Useful Jenkins is a contemporary acoustic band with a foundation rooted in bluegrass, and readily taps into other genres, such as folk, funk, rock, and hip hop. Their music generates emotion and sends a message to a wide range of listeners, giving them an eclectic group of followers from all walks of life. The band is a four piece at its core (bass, lead acoustic, rhythm acoustic, mandolin) and has currently been integrating the violin as a fifth melodic layer. Four-part vocal harmonies accompany the wall of stringed instruments, leaving listeners with a strong, clean, and unique sound. Useful Jenkins thrives on energy; they flourish in the moment and have an unmatched resonance with the crowd. While frequenting Minneapolis, MN, the band was established in, and currently resides in Mankato, MN.
Formed as a five piece band in 2007, Useful Jenkins remained under-the-radar during their first few years performing. Open mics and campfire jams were their source of inspiration, which allowed them to form a strong and intimate bond between band members and fans alike. As their message grew, so did the network of friends who supported their direction. In February of 2009, the band released their first full-length album Fast Eddie which was the catalyst for their initial, and continued success in the Minnesota music-festival scene. Their second album, Festival Express, was released in September of 2012. It provided a more dynamic sound by capturing the raw bluegrass elements of Fast Eddie and combining them with funk and soul. Useful Jenkins continues to write and create music, on pace to release their third album in the spring of 2015.
The best way to experience Useful Jenkins is live in concert. Whether you are barefoot at a festival or standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a theatre, you will undoubtedly feel the pulse of their music and leave the show with a smile on your face. Their songs are memorable and easy to relate to, leaving them stuck in your head long after the performance. So if you are a sucker for acoustic music with a strong message, do yourself a favor; call up a group of your closest friends, clear your calendar, and go see Useful Jenkins. It’s a moment you will not soon forget.