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Who Are Whiskey Shivers? 5 Things You Need to Know

What do you get when you combine some down-home jug-band bluegrass, stand-up comedy and punk rock? You get Whiskey Shivers, the Austin, Texas-based “trashgrass” band that recently scored a spot in an upcoming feature film. The five-piece ensemble, consisting of Bobby Fitzgerald (vocals, fiddle), Andrew VanVoorhees (bass, vocals), Joe Deuce (washboards), Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa (vocals, guitar) and James Bookert (banjo), quickly developed a dedicated fan following that couldn’t get enough of their foot-stomping, drink-swilling, good-time of a live show.

The guys in Whiskey Shivers say they aren’t bluegrass musicians per se, but they all hail from small-town rural backgrounds that lend credibility to their style. Sharing an affinity for punk music and rowdy live shows, the band is all about bringing joy to their audience in the form of danceable music.

“Everybody’s fighting the hardest fight of their life every day, and all our music is trying to do is be honest, talk about it,” Fitzgerald says. “You can only feel better about [life] when you can point at it, call it out, laugh at it, dance to it, cry about it, drink to it, throw up, whatever.”

Whiskey Shivers self-produced two albums, Batholith and Rampa Head, in 2011 and 2012, respectively, but it was their self-titled album in 2014, produced by Robert Ellis, that finally busted them into a larger musical market. Fitzgerald says that their music is a collaborative effort — and not just with each other.

“Whiskey Shivers isn’t just the five of us on stage, it’s everybody in the room … We try to bring everybody into the moment and get them to realize there’s no wall between us and the crowd,” he explains. “We’re all in this together, and we’re all here to have a good time. We’ll do our best to facilitate it, but it takes all of us to make it happen. When you start to feel that, you can’t help but feel a little attachment and become invested in the show. You realize, ‘Oh, I’m here to have good time too!’”

Click through the photo gallery above to learn more about what makes Whiskey Shivers not only unique, but a band that fans will want to keep their eyes on.

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