Bumper Jacksons at Stephens Auditorium

AMES — Like an old-time barn dance in downtown New Orleans, the Bumper Jacksons pull together a vast array of early American traditions into a deliciously cohesive sound that strikes you right in the heart. Hard-swinging grooves and roadhouse drinking songs are valleyed by delicate waltzes of loss and regret. At the center of it all, is an invitation to join in – be it a rowdy dance, a moment of soulful intimacy or a movement to make a better world.

The Bumper Jacksons will be touring their new album on a cross-country tour from Maryland to the Rockies to South Florida and dozens of points in between this fall, including Stephens Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27.

The Bumper Jacksons have a steadily rising list of honors: Washington Area Music Awards Artists of the Year, Best Folk Album, Best Folk Group for 2014-16; Strathmore Artists-in-Residence for 2015-16; Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Touring Artists for 2016-17 and others. They’ve also just signed with Opus 3 Artists (among greats such as Yo-Yo Ma, Roseanne Cash, Bela Fleck and Wynton Marsalis) for their national representation. This success blossomed from their simple beginnings in 2012 as a country-meets-city duet between Jess Eliot Myhre (clarinet, vocals, washboard) and Chris Ousley (acoustic and electric guitar, vocals, banjo) in the backyards, living rooms and front porches of DC and Baltimore. From the beginning, they focused on honest deliveries and energetic performances while crafting a sound built from their time exploring the smoky jazz clubs of New Orleans and old-time fiddler’s festivals throughout the southern Appalachians.

After Chris and Jess established the roots of the Bumper Jacksons’ sound, it quickly drew in the rest of the Bumper Jacksons members and matured into what you hear today. Dave Hadley (pedal steel), Alex Lacquement (upright bass, vocals), Dan Samuels (drum kit), Brian Priebe (trombone) and Joe Brotherton (trumpet) who masterfully amplify and diversify the tone, rhythm and power that defines the band’s core sound. The success of the band’s last two albums – Too Big World (2015) and Sweet Mama, Sweet Daddy Come In (2014) – demonstrate the ongoing refinement of their scrappy-yet-elegant, familiar-yet-reaching sound that explores a full spectrum of human emotion in its goal for the caramel core of Americana.

So whether it’s a packed house in a historic amphitheater or a fireside in the hills of Appalachia, the intimate ballads, growly blues and fast paced two-steps will call you into another world that’s at once like home and the open road. It’s a truly Americana sound that grabs at your soul and connects you with over 150 years of human passion. 

For information on this performance go to: www.center.iastate.edu/events/bumper-jacksons/. Tickets for this performance of $40, $35 and $25 are available now through any Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 or at the Iowa State Center Ticket Office located at the north entrance of Stephens Auditorium at the corner of Lincoln Way and Beach Avenue and from 12-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.