Mile of Music Pick: Dead Horses Local folksters return as trio, and stronger than ever

dead_horses_2BY George Halas

With the release of their sophomore album “Space and Time” last October, Dead Horses commanded the ears and full attention of roots music fans across the Midwest. From newspaper covers and heavy radio airplay, to headlining gigs, it seemed like the band of twenty-somethings from Oshkosh had finally broken through that invisible but stifling label of “local band.” But with an untimely line-up change, just nine months after their first break, will Dead Horses need to prove themselves all over again to claim their reign?

It seems the trio fronted by the golden-haired songstress, Sarah Vos, anticipated the challenge. Be it determination or spite, their acoustic folk sensibilities have more recently intensified into a sound that has more grit, something beautifully raw, and unabashedly more authentic about it. The coming-of-age narratives feel lived-in, and all of the members play with a new vigor that excites, and…breaks…guitar strings–three to be exact, at their recent Blue Ox Music Festival gig.
For the already initiated, don’t fret, the immediate appeal of Dead Horses remains Vos’ biting, sultry vocals and neatly-crafted songs, supported with conviction by the fastest pickers in town: Peter Raboin on lead acoustic guitar and Daniel Wolff on double bass. It’s just as poignantly beautiful as you remember.

Or maybe you don’t, because it has been nine months since Dead Horses have last performed in Appleton. But for good reason–with tours out to the Rocky Mountains and back, and a busy festival schedule, the up-and-comers have had their work cut out for them. So do yourself a favor, and catch Dead Horses when the opportunity presents itself.

Dead Horses will be playing Friday afternoon in Houdini Plaza Main Stage and Saturday … (TBA, will confirm all of this soon)

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