Ryan Miller and Mackie Hockett first met as children. They started making music together a couple of years ago, and now they’re about to release their first EP, “Be Here Now.”
Miller and Hockett are the creative force behind the indie folk band the Rustics. This Spokane duo-turned-six-piece has played Elkfest and Gleasonfest, and taken the stage at clubs such as nYne and Mootsy’s. They’ll celebrate the six-song EP “Be Here Now” with a show Saturday the Bing Crosby Theater. (Here’s a preview)
The Rustics’ music has roots in the modern folk tradition. The show description on the Bing website drops comparisons to groups like The Head and the Heart and the Cave Singers. That Miller says he listens to the Fleet Foxes comes as zero surprise. The EP’s six tracks are flush with lovely vocal harmonies, talented finger picking and charming melodies.
They recorded the EP as a duo at Seattle’s Avast! Recording Co., but in recent months, the Rustics has expanded to a full band. Joining singers Miller (acoustic guitar) and Hockett (ukulele) are Sam Stoner (drums), Lucas Brown (electric guitar), Griffin White (violin) and Scotty Feider (bass). The idea, Miller said, was to find a different energy for the show – one they hope to keep for the long haul.
“It has a different feel with a whole band,” Miller said. “It’s been pretty cool.”
Miller, 23, is no stranger to the Bing; he’s played there a few times with Spokane’s “America’s Got Talent” finalist Cami Bradley. Who happens to be his big sister.
“I’ve opened up for her every time she’s released an album, so I’ve always wanted her to open for us,” Miller said, adding with a laugh, “before she got all famous and such.”
Bradley will play a short set Saturday, as will Hey! is for Horses. As a treat, Miller, Bradley and John Blakesley of Hey! is for Horses plan an a capella version of the old traditional “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby” – popularized in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
“We’ve rehearsed it once,” Miller said with a laugh. “We’ll probably sing it once before the show, or a couple times.”