From left to right:
Aaron Guest – vocals and 12-string guitar
Cayley Schmid – fiddle
Richard Reeves – double bass
Karl Olson – drums
Jeremy Elliott – electric lead guitar and vocals
Formed in Bellingham, Washington in March 2010, Polecat has quickly established itself throughout the West, with three records and over 300 shows in three years. Their unique instrumentation is comprised of Karl Olson (drums), Jeremy Elliott (electric guitar and vocals), Aaron Guest (vocals and 12-string guitar), Cayley Schmid (fiddle), and Richard Reeves (upright bass). This enables them to seamlessly blend genres including bluegrass, country, celtic, rock, and world music into their sound. "The core audience of Polecat is, well, everybody. There is a sense of mass appeal attached to Polecat for it's unique take on bluegrass, as well as an acknowledged respect for their honest approach to their genre" (H. Nightbert, What's Up! Magazine, June 2010).
Aside from their self-titled E.P. and full length albums 'Fire on the Hill' and 'Fathoms', one of the best aspects of Polecat is their live show. Their music celebrates life, love, and good times, and it reflects on the faces of the players and their audience. Polecat has shared the stage with several nationally acclaimed acts, including The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush Band, The Hackensaw Boys, The Moondoogies, Fruition and Trampled by Turtles.
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)
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...