Hollering with all their hearts over a five string banjo and a doghouse bass, Truckstop Honeymoon live the life they sing about. Touring across three continents with four kids and a truck load of songs, Katie and Mike West tell stories about the strangeness of everyday life. Their music combines elements of bluegrass, music hall jazz, and straight up rock’n’roll. They have released nine albums and a full length documentary film on Baton Rouge label, Squirrel Records.
Mike and Katie also have produced over two hundred recordings for other artists out of their studio, The 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor. They are recipients of the Phoenix award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Big Easy Entertainment Awards (New Orleans) and Off Beat Magazine Best of the Beat Awards. Their 2017 album “Big Things and Little things” was chosen for a Best Album of the Year by The Music.co.au writers poll (Australia). They are founders of the first and only Mardi Gras parade in Kansas.
Truckstop Honeymoon’s story begins in New Orleans, where Katie played wash-tub bass and blues piano in the streets of the French Quarter. There she met Mike, who slung a banjo and sold his CDs to tourists as a curative for hangovers and small mindedness. After a court house wedding, they hit the road together. They spent their wedding night in a truck stop somewhere between Lafayette and the Atchafalaya Swamp. There, Truckstop Honeymoon was born.
In 2005 Mike and Katie’s home and recording studio were washed away by hurricane Katrina. After a few months of living out of their van, they took their young family to the midwest music mecca of Lawrence, Kansas. Here their performing and recording careers flourished. Truckstop Honeymoon continue to tour in the US and overseas, playing festivals in Australia, the UK and Ireland.
Now in its fifth year, River Town brings the music of America’s heartland to the south west in a summer celebration of roots and Americana music. With a vibrant programme of blues, bluegrass, country and gospel, 2019’s series is packed full of performances from global icons and rising stars.
In 2019 the River Town series takes place at venues across Bristol including St George’s
Bristol, The O2 Academy, SWX, The Winston Theatre at Bristol University SU and The Crofters Rights,
and also makes its first foray into Bath with two performances at The Forum. With artists including k.d. lang, Lucinda Williams, The Shires, The Mavericks, Keb’ Mo’ and Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton, it’s the most ambitious programme yet.
River Town began in 2015 under the banner of Bristol Americana Weekend and under a co-producing partnership between Colston Hall and St George’s Bristol presented Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Larkin Poe, Police Dog Hogan, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham and many more outstanding artists of American roots music.
The festival returned after wide-spread acclaim in 2016 to feature Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the now internationally famous The White Buffalo.
In 2017 we launched the festival for a third year under the new name of River Town and showcased some of the finest blues, gospel, country and bluegrass, from across the pond and closer to home in Colston Hall, St George’s Bristol and for the first time in O2 Academy. Three UK greats – Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe and Andy Fairweather Low – joined forces in a rare trio performance that celebrated their shared love of American R&B, soul and country. The compelling singer songwriter Martha Wainwright performed along with R&B powerhouse, gospel legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples. Plus performances by duo The Shires with crossover stars Ward Thomas brought country-pop to Bristol.
In 2018 the festival expanded across the city as part of our Colston Hall Presents programme, showcasing events taking place in venues across Bristol during the Hall’s Transformation project. In it’s fourth iteration River Town’s line-up featured music icons Graham Nash and Rosanne Cash alongside The Barr Brothers, Steve Earle & The Dukes, The White Buffalo.