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After accidental start, Folkinception grows into local favorite

Folkinception’s Kickstarter Kickoff takes place tonight at 8 at The Phat House.
Folkinception’s Kickstarter Kickoff takes place tonight at 8 at The Phat House.

Matt Mitchell’s previous band was just about to open a show for Clumsy Lovers at the Knitting Factory when the band abruptly broke up.

Instead of giving up the high-profile opening slot to another band, Mitchell pulled together a new band at the last minute and played the show to a positive reception. 

“It was a trial by fire, but we decided to go on with it. I practiced with people individually and made sure I was real obvious about the song structures,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t even have a practice before the show but we made it work.”

It happened so fast Mitchell barely had time to come up with a decent band name. But that was two years ago, and Folkinception has since refined its sound and become a local favorite often called upon to play high-profile tour support slots and festivals, including Volume Music Festival at the end of the month and Elkfest in June. 

Tonight, Folkinception is hosting a kickoff party for the band’s Kickstarter online fundraising campaign to help pay for its first album (visit for more info).

“We wanted to kick off our Kickstarter campaign with a show,” Mitchell said. “This is all ages and outdoors and donation-based. We’re hoping to get a foundation and get going on an album. Right now we’re really focused on getting an album that sounds as a good as it can sound.”

A sextet that adds rock ’n’ roll flair to folk-inspired tunes, Folkinception includes Ben Bradley on drums; Seth Carey on bass; Heather Montgomery on fiddle and vocals; John Bottelli on cello; Jeff Nordvall on acoustic and electric guitars and vocals; and lead vocalist Mitchell on piano, Hammon B-3, accordion, acoustic guitar and harmonica.

Mitchell used to play in Spokane band Free Range Robots, as well as touring band Ten Mile Tide.

With the more homebound Folkinception, Mitchell said he can stay focused on making music without being distracted by the business end of being a musician.

“Each member has a job so the focus isn’t on touring. We’re trying to make the best music we can, and it’s refreshing to have that as the focus and not have any other pressures. It’s just about making good music with a really good group of people,” he said.

That’s what makes the band good, not its name, Mitchell said: “Folkinception is not my favorite band name to be honest. We are rooted in a folk style that expands beyond that. But it comes from having to play a show without having a band name and having to pick a name really quickly. Smashing Pumpkins, My Morning Jacket … those aren’t good band names, but they are great bands. The band makes the name.”