"Jim Thorpe, PA’s Free Range Folk refer to their lively blend of americana and bluegrass as Roots Dirt Rock. While I only have a vague idea of what that might mean, I do know that their music is bursting at the seams with heart and soul." - Chad Snyder WXPN Philadelphia

Band Name: Free Range Folk

Genre: Roots Dirt Rock


Free Range Folk is a ten piece Americana band from Jim Thorpe, PA. Ten years ago they formed around the campfire at their family farm, and now they headlines two to three sold out shows at their hometown theater, the Mauch Chunk Opera House, each year. Free Range Folk's three full length albums span genres from bluegrass to rock and roll, and their stage presence is still of that original friendly campfire vibe.

With their November 2016 album release, Free Range Folk, delivers a well timed alt-left leaning political voice from rural America. With songs like "Manifest Destiny," "Corn Song," "Superfund" and "Stoney Lonesome," the band gives voice to outrage felt by people across the country while drawing attention to the absurdity of racism, corporate/industrial food politics, environmental degradation, and challenges to civil liberties. While songs like "Lazy Days," "Rest Stop," "Thank You," and "Impending Doom" impart a more intimate feeling that hits home and touches the part of us all that longs to feel connection, companionship and reconciliation.

Impending Doom (2016):

On their third album, Free Range Folk grafts a hybrid of New Orleans second-line style fun with potent dirt rock jams onto its bluegrass roots. The collection of well-honed original tunes explores old and new ideas: Nostalgia for the way things were and could be, a wonder of how they ever got there in the first place, and acceptance & optimism for the way things are now. Much like the tourism industry burgeoning in the mountains and rivers surrounding their hometown, Jim Thorpe, PA, the band has expanded exponentially, with a cast & crew of 8-10 folks at any given time. Traditional & novelty instrumentation play nice with each other while the microphone is passed to nearly everyone for at least a few moments.

The Players:

Amber Breiner Finsel: Upright Bass, Electric Bass, Guitar, Harmony Vocals

Brad Konstas: Percussion, Harmony Vocals

Brett Andrew: Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer, Harmonica, Vocals

Dan Ruch: Trumpet, Harmony Vocals, Percussion

Doug Makofka: Accordion

Josh Finsel: Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica, Lead and Harmony Vocals, Theremin

Kevin Ruch: Guitar, Dobro, Bass, Lead and Harmony Vocals

Kyle O'Brien: Woodwinds, Sax, Harmony Vocals, Percussion

Sara Ruch: Washboard, Musical Saw, Boom-bah, Harmonica, Lead and Harmony Vocals

Shawn McCarty: Mandolin, Guitar, Lead and Harmony Vocals

444 (2013):

Their 2nd album (444) was recorded between Fuzztone Records' studio and the band's home studio by Brett Haas (of Robert Randolph and the Family Band). The new album is a departure from the string band sound of their previous work in that it welcomes percussion on all tracks with accents of brass, hammond organ and electric bass and guitar. Songwriters Kevin Ruch and Josh Finsel continue to explore themes related to family and social/environmental themes (Lehigh, Father's Day, Alfalfa Seed, Shit Show, Roundup Ready, Laying on the Ground), while other tracks illustrate their knack for writing catchy storytelling tunes with a folksy feel- (Squirrel Song 2, Lenhartsville Waltz, Pancake Song). The album is rounded out with a nod to love (Seraphim, Anyway) and a rockin' cover of The Waterboys' Fisherman's Blues. 444 is a solid contribution to the roots revival music scene. It presents a feeling of modern nostalgia, appealing to the deep seated longing within all of us to return to the land and live a simpler life.

Recent accomplishments:

opened for nationally touring bands including David Wax Museum, Hot Buttered Rum, Greensky Bluegrass, The Youngers, Farewell Drifters

performed live studio concert on the nationally syndicated "Folk Show" on Philadelphia's WXPN radio
featured in Our Town; Jim Thorpe documentary and performed live on WVIA television


"This is a tremendous album of country, folk, hillbilly, alt. country and classic country rock all blended into a delicious stew that has an excellent spicy edginess to it. Everything this band plays is believable and full of conviction, whether on speeded up electrified alt. country rock or mellow ballads with even the latter having a little bite to them. At times they are even a little reminiscent of country rock pioneers such as the New Riders of the Purple Sage with a little ramshackleness that is so essential to this brew but only possible in a band of the highest quality as this seven piece so obviously are." American Roots Music,

" The band's debut long-player Soul Collector rings out with rustic instrumental tones, narratives about country characters and farm life, and warm vocal harmonies." -WXPN's "The Key" blog

"I go looking for genuine Americana and I've found it in Free Range Folk's Soul Collector. The CD has a great earthy feel to it... This band not only plays straight-forward Americana music but also can put modern twists and social commentary in their lyrics..." - Anthracite Records blog

Previous Recordings:

Soul Collector (Fuzztone Records) 2011

Key Tracks: "Bubblin", "Soul Collector", "Hitchhiker", "Elmer" (all suitable for radio except "Hidin' Place")