- Wyoming Public Radio (1/2/2017)

The Best Music Of 2016

We asked listeners to vote from two lists: AAA and Wyoming albums. We received an abundance of votes this year! Thanks to everyone who voted and thank you for listening to Wyoming Sounds. Here are their picks for the best music of 2016:

Top 5 Wyoming

  1. The Two Tracks - The Two Tracks
  2. J Shogren Shanghai’d - Why So Blue Bird?
  3. Whippoorwill - Good to be Around (EP)
  4. Elk Tongue - A Field Guide to Mammals (EP)
  5. Mama Lenny and the Remedy - Rain Fire (EP) 

- The Branding Iron (4/7/2016)

Whether it’s playing house parties or doing regional tours, the local Laramie band Elk Tongue has been busy building their name and gaining recognition.

Elk Tongue is comprised of four members, lead singer and guitar player Keaton Elsasser, lead guitarist Seth Leininger, bassist Sean Hess and drummer Dylan Stowers.

The band was formerly known as Harriman Exit, but changed their name with the arrival of Stowers as the new drummer. Stower has not been in a band prior to Elk Tongue, but he used to play jazz band in high school and stayed within that genre until now.

“I think I can bring something to the table with Elk Tongue that their other drummers haven’t been able to do because I have a different background,” Stowers said. “I feel like it’s something that’s helping them out, to toot my own horn, because they’ve had troubles with drummers before.”

Stowers has yet to go on tour with Elk Tongue, but will go with them this summer.

“We’ve only been on one tour so far; we will be going again in August,” Elsasser said. “Our first tour was pretty small, I think only eight dates, maybe ten, in Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Wyoming, basically stopping where we had friends and where we could find a show really.”

Elsasser said they have to email “countless strangers” months in advance to have places to play.

“The level we’re at is more about finding shows and really supporting shows that have main acts already,” Elsasser said.

Though they tour, the band also plays house parties when they can.

“We love house shows, I think we’d almost prefer house shows,” Elsasser said. “It’s a much more intimate feeling because everybody there is friends, it’s not somebody else’s establishment, and it’s a house, probably in someone’s living room.”

They recently played a house party in their own house, paying tribute to David Bowie and Alan Rickman who both passed away this year. They played a set dressed up as the two stars to pay respect. Elsasser said their next house show will be April 15 and will take place at the band’s home.

Stowers said Elk Tongue has new music in the works for their upcoming tour and plan to have a CD out before their next tour.

When writing new songs, they find their inspiration through “heartbreak and partying and just being conscious,” as Elsasser would like to explain it. The songwriting process has creative freedom for all the members.

“It’s pretty democratic,” Stowers said. “Someone has an idea and we all play off of it and if someone has different expectations, then they tell that person and we all talk about it. It’s never like, ‘you have to play this way’ because I guess we all just get along well enough musically to make it happen.”

Elsasser said that all the band members are playing and writing every day.

“Playing music with people is like having sex with them,” Stowers said. “It gets better the more you play music with them. That’s just the way I see it, after a while you get to know each other and then you can do something great a little easier.”

Stowers said they are “functioning as a unit” the more live shows they play.

Though Stowers is the newest member of the band, he has a positive outlook on the future of Elk Tongue.

“It’s really slow progress with the band and getting attention, so the hardest part is making physical progress,”
Stowers said. “It’s definitely not instant gratification because most overnight successes are 10 years in the making. It takes time, you have to play a lot of free shows to not play free shows anymore.”

To keep up with Elk Tongue and their future events and music releases, you can find them on Facebook. Elsasser said they’ll also get a page on SoundCloud to post music as well.

“I’m further than I thought this band could ever go,” Elsasser said. “I would love to see us tour another country. I’m not expecting way too many things out of this, but that is something we’d love to do.”