One Horse Shy’s Americana blend

One Horse Shy are here to stay.  Three years and two albums into their career, the band is continually growing its fan base here in Oregon and across the United States at an alarming pace.

Formed in 2007, the core of the band is the songwriting team of Manda Bryn on vocals and banjo and Cris Kelly on vocals and guitar.  Their smart storytelling and beautiful harmonies draw in first-timers with ultimate ease.  Add to that the brilliant lap-steel guitar playing of Bob Evoniuk and you get a rich, intoxicating sound that captures the attention of the audience and doesn’t let go.

The sextet is rounded off with Ezra Severin on mandolin and harmonica, Mysha Caruso on bass and vocals and Bryan Helfrich on drums.              Severin’s harmonica playing compliments the country-rock style of the band amazingly well, and the rhythms of Caruso and Helfrich set the funky foundation of the band’s hip-shaking grooves.

“Our sound is definitely based in Americana,” said Evoniuk.  “We definitely swing, and it’s danceable.”

Even if One Horse Shy didn’t have a resume that included opening for acts such as Clint Black, The Dimes, Crooked Still and Devil Makes Three, they would have no problem playing with a self-assurance that lets you know that these six talented people certainly know what they’re doing.  Bryn and Kelly have commanding stage presences that emit confidence in their music and let you know that they are here to have fun, and you’re coming along for the ride.

With roots set deep in rock, country and bluegrass, One Horse Shy put on a high-energy show that never lacks in crowd participation.  Most audience members know their songs well, and dancing and singing along are commonplace.  The majority of their shows consist of originals, but their placement of carefully picked cover tunes never disappoints.  They do an impressive version of U2’s “When Love Comes to Town” that is  a definite crowd-pleaser.

“We love playing for audiences who are really active,” said Evoniuk.  Fortunately for the band, they regularly have audiences who are happy to comply.

One Horse Shy will be playing at Donnelly’s inside Lava Lanes in Medford on Friday Oct. 8 and Saturday Oct. 9 at 9 p.m.


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