True North Duo

Short bio

Singer-songwriter acoustic duo Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel’s performances resonate deeply with audiences listening for well-crafted songs, skillful instrumentation, and beautiful vocals. The duo’s onstage chemistry sparks and smokes as they bring to life their songs about the extraordinary moments in ordinary life, opening and warming hearts wherever they go.

Detailed bio

Cofounders of powerhouse acoustic quartet Kristen Grainger & True North, singer-songwriters Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel’s duo performances resonate deeply with audiences listening for well-crafted songs, skillful instrumentation, and beautiful vocals. The duo’s onstage chemistry sparks and smokes as they bring to life their songs about the extraordinary moments in ordinary life, opening and warming hearts wherever they go. A songwriter whose star is rising, Kristen was named, alongside Brandi Carlile and Dolly Parton, one of the Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack by The Bluegrass Situation. She won the 2020 USA Songwriting Competition (folk), and she has won or been a finalist in some of the nation’s most prestigious songwriting contests, including Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO), Wildflower Festival (TX), Merlefest (NC), and Kerrville Folk Festival (TX). An accomplished singer-songwriter who toured nationally as a solo artist, Dan is also a luthier who handcrafts musical instruments, including most of the ones he and Kristen perform with, that look and sound beautiful. His superb skills, particularly on guitar, both flat-pick and finger style, give True North’s songs their driving groove. Their 2020 release, Ghost Tattoo, was named one of the Top 20 Albums of 2020 by Folk Alley’s Listeners Choice, hitting #1 on folk radio charts for both albums and singles. According to Folk Alliance International, Ghost Tattoo was the second most-aired album on folk radio in 2020.

 

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Industry Reviews

Jeff Burger
Jeff BurgerAmericana Highways
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“The musicianship is excellent as is Grainger’s vocal work, but the album’s greatest strength may be the material.”
Shawn Underwood
Shawn UnderwoodTwangville
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“As a writer, I suppose it’s natural for me to have a soft spot for well-written lyrics. I was gobsmacked, though, at some of the turns of phrase on the latest record from Oregonian Kristen Grainger.”
Kate McKenzie
Kate McKenzieGrammy-Nominated Singer/Songwriter
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“Kristen Grainger’s singing is perfection. No gimmicks, nothing superfluous. Just amazing tone and killer songwriting. They [True North] are the perfect modern bluegrass band… Focusing around the terrific lead vocals of Kristen Grainger, the band shows what can happen when great songs meet great singers… This is a band making wonderful musical choices. They are going deeper than mere instrumental wind sprints and reworked standards. Highly recommended.”
Mike Elliot
Mike ElliotNo Depression Magazine
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“Sometimes the most gentle approach accentuates the power in a lyric. Kristen Grainger & True North prove that again and again.”
Americana U.K.
Americana U.K.
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“These are powerful and emotional songs. This slice of Americana deserves to be spread a little further than America's Northwest.”
Gareth Jenkins
Gareth Jenkins Music From The True Vine, Bluegrass Express
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“I truly love the energy of good hot picking as well as celestial harmonies, yet perhaps more than anything I love a well-crafted song that transports me and tells me a story, and Ghost Tattoo is filled with such songs. For the past decade and a half Oregon-based True North has been producing recordings with well-crafted songs, tasteful instrumentation and beautiful vocals."
Lee Zimmerman
Lee ZimmermanBluegrass Today
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“The songs ring with resolute determination even though they ply each of their arrangements with carefully considered subtlety and finesse.”
Rick Anderson
Rick AndersonCD Hotlist, Pick of the Month Folk/Country
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"What are front and center are Grainger’s songwriting, which is graceful and intelligent, and her singing, which is beautiful but plainspoken, and becomes heart-stopping when combined in harmony with that of guitarist Dan Wetzel."

Has shared a stage with:

Sarah Jarosz, We Banjo 3, Crooked Still, Della Mae, John Cowan and Darrell Scott, The Duhks, The Punch Brothers, Ronnie Bowman, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Trampled by Turtles, Steel Drivers, The Seldom Scene, Chris Thile

Recent Honors & Awards

The Bluegrass Situation’s Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack : Kristen Grainger “Throughout 2020, the BGS editorial team embraced this wealth of excellent music from women songwriters in roots music. It has been a privilege to share these original voices with our readers, too.
Winner, 2020 USA Songwriting Competition (folk category) 2nd Place, 2020 USA Songwriting Competition Overall Grand PrizeKeep the River on Your Right (Kristen Grainger)
Finalist, 2020 International Acoustic Music Awards (folk category) Tattooed Love Song (Kristen Grainger)

More video here:https://www.truenorthband.com/gallery/

Press contact:
Kristen Grainger, truenorthband@comcast.net

Booking contact/ USA inquiries:
Dan Wetzel503.559.7998

International inquiries:
Please email us at truenorthband@comcast.net

More video here: https://www.truenorthband.com/gallery/

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