Andy Fausnacht relocated to Kentucky about two and half years ago.
He lived in the eastern part of the state, amid the Appalachian mountains. He said he's always been into the folk/rock-type of music and found lots of music material - of small towns and simpler times - in The Bluegrass State.
He made friends with locals, who taught him about the country and bluegrass tradition. It started to grow on him before he moved back to southcentral Pennsylvania.
"I probably came back with a little twang," Fausnacht said.
He reconnected with Neil Martin, a high school friend and fellow musician. They decided to form a band together.
While on the way up to New Hampshire, the duo spent the nine-hour car ride deciding what to call the group. They threw out a lot of ideas and Silver City Rodeo stuck.
It harkened back to the days of the silver rush, Fausnacht said.
"(The name) rolled off the tongue," he added.
They found an electric blues guitarist, a violinist with improvisational skills, a lap steel player and mandolinist.
"We looked for people who could play multiple instruments and develop a unique sound," Fausnacht said.
The group classifies its music as Americana roots rock blended with a blues, country and classic rock. Members count Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Tom Petty as inspirations.
Their goal is to play music with simple lyrics and melodies that are fun to listen while out with friends. Fausnacht said when the group first started writing tunes, it decided to share them directly with fans online.
"The great thing about the digital age ... is we can do some recording ourselves," he said. "We put scratch tracks together and added to it."
About a year ago, the Lancaster County-based septet released a five-song EP. When creating it, the group took over one corner of a barn on Martin's parents' Elizabethtown farm. Fausnacht and Martin - the primary songwriters - also took the chance to write some music.
"When you are sitting out there amongst the tractors and hay bales, it definitely adds to the elements," Fausnacht said. Maybe some of the sounds the recording picked up came from the space, he added.
Once they have some lyrics and a structure, Fausnacht and Martin send a rough recording to other band members, who give their additions and help produce it.
"The nice thing about our setup is that we can continue to record ... and release singles," Fausnacht said. The group's website has shown that people have purchased music from as far as Louisiana and Nevada.
Eventually, Silver City Rodeo would like to release a full-length album, but the members have to work around families and full-time jobs, Fausnacht said.
The band tries to play out about two to three times a month in the region. Some venues can house the whole group. When they book smaller venues and wineries, a trio of players will perform a stripped-down set.
Silver City Rodeo started playing Maewyn's Irish Pub & Restaurant in York during the past few months as well as Moon Dancer Winery in Lower Windsor Township. They've shared the stage with York County musician and friend Jason Barshinger as well as Matt Wheeler and Vintage Heart, of Mount Joy.
While Kentucky was great for Fausnacht musically, he doesn't mind reconnecting with his Pennsylvania roots.
"This area always has had a great original music scene," he said of the Harrisburg-York-Lancaster corridor.
- ERIN McCRACKEN,
Meet the band
Charlie Maxwell - Bass
Jason Keener - Piano/organ
Neil Martin - Drums
Ben Pierson - Lead guitar
Andy Fausnacht - Acoustic guitar and lead vocals
Kirk Kreider - Mandolin/lap steal/guitar
Molly Holden - Fiddle
If you go
Silver City Rodeo will be playing the following shows during the next few weeks:
Friday - Stage On Market during 2nd Friday in downtown Elizabethtown
July 14 - Hershey Vineyards, The Vineyard at Hershey, 598 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown
Aug. 17 - Maewyn's Irish Pub & Restaurant, 110 N. George St., York
Silver City Rodeo: www.silvercityrodeo.com
Read more meet-the-artist interviews: flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory