• Release
      The Tillers
      March 23, 2018

  • Upcoming shows

    No shows booked at the moment.

  • Click here to download a few new hi-res band photos of The Tillers (credit: Michael Wilson) along with album cover art:


    The Tillers have been thumping their own distinctive sound of string band style folk music for a decade, riding it all over the country and across the sea. Four studio albums and one live record have won them praise as modern folk storytellers of the national soundscape.

    Mid-2017, The Tillers holed up at Candyland Recording Studio in Dayton, KY with producer Mike Montgomery (Jeremy Pinnell, The Breeders) and tracked ten new songs, live to 2” tape. The recordings showcase the diversity of their writing and musicianship, from hard-tackle thump to tender graceful melody – lightening-fast banjo to intricate guitar flat picking, plaintive fiddle, deep anchoring bass and clear tenor harmonies.

    Fueled by life, family, history, travel and politics, the new self-titled LP is the band’s most engaging record to date. Singer-songwriter-guitarist Sean Geil says of the new record, “This album is definitely more aggressive than past efforts. At our core we are still a traditionally rooted string band, but I’d say our punk rock roots are more visible on this album. And the addition of Joe Macheret on fiddle has added a new dynamic and allowed us to explore new territories as well as fill out the overall sound.”

    Out of the 10 compositions, nine are self-penned by the band. The one cover is a rousing version of the Woody Guthrie song “All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose,” where singer-songwriter-banjo player Mike Oberst even wrote the following two additional verses to reflect these tumultuous times, “Here comes a big machine surrounding all your hate, force it to surrender now let’s get this straight, you’re bound to lose…” and “Race hatred cannot break us, better learn it quick, our children won’t be sold your poison rhetoric, you’re bound to lose!”

    “Every song here is a story,” Geil says. “Some tell of our own personal experiences, while others are more topical, paying tribute to where we’re from or reflections on the state of our society.”

    The Tillers will be released worldwide on Vinyl, CD and Digital Platforms March 23rd via SofaBurn. Click here to pre-order the vinyl.

    1. The Weald & The Wild
    2. Migrant’s Lament
    3. Like A Hole In My Head
    4. The Old General Store Is Burning Down
    5. Dear Mother
    6. All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose
    7. Riverboat Dishwashing Song
    8. Revolution Row
    9. Mona
    10. Another Postcard

    Read on:
    In the beginning there were three of them – Mike Oberst on banjo, trading harmonies with Sean Geil on guitar, and carried along by Jason Soudrette and his big wooden bass. They busked for coins and burritos around Cincinnati, playing traditional songs; Woody Guthrie, southern blues laments, anonymous relics of Appalachian woods, churches, riverboats, railroads, prairies and coal mines. Six times they have received Cincinnati Entertainment Awards from CityBeat Magazine. The band caught wider attention nationally when they were featured by renowned news anchor Tom Brokaw in his documentary about the historic Route 50. They’ve played music festivals from coast to coast, toured Ireland and the UK, travelled with Pokey LaFarge and The Hackensaw Boys and shared a stage with countless icons like Doc Watson, Iris Dement, Jerry Douglas and Del McCoury.

    In order to pursue other passions, Soundrette chose his own replacement and handed over the bass reins to Sean’s brother, Aaron Geil and the band soon added Joe Macheret on fiddle.

    Tragedy struck a few years later when founding bassist Jason Soudrette passed after a long fight with AML leukemia.

    The band has continued on in Jason’s name, launching new tours, writing new songs and raising new offspring.



    Tony Bonyata
    Pavement PR
    e: tony@pavementpr.com

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  • Here’s what was written on the stones thrown at The Tillers:

    • “An established band with their musical plow deep within the soil of their forefathers reaping and reviving not only the rich history of their surroundings but planting seeds in the listener’s heart and brain…the hand is firmly on the plow indeed. The Tillers do not disappoint.” – NO DEPRESSION

    • “Through non-stop touring, The Tillers have made quite a name for themselves with their “must see” live show but with their new album, Hand On The Plow, the spotlight should now rest on their great songwriting and give them the wide-spread recognition they deserve.” 

    • “Like a passer-by on a summer drive through the country, I have had the privilege of monitoring the Tillers’ own growth throughout the years. Coming in with fresh eyes to each gig, I have enjoyed the fruits of the rapid advancement of their musical garden of delights. Don’t get me wrong, Mike Oberst and Sean Geil’s talent were present from the beginning. But with the cultivation of endless (and no doubt thankless) tours and pub dates, these two “brothers in melody” were suddenly tapping into progressively deeper and darker tillage. Put plainly: they just kept getting better and better.
      Like no other group I’ve ever heard, the Tillers are able to break your heart with an intangible, timeless pain. Combined they harmonize like the Celestial Monochorde of old, awakening once again the ancient muses to strum the heartstrings of man. Apart, they voice a pained, hoarse timbre that hearkens to their own personal losses…losses we all sweetly suffer vicariously through their melody.
      The metaphor of gardening and growth is not lost on those who hear The Tillers. The arabesque spread of their burgeoning tones resemble the health of summer plantlife, spring rains and abundance. It comes as no surprise that singer/banjoist Mike Oberst is himself a farmer (there is something to be said for real life, agrarian experience and its natural bi-product of folk music.)
      Knuckled roots weaving through the Appalachian coffins of old souls buried in veins of coal…The Earth and Her cycles of life and death is the running theme here. But isn’t it the ultimate theme? Whether the modern ear is turned deaf to these truths or not, we all must heed the holler that the Tillers intone.
      Nose to the ground, hand on the plow, hard work and harmonies. Take it from an old fan, if you are reading this now, you are the lucky one. For this is fertile ground indeed.” – Col. J.D. Wilkes, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers