The Student Loan

“Versatile  music, hot picking, tight arrangements and compelling vocals…The Student Loan has it all!” – Billy Oskay, Big Red Studios

National Release Date: June 26th, 2014

Moonlit Toasters - The Student Loan  The Student Loan

Long after the graduate cap is donned, a remnant of four years of higher education often lingers, The Student Loan.  But for four music students from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University, school left them with something more lasting than just debt. Together for nearly ten years, and now based out of Portland, Oregon, The Student Loan is a progressive-acoustic newgrass project known for their fun and funky originals, quirky covers, and knack for getting a crowd moving on the dance floor.  

This internationally touring and innovative quartet’s diverse style transcends genre by fusing elements of jazz, blues, rock and jam with traditional bluegrass instrumentation. The band’s distinct sound appeals to everyone from the most discerning traditional bluegrass listeners to the most enthusiastic jamband fans. Band members Julio Appling (bass, vocals), Liz Chibucos (guitar, fiddle, vocals), Mark Gerolami (banjo, guitar, vocals), and Chad Kimbler (mandolin, vocals), have served as musical ambassadors for the U.S. State Department performing in 17 countries on 5 continents including Yemen, Algeria, Burma, Thailand, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and Paraguay.  The band has been featured in the US at prominent Pacific Northwest festivals and international institutions like the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia and the Cosquin Folk Festival in Cosquin, Argentina.

Moonlit Toasters is The Student Loan’s fourth independent release, recorded by prolific producer, engineer and session player Billy Oskay (Foghorn Stringband, Beppe Gambetta, Dan Crary) at his Big Red Studios in Corbett Oregon and produced under the auspices of revered Portland guitar extraordinaire Scott Law (Banjo Killers, Brokedown in Bakersfield, Darol Angers Republic of Strings). Throughout the album, Law succeeds in capturing the driving energy of the band’s live sound while simultaneously embroidering each song with the thoughtfulness and introspection of a studio setting. 

The 11 originals explore all avenues of grass from ‘blue’ to ‘new’ to ‘jam’ with some ample swing and twang thrown in for good measure. The leadoff track “Culture Shock,” written after the band returned from an international tour, is a playful look at the disconcerting aspects of world travel. The spirited “Penicillin” is a light-hearted frolic about broken hearts and the need for a remedy. “The Beer Grows Sticky In The Morning” showcases the band’s knack for eccentric songwriting quirk, finding worthy subjects in such everyday things as an unfinished beer left overnight, or in a camp chair breaking as in “Plum Wonkey.” For “Something Different,” the instrumental affirms that The Student Loan can pick in the purest bluegrass tradition.