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Nickel & Rose + Kendra Swanson $5

Nickel&Rose is an American folk-music duo made up of Upright Bassist Johanna Rose and Guitarist Carl Nichols. They formed in the summer of 2016 and spent their first winter and the following spring traveling Europe, playing dozens of shows in France, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. While in Berlin they recorded their EP, Oh Sweet Love, released in April 2017. Oh Sweet Love, is a sweet-sounding auditory souvenir of Nichols’ and Rose’s four month European journey and a recorded testament to the two-piece’s ability to turn tough times into something vibrant with help from a traveling companion. 

Nickel&Rose have influences that span the spectrum of American music. Carl’s background brings elements of West African music and Blues while Johanna brings her experience playing Bluegrass, Folk and Jazz. From loss to heart break to love, Nickel&Rose address the human experience with gentle harmonies and soul stirring cries. With a shared appreciation for traditional music and a desire to break rules, the two have have created a unique sound that embodies Americana's past and future.

"The two offer an especially expansive vision of roots music, drawing not only from roots and bluegrass music but also blues, soul, jazz and African music."

"The duo has been gaining widespread recognition for their romantic and stylish music that clearly shows influences from folk, jazz, and blues, but cannot easily be defined by common genres of music." 
-Jazz Estate

Kendra Swanson is an independent folk music performer and songwriter. With strong, expressive vocals and energetic instrumentation, she applies a timeless sound to original compositions written from (and about) the American heartland. It has been described as "soulful," "homey," "sincere," and "heartfelt," delivered with a passionate voice that cuts through the loudest of bars (and the hardest of hearts). A multi-instrumentalist, Kendra writes most of her music on guitar and banjo, but performs as fiddler and violist with several local bands. As a soloist, she has shared bills with the likes of Charlie Parr, Chicago Farmer, The Waydown Wanderers, The Howlin' Brothers, Danny Barnes, the Quebe Sisters, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the incomparable Jerry Douglas. 

In 2011, after discovering folk music while living abroad, Kendra started playing the banjo in a conquest for a deeper understanding of her homeland and its identity, and met many wonderful folk musicians and writers in the Rock River Valley. It has been in the pursuit of folk music and writing that she has found deep joy and satisfaction in expression. She independently recorded and released her first album "Carry Your Shoes," and sold it on the streets.

When Kendra's father passed away suddenly in the spring of 2012, she became a wellspring of new music and motivation to help others through their darkness. Her all original, profoundly hopeful album, "Kendra & Kin, Live in Rockford" (Vincent Records) was recorded and released about a year later. Her second album, recorded along the Mississippi river, "Go Down to the Low Down" (released May, 2015, recorded with Awesometown Music/Video Production), features a collaborative sound  of all-original music that most notably includes the voices of both her mother and sister, as well as many other musicians. Her newest album, "Without, Within," released in August 2017 and recorded with John Taylor in Cambridge, IL, her most intimate production yet.

Kendra currently resides north of Milwaukee, WI, where she is a professional outdoor educator and environmental advocate. She performs widely throughout the Midwest (and beyond) as a soloist and with various fellow musicians.