Beauty can be found in the river, in its invigorating turns and its kinetic, renewing flow. These qualities permeate the music of Violet and the Undercurrents, whose sophisticated, affecting folk rock sound tells vibrant stories with graceful arcs.
The Columbia, Missouri-based quartet is anchored by the intrepid songwriting of Violet Vonder Haar and enriched by the creative energy of her musical counterparts. Raised in a small town at the edge of the Missouri River and nurtured by a thriving folk music-centered community, Vonder Haar started honing her craft as a songwriter, performer and vocalist at an early age. She was inspired by her father, a riverboat captain who introduced her to the music of folk legends and encouraged her journey as an artist.
One of the songwriter’s first forays into musical collaboration yielded an enduring partnership that laid the groundwork for her namesake band. In 2010, she began working with Phylshawn Johnson, whose versatility as a jazz drummer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer enlightened Vonder Haar’s own creative path. A year later, they formed Violet and the Undercurrents, their interlocking melodies and rhythmic patterns becoming a touchstone of the group’s sound.
The added talents of bassist Linda Bott and guitarist Lizzy Weiland have brought zest and immediacy to the Undercurrents, presenting a band with an inimitable style. Together, they released the “Nashville Sessions” EP in late 2016 and subsequently joined David Wax Museum on a national tour. The group has also appeared at prominent festivals around the country, including an official SXSW showcase (Austin, TX), the National Women’s Music Festival (Madison, WI) and the Folk Alliance International Conference (Kansas City, MO); and have shared the stage with touring artists such as Wild Child, The Rainmakers, K’s Choice and The Urge.
With a variety of influences that include Local Natives, Ani DiFranco, Bob Dylan, Billie Holliday, St. Vincent and more, Violet and the Undercurrents tell seasoned stories with resplendent melodies and bold accents. Their freshness and familiarity beckons audiences to join them at the river — the source of their creative, replenishing energy.