South To Cedars (STC) is a four-piece acoustic Americana band from Colorado. Described as a powerhouse of tight vocal harmony and acoustic instrumentation, South To Cedars blends elements of folk, bluegrass, and rock, to deliver an original brand of genre-bending tunes that honor a variety of musical styles and influences. While original songs run the gamut between traditional singer/songwriter & modern acoustic roots-rock, familiar cover tunes are creatively rebirthed for audiences to hear them in an entirely new way.
Since their 2015 debut, the band has performed for festivals and venues throughout the state; some of which include: The historic Dicken's Opera House, The Loveland Foote Lagoon Concert Series, The CSU Lagoon Concert Series, KGNU After FM LIVE Kabaret, FoCoMX, Wellington Summer Concerts, Town of Mead Summer Concerts, The Denver Rock and Roll Marathon and more.
Ben Haugestuen - guitar, harp, mandolin, vocals
Ben grew up in a small town somewhere in north-central Montana. Being one of the boys that didn't have to repeat the second grade, Ben showed a lot of promise. However, he was not too good at raising pigs or wrestling his cousins or growing facial hair so he convinced his dad to sell the family goat and travel to the city to buy him an electric guitar. Shortly after, he teamed up with some of the other music nerds and formed a forgettable band that made terrible music. He was instantly hooked and has been writing songs and playing guitar ever since. At the end of the 20th century, Ben ventured south to Colorado where he settled down and started a family with a good Lutheran girl from Minnesota. Family life was great but eventually, Ben became restless and started experimenting with the banjo. This led Ben down the dark road of bluegrass music where he met Greg Fischer, Shawna Stratton, and boy wonder Jimmy Eads. Today, Ben has mostly recovered from playing banjo (although he does play a little mandolin) and is focused on writing songs for South To Cedars where he also sings and plays guitar.
Shawna Stratton - vocals, percussion, aux. guitar & mandolin
Shawna was belting out tunes before she could speak and by the time she was 16, she was performing for audiences across the country. Her down-home vocal style reflects influences that are deeply rooted in country, bluegrass, and folk, — with maybe just a hint of Rock 'n' Roll. Whether she's singing with the band, a church choir, or giving a car concert at the nearest railroad crossing, she'll draw you in and welcome you to stay a while. While she loves to play guitar, mandolin, and even the spoons, Shawna's happiest singing alongside her STC bandmates.
"For me, music is communal and transformational. As a singer, my greatest wish is to leave you better than I found you...deeply satisfied, and hopefully wanting just a little more." - Shawna Stratton
Greg Fischer - fiddle, vocals
Greg was born in Wisconsin and has played the violin since 4th grade. Inspired by the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, he began fiddling in high school and has played in a number of bluegrass and old-timey string bands over the years. His main motivation is to bring the joy of home-grown music to everybody.
Jim Eads - bass, vocals
Jimmy is a jazz voice student at the University of Northern Colorado who's spent most of his very short life piddling around the northern front range. He's played a number of different instruments in a number of different settings since the greasy teenage years, across rock and jazz and musical theatre. Being in South to Cedars gives him an opportunity to roll with a different crowd and he's hoping to build a lengthier résumé of musical experience by the time he graduates.