The Heartless Bastards: Catch This Must-See Roots Rock Band at Legends on Wednesday

Published Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

By Bailey Faulkner

Looking for a rockin’ time this week? Don’t miss out on roots rock band Heartless Bastards at Legends this Wednesday, March 2.

The increasingly popular group is filled out by:

Erika Wennerstrom (vocals, guitar)

Dave Colvin (percussion)

Jesse Ebaugh (bass)

Mark Nathan (guitar)

The Heartless Bastards

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, the band took its name from an incorrect trivia night answer (the question asked for the name of Tom Petty’s backing band). Since its first days in Cincinnati, the group has consistently showcased its unique sound and talents.

The Heartless Bastards/Facebook.

The Heartless Bastards/Facebook.

Wennerstrom found musical inspiration in her teenage years, sneaking into bars and clubs to see her music heroes drink, hang out and play.

I could see myself in them. It gave me inspiration to do my own thing,” Wennerstrom said.

After about a year of playing in Cincinnati, the band expanded to Akron, Ohio. One Akron gig was especially important for the band’s early success. That night, they played to a room of only a handful of people, which included Patrick Carney, drummer for The Black Keys.

Liking what he heard, Carney sent a Heartless Bastards demo to his label, Fat Possum Records. Noticing true talent, the record label quickly signed the group and started working on its debut album, Stairs and Elevators.

The album was an instant hit, receiving 4 ½ stars from Rolling Stone Magazine. The magazine commented that when Wennerstrom “opens her throat on Stairs and Elevators…she sounds like she’s wailing on the shoulders of giants; her sad and angry vocals channeling all the swagger and spit of a young Robert Plant.”

Experiencing some struggles within the band, Wennerstrom decided to move by herself to Austin, Texas in 2007 to work on her next project. After assembling a group of studio musicians, Wennerstrom completed The Mountain, the third album under the band’s name.

To tour in support of the album, Wennerstrom recruited Jesse Ebaugh and Dave Colvin, who had both appeared on Heartless Bastards demo tapes in the early days, and Austin native Mark Nathan. This incarnation of the band continues to record and tour today.

The band released The Mountain in true rock and roll fashion, playing a release show at the famous South by Southwest festival in Austin. The New York Times review of the performance stated that the Heartless Bastards “take the stage and literally knock everybody down.”

Since this final lineup change, the band has recorded two more studio albums, Arrow and Restless Ones. The band is currently touring in support of Restless Ones.

Having now shared the stage with huge acts such as Wilco and Lucinda Williams, Heartless Bastards are quickly becoming a must-see act for music lovers around the country.


If you want to check out this Bob Dylan-, Ray Charles- and David Bowie-inspired rock group for yourself, you’d be crazy not to go to Legends this Wednesday night.

Tickets are $10 for students and $12 at the door and for the public. Doors will open at 9 p.m. and the show will begin at 9:30 p.m. The event is BYOB with a six-pack limit.

You really don’t want to miss out on this one!

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