The Wisconsin state motto is simple – “Forward.” Milwaukee’s own .357 String Band epitomizes this spirit. Established in 2004, they have brought their relentless style of Americana from the West Coast of the U.S. to as far east as Serbia, playing hundreds of shows in 10 different countries, and honing their razor sharp, adrenaline-fueled live show with a grueling tour schedule. Anything but derivative, The .357 String Band pays homage to both the dark roots of Americana – the fatalistic murder ballads, sneering Outlaw Country and unforgiving Gospel. The result is something the band calls “Streetgrass.”
Using only stringed instruments, The .357 String Band plays with all the fire and fury of Rock & Roll; with an surprising musical and lyrical refinement. They have won accolades from fans of many styles of music and have played with bands from many genres, successfully sharing the stage with string bands like Old Crow Medicine Show and The Hackensaw Boys; Outlaw Country like Hank Williams III and Wayne Hancock; Blues bands like Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Black Diamond Heavies; Punk bands including the infamous ANTiSEEN and Exploited; as well as many bands that defy easy categorization, such as The Avett Brothers, Wovenhand and Th’ Legendary Shack* Shakers.
The .357 String Band has released three albums – 2006’s Ghost Town, featuring performances by Lonesome Wyatt from Those Poor Bastards, Rebecca Manthe from the Tossers, as well as co-production from JD Wilkes of Th’ Legendary Shack*Shakers; 2008’s Fire & Hail features performances by Andy Gibson of Hank III’s Damn Band, and performances by Donnie Herron of BR549; and 2010’s Lightning From The North, also recorded by and featuring performances by Andy Gibson.
The .357 String Band has since disbanded, heading their separate musical directions in 2012, and have since gone on to various solo projects and continue to tour under their own names.