The Americana Agency
The Way Down Wanderers
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“What impresses me most about these young guys, is the maturity and depth of their songwriting! By mashing up their diverse musical backgrounds in classical, rap, theater, folk, bluegrass, and jazz, you get a blending of styles and personalities that produce music that is fresh, exciting, and meaningful. The Way Down Wanderers are a band to follow!” — Tim Weed, Fouder of "Last Chance" with Stuart Duncan and Alison Brown.

“Chicago's Best
Emerging Artist, 2014”
— Deli Magazine

“A polished sound filled with strong vocals & fantastic harmonizing, made all the better with vivid lyrics and powerful instrumentation.” —

“The Way Down Wanderers is a 5-piece modern-folk Americana freight train of strings, spoons, and soul. No matter the individual circumstances of your day, week, or month, these youthful, foot-stomping, dread-rocking, classically trained humans will lend you their joyful energy long enough for you to make it your own. ” —Kevin Alan Lamb, Sound & Silence

“They had packed houses for both of their shows and brought in a bunch of young people who might not otherwise have come to the festival. ” — Matt Winters, Champaign-Urbana Folk & Roots Festival

“The Way Down Wanderers...think the Steep Canyon Rangers on speed...turned in a staggeringly energetic set of electrifying bluegrass numbers that had a packed room moving and clapping.” — Henry Carrigan, No Depression

“I have to give very high marks to these incredibly fine players who make up The Way Down Wanderers; they have fire, skill and certainly a great love and appreciation of the roots music of this country and they utilize their talents to maximum effect on this absolutely stellar album. Everything about it is right - the song balance, the production and the way it holds together. One hell of a debut full length.” — Rob Ross, PopDose

“...these young men, who are deftly bridging the gap between bluegrass and indie rock n' roll on their uncharted journey, just might be wise beyond their years. The five-piece collective, whose sound is well-suited for intimate coffee shop sets as well as big-stage summer festival appearances, are classically trained and irresistibly relatable.” — Mother Church Pew

“The young men create a fresh perspective on the traditional [bluegrass] genre. Kause's high, ringing tenor carries the band's enchanting, uplifting drive towards positivity...” — Elmore Magazine

“Luxuriant bluegrass picking and steady percussion are met by tinges of fiddle and cello-based classical influence, making for an exquisite overall package that's quickly readying the Wanderers to take not just Illinois or the States, but the world by storm.” —

“The band creates layers of lush instrumentation that serve as a perfect soundscape for their gorgeous vocal harmonies. Their live show is full of energy and just a damn good time. They're one of those bands that you can tell has a lot of fun doing what they do.” — Midwest Action

“...soulful, infectious harmonies, thoughtful songwriting, and instrumental prowess capable of turning any performance into a boot-kicking jamboree.” — Glide Magazine

“I referred to The Way Down Wanderers music previously as "bluegrass-inflected" but there's lots more going here and their offerings have been diverse enough to think these guys might be capable of pursuing just about any direction they care to in the future. Something else I rarely say about any of the acts that I'm proud to play on Local Anesthetic? I can see these guys getting really popular. Really popular.” — Richard Milne, WXRT

“The Way Down Wanderers combines folk with boy-band appeal: a quintet with gorgeous vocals, instrumentals, some dreads and a whole bunch of youthful energy...The Way Down Wanderers have created a beautifully natural, yet unique sound. Their compositions are clean and clever, which interact beautifully with their harmonies.” — Julia Cirignano, ThatMusicMag

Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, 5-piece modern-folk Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers, draw listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity. Playing, performing and writing together for just 3 short years, the Wanderers have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following. Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores and propensity for performing self-titled, "restSTOMPS" - free acoustic sets at rest & truck stops along their tour routes. The band's debut, self-titled album, produced by Mike Marsh of the Avett Brothers and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso TX, is now available wherever music is sold.

International Song Writing Competition finalist,"Dead Birds," is available on Spotify, iTunes and wherever digital music is sold.

Front-men and founders, Austin and Collin, met in their hometown of Peoria, IL when they joined the same folk band and embarked on their first tour at the ages of 14 and 18 years old. The two became fast friends and soon began writing music together, ultimately forming The Way Down Wanderers when Collin was 16 and Austin, 20 years old.

Austin Thompson - guitar, lead and harmony vocals as well as percussion in the studio. Austin studied music at the collegiate level where he grew as a musician. Austin finds much inspiration for his lyrics in the beauty of nature and his love for hiking. He adds his unique musical influences of rock, folk and the spoken word to the music he writes and performs.

Collin Krause - Collin plays mandolin, fiddle and sings lead and harmony vocals for the band. Collin became involved in music when he began taking classical violin at the age of 3. Growing up around traditional roots and bluegrass music had a big influence on him. Collin enjoys writing, co-writing and arranging music for the band.

John Merikoski- Drums, Percussion. John has been playing drums since age nine and is featured on dozens of recordings, ranging from Jazz and Metal to Hip-hop and Bluegrass. In 2012 he was awarded a full ride scholarship to study Jazz performance for drum set at the University of Illinois where he has taken a break to pursue The Way Down Wanderers, full-time.

John Williams - Upright bass and vocals. John is a former classical upright bass performance major who also enjoys singing, song-writing and entertaining a crowd

Travis Kowalsky - Banjo and fiddle. Travis got his start in music at a very young age in his family band. He is entirely self-taught and can play pretty much any instrument he picks up. The Wanderers were lucky enough to meet Travis at his home town festival in Alpena Michigan and he has been touring with them ever since.

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If you are interested in booking the band for a concert, festival or private event, please contact:

John Laird, The Americana Agency