Music Matters: Catching Up With Two Acts Coming To Rams Head On Stage


Annapolis is no stranger to local and national musical talent. To preview their upcoming shows at Rams Head On Stage, two acts spoke with the Severna Park Voice.

For tickets or more information, visit or call 410-268-4545.

The Arcadian Wild

June 3 at 8:00pm

Nashville trio The Arcadian Wild is coming to Rams Head On Stage with a new 12-song album, “Welcome,” set to be released July 21. The record follows the band’s self-titled debut in 2015, a 2019 follow-up called “Finch In The Pantry” and the 2021 EP “Principum,” which reached No. 3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart.

The new album from guitarist Isaac Horn, mandolinist Lincoln Mick and fiddler Bailey Warren blurs the lines between chamber folk and progressive bluegrass, drawing on everything from country and classical to pop and choral music.

Mick discussed the new album and the trio’s growth.

Q: How would you describe the songwriting process?

A: Isaac and I do most of the songwriting. Historically, we’ve naturally gravitated toward this multi-step process that starts with individual ideation. The two of us usually work through new ideas off in our own little worlds, and then once we land on a lyric and a general structure that feels nice, we’ll move on to a phase of peer review. After that, we start arranging with the full band, and we make collaborative choices about the instrumental conversation arc of the song, vocal part writing, etc.

I think for our music, the identity of each song is inextricable from its arrangement. It’s not necessarily this core idea that can then be dressed up and executed in lots of different ways. What the fiddle’s doing feels as essential to its DNA as the lead vocal.

I do think our next step as a band is to explore more from-the-ground-up collaborative songwriting. It’ll be fascinating to see how that changes the music. We’re certainly not dissatisfied with the means or the ends to date, but there are likely some untapped benefits waiting for us.

Q: You have mentioned that The Arcadian Wild does not have a drummer because you want to create something that feels natural and conversational. What is the conversation you want to have?

A: I actually think we do have a drummer; it’s just that the drummer hat gets passed around amongst all four members of the band. And to be lovingly clear to all our percussionist friends, ensembles with full kits, of course, make all kinds of natural and conversational music, some of our favorite music. I do think that part of how we have musical conversations as a group lies in the process of that percussive baton pass.

One of the singles we released fall of 2022, “Give It A Rest,” is a great example. That one is really different for Bailey because she’s laying down the pocket for probably 75% of the song, and the fiddle doesn’t really get to be the fiddle until the bridge, and only for a moment, and then she’s back on chops to finish. That tune is a mid-tempo slow-burn, with a little boiling-over moment just before the end. That banger of a fiddle ride hits that much harder because she’s been playing a supportive role in the background in the minutes prior. You’re ready for her to finally come out and burn it up.

Q: One of the singles on “Welcome” is “Dopamine,” which presents an interesting juxtaposition because the instrumentation and overall sound is cheerful and upbeat, but the lyrics document the sobering reality of smartphone and social media overreliance. Was it a conscious decision to write the song in a way that is encouraging to the listener rather than being grim?

A: Definitely a conscious decision. There are probably several different ways to write any given song. I’m sure there’s an alternative version of this that’s a seven-layer salad of cynical sarcasm and moral superiority. Maybe that’s somebody else’s story to tell, but it wasn’t the right and productive one for us to chase down. I think warmth and empathetic humor is a subversive and effective way to forge connections with people.

I feel like we’re all walking around waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop, bracing for someone to chastise about some seemingly mundane thing we’re doing that’s singlehandedly ripping apart the fabric of reality. It’s nice to instead hear an understanding chuckle, followed by a message of, “Ah, I see what you’re tangled up in. I get stuck there sometimes, too, but I think there’s something better for both of us.”

Q: Your music is a blend of folk, bluegrass, classical, pop and other genres. Some first-time listeners may be visiting Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis to hear you for the first time, so with that in mind, do you feel like this musical blend gives fans of all genres something to enjoy?

A: That’s definitely our hope. We often meet people after shows who tell us, “I didn’t know I liked this kind of thing, but now I’m totally in.” It’s fun to feel like we get to function as a backdoor into acoustic music for some folks. Isaac and I are just a couple of goons who grew up listening to punk-pop and alt rock, stumbled into choir in high school and college, and then ended up playing excessively arranged songs in a bluegrass-adjacent string band. The Arcadian Wild just sort of feels like this little river of accidents and miracles, and I’m really grateful to get to float and paddle along.

Marc Broussard

June 23 and June 24 at 8:00pm

The king of bayou soul — that’s one moniker bestowed upon Louisiana native Marc Broussard, who also incorporates R&B, funk and rock into his music. His 2023 album “S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul” features covers and one original song that were produced by guitar virtuoso and songwriter Joe Bonamassa and Broussard’s longtime collaborator, Joe Smith.

Broussard made his major-label debut with “Carencro,” which featured the breakout hit “Home.” He has released four charitable cover albums via his S.O.S. Foundation, short for Save Our Soul.

A portion of the album proceeds will be donated to Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation to support youth rehabilitation through music. This includes a partnership with  Guitars Over Guns, a nonprofit that offers students from the most vulnerable communities a combination of music education and mentorship.

Q: In an interview with Live at the Print Shop, you talked about the original version of the song "Home" and how you hate the original version because that guy (yourself, I assume) was trying so hard to sound different than he was. How did that song and debut album help you find your musical identity?

A: "Home" is definitely the best first foot forward I could've dreamed of. I was so young, though, and my conceptions about my role in this business have changed since then pretty dramatically. Ultimately, I just learned to engage more so than just showing up and opening my mouth. Marshall Altman (producer) would say, “Sing the lyric,” but I didn't know what he meant then. I do now.

Q: You've had plenty of tour dates since releasing "S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul." Are there songs you feel the audience has engaged with the most, or has it been different depending on the crowd?

A: We're only playing two songs from the new album, and both have been received well. So well, in fact, that I'm working on an original blues album as we speak. You've got Joe's team ready to go at it again, and I couldn't be more excited.

Q: Joe Bonamassa's team suggested Guitars Over Guns as the beneficiary for this album. You've had friends with run-ins with street violence. How could music make a difference for some of these youth in the lower-middle class?

A: I have friends that were headed to the penitentiary but were saved by being in the studio instead of on the street. Many are no longer in the music business, but those days of grinding it out in the laboratory are what kept them from a lot of trouble. It's also a way for someone to feel heard because their words and notes go down for posterity. I don't know where I'd be without music, but it'd probably be nowhere good.


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