Beautiful Days Festival in Escot Park, England, the Four Corners Folk Festival in Colorado, and Sisters Folk Festival in Oregon.
Joining the Swedes Friday night is Brazilian superband Fresno. Since forming in 1999, Fresno has become one of the most popular Brazilian rock bands of all time and, to this day, has kept most of their original fan base while picking up hundreds of new fans along the way. Fresno began in classic fashion when Lucas Silveira, Gustavo Mantovani, Leandro Pereira, and Pedro Cupertino met at Pedro’s house after school one day with an array of instruments at their disposal. In 2001, Fresno released their first record, “O Acaso do Erro,” a six-track EP that was heavily circulated around the Internet due to its popularity in the Brazilian underground rock scene.
The band continued to release albums independently until signing with major label Arsenal Music in 2008, after playing the main stage of the Planeta Atlântida, one of the largest music festivals in southern Brazil. The next year, Fresno was awarded Best Lead Singer, Best Bass Player, Best Pop Artist, and Artist of the Year at the 2009 MTV Video Music Brasil awards, and Band of the Year at the 2009 Multishow Brazilian Music Awards. More recently, Fresno was listed among the Rolling Stone Brasil’s 25 Best Brazilian Albums of the year in 2012 for their self-produced and most recent album, “Inﬁnito.”
Presently, Fresno is made up of Lucas Silveira (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Gustavo Mantovani (lead guitar), Thiago Guerra (drums), and Mario Camelo (keyboards). Signaling their return to the independent music scene, “Inﬁnito” has been praised by critics and fans (new and old) as Fresno’s most ambitious album yet. With every release, the band remains a staple novelty for Brazilian rock fans. Their longevity can be credited to their intense devotion to their fan base, and Fresno’s drive to expand will ultimately take them to even bigger and better places in the coming years.
Fresno and Baskery will also be joined by Brave Baby, an indie rock band that recently released their debut album “Forty Bells,” a record that delves deep into “personal narratives and sober reﬂections on growing up,” and Hazy Ray, a jazzy self-categorized “New Orleans Rock” band that has shared bills with Ludacris, Everclear, and John Leﬂer of Dashboard Confessional.
Doors will open at Grand Stafford Theater at 8pm, with the first act set to begin playing at 9pm. Admission is free and the show is for all ages. For more information, visit www.grandstaffordtheater.com