What started as a jam session in late fall 1995 in a now burnt-out St. Paul hole-in-the-wall bar has become an international curiosity. The Urban Hillbilly Quartet has grown into an award-winning Twin Cities-based ensemble that delivers an eclectic mix of musical styles, blending electric guitar, fiddle, piano, accordion, bass and other toys. On stage, the Hillbillies perform mainly original material--most of which can be found on their seven albums: Living in The City, St. Paul Town, Beautiful Lazy, Lanky But Macho, Hot And Now, Amelia's Boot and their latest: The A-List. Their music has been influenced by: Midwest powerhouses The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo; UK's Grand Drive; Canada's Bruce Cockburn; and folk/jazz star David Grisman. UHQ has been compared to R.E.M., The Grateful Dead, and 16 Horsepower. The core of the band is Erik Brandt (guitar, accordion, piano, lead vocals), Jeremy Szopinski (electric guitar), Greg Tippett (bass), Noah Riemer (drums), Dave Strahan (banjo, telecaster) and Milo Mietzner (percussion) who have been performing together for ages in the UHQ all over the United States and overseas.
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