One Horse Shy are here to stay.Â 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.Â Their smart storytelling and beautiful harmonies draw in first-timers with ultimate ease.Â 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 doesnâ€™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.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Severinâ€™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 bandâ€™s hip-shaking grooves.
â€œOur sound is definitely based in Americana,â€ said Evoniuk.Â â€œWe definitely swing, and itâ€™s danceable.â€
Even if One Horse Shy didnâ€™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 theyâ€™re doing.Â 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 youâ€™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.Â Most audience members know their songs well, and dancing and singing along are commonplace.Â The majority of their shows consist of originals, but their placement of carefully picked cover tunes never disappoints.Â They do an impressive version of U2â€™s â€œWhen Love Comes to Townâ€ that isÂ a definite crowd-pleaser.
â€œWe love playing for audiences who are really active,â€ said Evoniuk.Â Fortunately for the band, they regularly have audiences who are happy to comply.
One Horse Shy will be playing at Donnellyâ€™s inside Lava Lanes in Medford on Friday Oct. 8 and Saturday Oct. 9 at 9 p.m.