Western Folklife Center
March 21, 2020
Every so often something comes into your peripheral, slides closer to center, then consumes you. The first time I heard of Loud As Folk was reading through the Reno News and Review in Dec. 2012. I had been in Reno for less than a month and was intent on finding out everything, and I mean everything, that was happening around town. I had just come from a 2 year residency in Edinburgh, Scotland, helping run an arts and music juggernaut called The Forest, and was ready to become part of the creative class moving Reno’s arts and culture forward.
The Forest was the most creative place I have ever been. Artists of all genres were given support through grants and 2 performance spaces. There were no tickets, ever. All shows were free and only required advance sign ups. It sounds like the makings for second rate practice bands and longing highschool poetry. It wasn’t. There were caves in the basement serving as free practice spaces, all types of instruments could be checked out like a library book. There was a printing label for books and zines and a recording label putting out the most eclectic collection of music imaginable. The entire space was funded through a volunteer run vegan/vegetarian cafe. So in moving to Reno, I was ready for anything and everything possible.
Loud As Folk immediately peaked my interest. The singer/songwriter showcase was started by local musician Spike McGuire and for the first 4 years was presented at The Alley in Sparks, NV. More than 100 acts rotated through during that time, and many of today’s best local musicians got their start with Spike.
I met Spike during that time and since have become close friends and partners in shenanigans. The showcase moved to a larger and more appropriate location in 2015, Pignic Pub & Patio, a historic house converted into a community grill yard and bar. Every first Thursday you can be guaranteed a rock and roll folk experience in this intimate setting. In that same year, Loud As Folk partnered with Art Spot Reno, and together began raising money for local nonprofit groups. To date, more than 40 Northern Nevada community groups have been featured and received funding from the Art Walk Reno and Loud As Folk afterparty.
Along with booking artists, setting up tours and working on new material, the Loud As Folk Radio Hour began broadcasting on KWNK 97.7 FM in 2019. A curated experience exclusively featuring artists who have performed in the Reno showcase or joined the touring revue, as well as live recordings from Loud As Folk theater performances. Spike also records albums through the Loud As Folk record studio, co-producing with Silver frontman, Greg Gilmore.
Never one to sit on his success, Spike has recently begun to expand the showcase into seated performances at art houses and theaters around northern Nevada, including the Brewery Arts Center, Carson City, NV, The Lost Church, Santa Rosa, CA, Piper’s Opera House, Virginia City, NV, Valhalla Boathouse Theater, South Lake Tahoe, CA, The Yerington Center for the Arts, Yerington, NV and will premiere at The Nevada Museum of Art this July.
What about coming to Elko? Spike loves Elko, how could anyone not. He has been playing shows and booking other talent in Elko for more than 5 years. When the opportunity came up to work with The Western Folklife Center, it was an easy decision to make. Loud As Folk is beyond excited to showcase some of northern Nevada’s finest folk Americana acts at the Western Folklife Center theater. The historic Pioneer Hotel is the perfect setting for nurturing expressive culture through storytelling. This event will articulate a sense of place in the West for all in attendance. Along with bringing these talents to a rural setting, the performers will take back stories of a community full of kindness, support and the cowboy way.
The March 21st showcase at Western Folklife Center will be hosted by internationally touring songwriter and Loud As Folk founder Spike McGuire. On the lineup are old friends Buffalo Moses & Rachael McElhiney, who made frequent tour stops in Elko as bandmates in Buster Blue, an Americana act that received national attention and a write up from Billboard Magazine.
Greg Gilmore who was just recognized in the pages of the UK publication Classic Rock Magazine for the latest release by his band Silver. Country artist Lorin Walker Madsen will be joining from Salt Lake City. The bill is headlined by Leroy Virgil, who’s band Hellbound Glory, toured, opening for Kid Rock and just finished recording their next album with producer Shooter Jennings. Enjoy preshow parlor music from Elko favorite, Matt Downs, at 6 p.m. before the main event begins in the theater at 7 p.m.
You can learn more about Loud As Folk and the musicians who will be performing at
www.LoudAsFolk.com. Tickets are limited and available for purchase by calling or visiting the Western Folklife Center box office during business hours. This is an all ages show and is sponsored in part by Blach Distribution Stockmen’s Casino and Ramada Hotel and other local businesses.