TUMBLEWEED TIMEMACHINE: A Voyage Through History and the Future of Folk

By Erin Campbell

Have you ever experienced a music performance that was so magical that you forgot what other music sounds like? Music that told stories that had you singing and clapping and wishing that it would never end? Tumbleweed Timemachine contains some of the most talented and brilliant musicians in the hi-desert. The band has created nostalgic sounds that transport you into another time and place.

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When I first moved to the desert four years ago, I fell in love with this new local band. I was immediately drawn to their reminiscent sound that encapsulated the dusty desert vibe that was my new surroundings. The songs that they play evoke feelings that you are in the midst of a great adventure in another era of time. Some tunes lead you through a swashbuckling pirate adventure while other favorite songs, like “Way Down in The Corn”, have you clapping and singing along like you are at an old-fashioned hoedown. Lead singer and accordion player, Skyler Fell, has a haunting voice that sings tales of bawdy escapades and stories of fanciful lore and love. Bassist and vocalist, Steven Carthy, woos the audience with his wicked talent for playing the bass while flashing his charming smile.

Tumbleweed Timemachine is a band from the dusty desert jewel of Joshua Tree, CA, combining country and bluegrass with a touch of bluesy vaudeville and sideshow mystery. With three-part harmonies and original songwriting, Tumbleweed Timemachine evokes mind-bending tales of adventure throughout space and time. Ranging in subject matter from fantasy-themed sea shanties to cyberpunk singalongs, from cowpunk love ballads to foot-stomping extradimensional dread, the band takes you on voyages through the history and future of folk music, encouraging their growing cult following to hoist their glassware and join in the fun. Formed by accordionist Skyler Fell (veteran of seminal dark carnival ensemble Thee Hobo Gobelins), she quickly found a bassist in her neighbor, Steven Carthy, and they began playing venues in the wilder High Desert.

Skyler Fell, accordionist, lead singer, and horsewoman, is the owner and proprietor of the Accordion Apocalypse Repair Shop, which has served as a hub of the West Coast accordion revival for over 20 years. Skyler’s work in the traditional craft of accordion repair was featured on NPR’s Squeezebox Stories. Brooklyn-born Steven Carthy, bassist, and vocals, is a Joshua Tree-based builder, and veteran musician of the 80s-90s New York ska scene.

The band has been recording at Goat Mountain Recording and they have their debut album coming out later this year. Come see them perform on Saturday, July 23rd at The Palms in Wonder Valley. To find out more about Tumbleweed Timemachine, follow them on Instagram @tumbleweedtimemachine and Facebook @tumbleweedtimemachine.

Photo by Flip Cassidy

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