Arkansauce calls forth melodies of the Ozark Mountains' rolling hills and raging rivers with their distinct blend of newgrass. This progressive string quartet features Tom Andersen on bass, guitarist Zac Archuleta, Ethan Bush on mandolin, and Adams Collins on banjo. Their music features improvisational string leads matched with complex melodies, intriguing rhythms, and deep thumping bass grooves. Each member sings lead and harmony parts as well as contributes to the lyrics, which oﬀer authentic, intelligent songwriting with hard-hitting hooks.
Music Mecca’s Spencer Nachman calls them a “ﬁery, ﬁnger-picking string band… What is apparent at any Arkansauce show is their positivity and desire to uplift the audience’s spirit, no matter the circumstance.”
They are a band inspired not only from their home state of Arkansas, but also throughout their travels. “We are a band that spends most of our time in the back of a van hurtling toward long nights, good times, and a destiny unknown,” says Ethan. “Our inspiration is gathered by events unfolding in our own adventures in real time. These days, the desire to create, inspire, and redeﬁne within our scene seems to be the main driving force behind our music. From a young age we were huge fans of live music and were introduced to a lot of great music by our families.”
Arkansauce independently released their fifth album, OK to Wonder, on April 21, 2023. With 11 original tracks—ranging from upbeat and stimulating to contemplative and encouraging—the collection is ﬁlled with songs of revelry, wonder, insight, and whimsy.
The album was met to critical acclaim with reviews in Bluegrass Today (“a truly inspired eﬀort”), Americana Highways (“this is high-octane stuﬀ, meticulously rendered & with lots of spirit”), Americana UK (“that’s a bluegrass line-up right there – but this isn’t your grandpappy’s bluegrass”), and Blog Critics; premieres by The Bluegrass Situation and Glide Magazine. Songs from the album are in two oﬃcial Spotify Playlists: “Indie Bluegrass” and “Fast Grass” and have received airplay on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction.
The band was founded in 2011 after Zac and Ethan, who had grown up across the street from one another in Johnson County, Arkansas, moved to Fayetteville. Tom and Adams were slowly introduced to them through the tight-knit Fayetteville music community. During a fateful gig at a Riverstomp Music Festival in 2014, the band was down a couple of members, and Adams and Tom ﬁlled in on the ﬂy—magic was made on the stage that night, and the lineup was forever changed. Having played shows from California to Connecticut over the last several years in addition to two tours in Europe, the band is no stranger to the road. They supported Yonder Mountain String Band for a leg of their summer tour in 2019, played mainstage spots on festivals with bands (including but not limited to) Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, The Del McCoury Band, Billy Strings, Leftover Salmon, Tauk, The Wood Brothers, and shared the stage with the legendary Sam Bush as a guest.