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The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 5/30 – Farewell Friend / Colebrook Road

May 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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Hailing from the cornfields of Indiana and now residing in Greensboro, North Carolina, front man and singer/songwriter Tom Troyer’s eclectic style traverses folk, rock and blues. Farewell Friend‘s music resonates with authenticity, vulnerability, and an unwavering commitment to the power of poetic storytelling. Their sound is a delicate avalanche of sonic texture – a presentation of recognizable and distorted folk and Americana forms. Tom’s exceptional talent shines through in all three albums, which he produced, wrote, recorded, mixed, and mastered. The live band lineup may vary, but Evan Campfield on upright bass has been a consistent presence since 2016, while Zac Covington, Caleb Baer, Alan Barnosky often contribute their skills for live performances and as session musicians on recordings.​

Troyer’s musical prowess extends beyond his role as a frontman and songwriter. He cut his teeth musically by performing with The Collection, contributing with multiple instruments and vocals in the recording of their album “Ars Moriendi.” In 2018, Troyer began honing his music engineering skills and started Black Rabbit Audio, a music production studio in Greensboro, NC, and has produced over 18 albums (and counting). This experience has honed his technical skills and deepened his understanding of the intricacies of sound, allowing him to bring out the best in both his own music and that of other artists. Additionally, Troyer has dedicated his talents to We Carry Kevan, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about disabilities and promotes creative solution to redefine accessiblity. Through their travels, Tom Troyer has personally carried Kevan Chandler, the organization’s advocate, to iconic destinations such as Paris, Skellig Michael, and the Great Wall of China, showcasing their commitment to breaking barriers and fostering inclusivity.​

With his multifaceted background, Tom Troyer has developed a unique perspective on music and storytelling. His introspective lyrics and soul-stirring melodies create a powerful connection with audiences, delving into themes of identity, resilience, and the human condition. Farewell Friend’s discography showcases Troyer’s musical journey, from his debut album “Lineage” – a conceptual exploration of generational stories – to the autobiographical introspection of “[Samson]” and the conflicts of gentrification in the EP “Glenwood and Gomorrah.”​

Farewell Friend, blends rock and folk in their upcoming album, “The Silent Years,” set for Spring 2024. Troyer shares an intimate journey, exploring grief, depression, and anxiety. Their music, which lives at the crossroads where The National and Wilco meet The War On Drugs and Sufjan Stevens, carves out its own territory through Troyer’s original melodies and introspective lyrics, to say nothing of the multitudinous conversation one hears in the jazz-gestures of the rhythm section.

The Silent Years, the band’s fourth album, ups the ante on that early work and offers a sublime exploration of sickness, grief, and the relationship between a dying mother and her son. This finely wrought and heartbreaking concept album immerses the listener in a play divided into acts, as well as the story of a body and a culture breaking down.

The culmination of a decade’s work, The Silent Years showcases the range of Troyer’s talents as a vocalist and musician. Troyer’s sensibility, according to critic M.C. Armstrong, is “uncanny, generous, and subversive,” and these qualities can be discerned throughout the thirteen songs of The Silent Years, but there’s something more here. Troyer and Farewell Friend have come through the grief and on the other side have delivered a cathartic and transcendent work of art that defies genre.

Keeping a band together and continuing to grow is a difficult task, but Colebrook Road has done just that, staying true to their bluegrass vision for a decade and a half. After creating four studio albums, touring coast to coast, and surviving the crushing blow of the pandemic, the band seeks to find new audiences and make new music all the while remembering where they came from.

With two albums in the top ten on the Billboard Music Chart in 2019 and 2021, a nomination for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Band Award in 2020, and a radio chart topping single in 2019, the band has worked hard to gain national notoriety.

Based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and comprised of lead singer, guitar picker and songwriter Jesse Eisenbise, upright bassist and tenor vocalist Jeff Campbell, mandolin player Wade Yankey, fiddle player, songwriter and baritone vocalist Joe McAnulty, and banjoist and bass vocalist Mark Rast, they continue to hone their skills through a strong connection of friendship and a love of all things music.

Colebrook Road has developed a sound of their own centered in original songwriting, new interpretations, intricate arrangement, and unbridled improvisation, with a nod to the innovators who came before. It is obvious to any audience that the band shares a joy in making music together, and has worked hard on improving over time.



May 30
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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301 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902 United States
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