From left to right (above):
Karl Olson - drums
Cayley Schmid - fiddle
Aaron Guest – vocals and 12-string guitar
Jeremy Elliott – electric lead guitar and vocals
Formed in Bellingham, Washington in Spring 2010, Polecat has traveled all over Northwest U.S., performing over 400 shows in four years. Their unique instrumentation enables them to seamlessly blend genres including bluegrass, country, celtic, rock, reggae, and world music into their sound. The general appeal of Polecat comes from their unique take on roots music and their interactive and high energy live shows.
Bassman extraordinaire, Richard started playing the low end in high school on a 5-string Warwick bass guitar. His love for African music and polyrhythmic sounds have transferred over to the blonde 3/4 size K Style upright bass he uses in Polecat. He dominates the complex changes and hits, keeps the groove thumping along with Karl's kick, and adds a third vocal harmony on some of the barn burners.
An avid student of percussion for many years, Karl is an uncommonly well-rounded rhythm man, with studies and projects based on orchestral, jazz, funk, reggae, udu, and tabla drumming. His precision, dynamics, and energy keep Polecat's listeners' ears on their toes. With only kick drum, snare drum, hi-hat, and one crash cymbal, he uses an array of sticks and brushes to maximize each piece of the kit.
Karl also plays in:
Umami (funk/jazz) www.facebook.com/pages/Umami/295329374621?ref=ts
Proceed (dub reggae) www.loris2028.com
With many years of piano lessons in early life, Aaron gradually picked up more instruments over time and has played drums, guitars, bass, and keyboards in several bands and recordings in Bellingham. Polecat showcases his song-writing and baritone vocals, backed up with his high energy 12-string guitar playing. His wide range of listening and playing makes his songs less traditional, but they still pulse with the feel of American roots music.
Aaron also plays in:
a. guest (solo work) www.myspace.com/aaronguest
Vantage (rock) www.myspace.com/vantageband
Coty Hogue (americana) www.myspace.com/cotyhoguemusic
Immersed in Celtic music, dance, and culture for the better part of her life, Cayley's fiddle playing embodies the energy of that tradition and brings a whole different kind of stompin' sound to Polecat's bluegrass/americana feel. She leads a few traditionals and writes her own reels that get people up out of their seats. Her complex lines in harmony with Jeremy's guitar are some of Polecat's most exciting musical moments.
Cayley also plays in:
Giants' Causeway (traditional irish songs) www.cayleyschmid.com
Bellingham Ceili Club www.bellinghamceiliclub.com
Jeremy's articulate yet soulful, fast as lightning but smart guitar playing adds an undeniable spark to the band. Growing up in Georgia and being surrounded by some of the best roots players in the country really shows, but his style is his own. He melds rock rhythms, bluesy bends, and bluegrass lines with ease. Jeremy's song-writing and arranging is featured on several tunes, and his vocal harmonies add another layer to the Polecat sound.
Jeremy also plays in:
Vaughn Kreestoe (power soul) www.kreestoe.com
Polecat has played with...
Polecat has appeared at...
Bumbershoot (Seattle, WA) 2012
Horning's Hideout: String Cheese Incident (North Plains, OR) 2012
Northwest String Summit (North Plains, OR) 2013
Wintergrass (Bellevue, WA) 2013
Folklife (Seattle, WA) 2011, 2012
Summer Meltdown (Arlington, WA) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Stringband Jamboree (Deming, WA) 2010, 2011, 2012
Urban Music Festival (Bellingham, WA) 2011, 2012, 2013
Rock 'n Roll Marathon (Seattle, WA) 2011
Ski to Sea Festival (Bellingham, WA) 2012, 2013, 2014
Phish Tahoe Afterparty w/ Sam Bush (Lake Tahoe, CA) 2013
Juan de Fuca Festival (Port Angeles, WA) 2012, 2013
Downtown Sounds (Bellingham, WA) 2011, 2012, 2013
Alive after Five (Boise, ID) 2012
Music on Main (Bozeman, MT) 2012
Ketchum Alive (Sun Valley, ID) 2012
Pickin' and Paddlin' (Bend, OR) 2012, 2013
Mcmenamin's Tour March 2012
Grass for that Ass (Denver, CO) 2013
Sun Valley Lodge 2013
Silver Dollar Bar (Jackson, WY) 2014
Foggy Goggle (Stevens Pass, WA) 2012, 2013, 2014
Chair 9 (Mt. Baker, WA) 2011, 2012