Kristen Grainger & True North will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Open Space for Arts & Community (Courtesy Photo).

Kristen Grainger & True North will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Open Space for Arts & Community (Courtesy Photo).

Americana quartet to bring bluegrass roots to Open Space

They are known for lush vocal performances and intricate instrumentals rooted in folk and bluegrass.

The Americana acoustic roots quartet Kristen Grainger & True North will make their Vashon debut at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

The group is known for lush vocal performances and harmonies, as well as intricate instrumentals rooted in traditional folk and bluegrass.

Kim Ruehl, a roots performer and critic for No Depression, has lauded the group, writing that they “bring to mind bluegrass-pop artists like Alison Krauss and Union Station, as well as old country legends like Hank Williams.”

Fronted by singer-songwriters Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel, True North is rounded out with noted Pacific Northwest bluegrass players Martin Stevens and Josh Adkins.

Grainger’s song, “Dark Horse Bar & Grill,” was the winner of this year’s Local Roots NW Songwriting Contest in Portland, Orgeon, and she also won the 2018 performing songwriter contest at Wildflower! Art and Music Festival, in Texas. She and her songwriting has also received recognition at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival and Merlefest.

Kristen Grainger and True North have won or been finalists in five national songwriting contests and most recently won the 2019 Local Roots NW songwriting contest.

Her song, “Be Here Now” was named Song of the Year in the folk category at the 2015 IMEA Awards. Her song with Wetzel, “Hard Place to Suffer (And That Really Gets Me Down)” won the 2010 Wintergrass song contest.

Wetzel, who sings and also plays guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, ukulele and mountain banjo, has also earned considerable recognition as a singer-songwriter. His talents are frequently tapped by other artists and bands for recording projects and live performances.

The band’s newest project, “Open Road, Broken Heart,” debuted at number 1 on the Folk DJ Charts for national radio airplay and has continued to stay in the top 15 for the past six months on the Roots Music Report.

Tickets to the show range from $17 to $30, with youth 18 and younger admitted free. To purchase in advance, visit

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