Useful Jenkins is a high-spirited bluegrass band from Mankato, MN. They released their second full-length album in September titled, Festival Express. The album is an authentic display of Useful Jenkins distinctive style of music that can only be described as acoustic jamgrass with a funk twist. The release of Festival Express signifies the culmination of Useful Jenkins’ creative evolution, and solidifies the integration of new members that inspired a fresh direction for the band. The band’s enduring presence in the local music scene, and their intimate connection with their fans, has inspired them to seek new avenues and media venues that can offer wider access to new listeners.
Pat Forsyth [guitar &vocals] Travis Blunt [guitar, vocals, and didgeridoo] and Ryan Donahoe's [bass &vocals] creative vision materialized into the band, Useful Jenkins in 2006. They have successfully recorded two full-length albums; Fast Eddie in 2008 at Pachyderm Studios and Festival Express in 2012 at Verge Industries. Over the past 7 years, Useful Jenkins has earned their recognition for tirelessly touring across the Midwest and have established a widespread loyal fan base that continues to fill up venues in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. They continue to expand their geographic fan base with two successful tours thru Colorado in 2012.
In early 2012, the band evolved to incorporate mandolin player, Chuck Boeke. The creative stimulation and the musical backgrounds of each member are evident in each distinctive track on Festival Express. The new artistic collaboration’s creative explosion inspired a cohesive band that has developed a distinctive rich sound that challenges the limits of bluegrass.
Useful Jenkins’ socially relevant lyrics and funky instrumental arrangements introduce a modern edgy interpretation of bluegrass that defines their unique sound. Their signature homegrown vibe incorporates the styles of, Yonder Mountain, Led Zeppelin, and Trampled By Turtles. Festival Express, illustrates the band’s individual original expression of music inspired jamming around the campfire that is keeping audiences dancing.
Take a ride on the Festival Express and experience Useful Jenkins for yourself at any of their upcoming stops.