Ham Jam House -Concert

02/xx/2018, 02/02/2017, 12/6/2016, 12/10/2015, 12/04/2014, 04/30/2014, 12/05/2013, 10/03/2013, 08/31/2013, 02/21/2013, 11/20/2012, 03/01/2012, 12/15/2011, 04/05/2011, 12/19/2010

MilkDrive will perform a special treat for acoustic string fans. Their next performance here will be in February, 2018, doors open at 7:00 PM. These are four amazing young players who will be performing mostly their own instrumentals and will be doing things with their instruments that are assuredly impossible for normal humans.

MilkDrive Band: Dennis Ludiker, Brian Beken, Jesse Dalton, and Noah Jeffries
MilkDrive: Dennis Ludiker, Brian Beken, Jesse Dalton, and Noah Jeffries

Noah Jeffries, Acoustic Guitar, Harmony Vocals... started writing serious tunes by age 14 and toured his native Idaho with friends as the "36-String Swing" while studying jazz performance at Boise State University. He met Dennis while competing in the National Old-time Fiddle Contest in Weiser, Idaho and moved to Austin, Texas as his roommate.

Dennis Ludiker, Mandolin, Harmony Vocals... considers himself a mando player although he's a multi-champion at fiddle contests. He was the Texas fiddle champion two years in a row! Of course, he's won a mandolin contest or two as well.

Brian Beken, Fiddle, Lead Vocals... knew Noah and Dennis from fiddle contests as youngsters, played in Austin with the South Austin Jug Band and the Gougers.

Jesse Dalton, Double Bass... From San Marcos, Texas, Jesse joins these fine musicians on the upright bass. Because of his inherent propinquity to psychedelic freak folk, Dalton's truly original style fuses right in with MilkDrive. Also a scholar in Southeastern Native American cosmologies, Jesse has been playing with the Bluegrass Guns, Green Mountain Grass for six years, and as of the last three years has been the (up)right hand man for Austin's mandolin guru, Billy Bright, as well as for Two High String Band.

Jazz-grass band MilkDrive features award-winning instrumentalists Brian Beken on fiddle and lead vocals, Noah Jeffries on guitar and harmony vocals, Dennis Ludiker on mandolin and harmony vocals, and Jesse Dalton on double bass. But awards reveal nothing about the Austin string band’s exhilarating sound. Fueled by equal parts tradition and innovation, MilkDrive delivers a distinctive acoustic experience that crosses genres, geographies, and generations.

The band’s much-anticipated sophomore studio album WAVES, produced by Bil VornDick, was released in June 2012. Capturing the band’s sophisticated arrangements and fierce musicianship, the album showcases a number of original compositions and features guests Noam Pikelny (of Punch Brothers) and Futureman (of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones).

Dennis Ludiker, Brian Beken and Noah Jeffries met as youngsters competing in the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest in Weiser, Idaho. Eventually they migrated to Austin, Texas where they toured with an eclectic mix of bands and honed their songwriting chops before starting MilkDrive.

In June 2009, the band recorded and released a live album, MILKDRIVE LIVE ’09, which spotlights the band’s vigorous picking technique and charismatic writing style. Their debut studio album ROAD FROM HOME, released in April 2011, combines haunting ballads with their signature instrumentals – “achieving a rootsy feel with a sophisticated edge,” as reviewer Graham Robertson put it. “A fantastic canvas for solo work.”

Andrew Dansby of the Houston Chronicle calls the MilkDrive repertoire “a virtuosic blast of bluegrassy string-band music.” With labels that range from jamgrass and nu-folk to redneck gypsy jazz, the band has built a following that’s as funky and friendly as they are. The group plays festivals from coast to coast every year, with stops in between at Colorado’s beloved Rocky Grass Festival and at home at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
"All these guys are multi-instrumentalist, have won contests all over the country, and most can swap places with each other without damaging any of their music. All contribute to the writing and, as you'll see, obviously enjoy playing together. I'd call their stuff "Jazz-Grass", but what do I know? There are lots of tempo changes, key changes, unexpected rests, and a ton of musical surprises that will make you chuckle...unless you've forgotten to breathe due to the shear musicianship involved. Be aware, you might look funny when you leave, 'cause your ears will be smiling! Don't miss these guys!" ~ Daren
MilkDrive on MySpace

Doors open at 7:00 PM and the concert is 8:00 to 10:00.
$20 suggested admission donation

BYOB and hors d'oeuvres are welcome!

Directions to the Ham Jam House