Good Morning Bedlam

Seven Rivers Region 1st Stop on December Tour


Good Morning Bedlam’s show is an explosion of energy with soaring harmonies, a banjo player that scissor-kicks in the air, a string bass that will shake your chest, and a beat that will have your foot stomping through the floor. Every song is a unique twist on what is generally dubbed as folk music. One moment they are blasting through a jubilant bluegrass tune, headbanging and careening around the stage, and in the next, Sophia, their fiddler, is dancing the Charleston during what can only be described as a modern folk swing dance song. Just when you think you have Good Morning Bedlam pegged, they take you in another direction. You will be treated to a haunting waltz, whistling, jazz scatting, banjo licks, a bass spin, and the euphoria of violin melodies.

The following is SEVEN’s interview with Good Morning Bedlam’s front man, Isaak Gill Elker.

How did the group come together?

“The fiddle player, Sophia, and the banjo player, Noah, and I, we all grew up together. We’ve known each other for a very long time. We grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, doing lots of artistic stuff, playing music together, that kind of thing. I’ve been jamming with Sophie since she was 12 and I was 14. A little over two years ago, I was like, ‘Hey Sophie, you wanna record an album and go on tour? And that’s how we started out. We started as a duet, and then Noah joined up a couple months later. Tori [the upright bass player] and I were dating at the time, and she was always with us, and then she was singing with us, and she officially joined on the upright bass last January, but she’s been with us a long time.”

What do you feel influences your sound?

“We’re highly influenced by so many genres. We all love a lot of Jazz music, and Sophie was classically trained on the violin for 17 years. I grew up playing in metal bands. We listened to a lot of pop music. We have such an eclectic sound from song to song. We like to do opposites and try new things. I think the bands we’re most influenced by musically are The Avett Brothers, or the band Wild Child. We’re also influenced by bluegrass bands like the Punch Brothers or guy/girl duet bands like The Civil Wars. Performance-wise, we’re very influenced by big performers. We really enjoy high energy shows. We all grew up going to metal shows and punk shows where you’re running around, jumping and singing along, and we love that kind of energy. That’s something we’re always curious [about]—can it be brought to the folk and bluegrass scene?”

Who puts together the music?

“I write the majority of the lyrics, and I’ll bring the songs in as kind of a skeleton: ‘I really like this form and I think we should do this kind of idea.’ Sometimes we go with it, sometimes it changes completely once we get in the room if somebody has a great idea that we decide to go with, or they are like, ‘What if we take it in this direction?’ So it’s a very collaborative process.”

Is this the first tour that you’ve done like this?

“No, this will be our fifth big tour. We started touring a little over a year ago. We did the East Coast down to South Carolina. We were in Boston and New York, on down. We’ve been down to Texas multiple times. Definitely not our first [tour]. We’re gettin’ in the groove as far as touring goes. We really love it, so we’re excited to be back out on the road.”

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Good Morning Bedlam is Isaak Gill Elker on guitar, violin is played by Sophia Mae violin, Noah Pearson on banjo, and Victoria Elker on upright bass, and everyone contributes vocals.

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Nov. 30, at Leo & Leona’s >>>> Click Here for Details.

Dec. 22 at Ed’s No Name Bar >>>> Click Here for Details.