Mix one part Texas fiddle and one part Tennessee banjo, add doghouse bass and a splash of guitar and you have a delicious cocktail for your ears known as the Urban Pioneers. This string band hammers out a variety of original songs that encompass old time hillbilly music, western swing, rockabilly, and even a few gypsy type songs for good measure.
The talent in the band clearly lies with miss Liz Sloan. If there had ever been any ‘heck’ in her fiddle then it is all gone by now because she plays the heck out of it night after night. The whole reason Jared even writes or sings songs is so that miss Liz will have something to play along to. Jared is a self-proclaimed “horrible banjo player” so we won’t talk about him too much but he does write some silly songs. The duo is accompanied on the road by a doghouse bass player, a guitar player, and whoever else they can find that can play something and doesn’t snore. The band stays on the road all over the world for over 250 days a year. In 2014 they toured extensively in the US and Europe and in 2015 they will do it again and add South America to the list. The Urban Pioneers love to play music for people.
Until recently, Liz Sloan and Jared McGovern have been household names in the underground roots community because they were outstanding backing musicians, but it didn’t take long for the Urban Pioneers to prove themselves to music lovers of all kinds. Liz and Jared toured and recorded with countless bands in the past but when their last band broke up they decided to give it a go on their own. The Urban Pioneers started out as a means of transportation to pick up a bass that Jared had built from Knight String Bass. The bass was a thousand miles away and the only way the couple knew how to travel is by touring. Jared had recently been trying to learn clawhammer banjo so they wrote some silly songs, recorded them, and joined the Coney Island Road Show that was headed to Florida where the bass was. They needed to think of a name and a few weeks before a police officer called the urban pioneers because they were “white kids living in the roughest neighborhood in Pittsburgh”.
Since that day the Urban Pioneers have been moving forward and have never looked back. Their first release “Addicted to the Road” is comprised of eleven tracks about playing music, touring, and partying; the things they know best. It is available on Roots Union Records. The band is excited to go back into the studio in early 2015 and record their follow up album and tour around the world supporting it. The Urban Pioneers have big plans for the future and will always be in a town near you soon.