Square Thirteen is a southeastern Ohio-based Americana band specializing in thoughtful, introspective, original music and sometimes barn-burning, sometimes contemplative covers of traditional Americana tunes. They are a three-time Ohio Music Awards winning band, having been honored in both the Americana and Gospel categories.
They are firmly rooted in the cultural and spiritual traditions of the Appalachians, and their unique mountain style is a convergence of the bluegrass, gospel, country, and folk music which surrounded them in West Virginia and Kentucky.
They tastefully fuse the folk instruments of their Appalachian roots (acoustic guitar, mountain dulcimer, banjo, and mandolin) with modern elements like electric bass and light percussion, and their harmony has drawn in crowds in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolinas.
Square Thirteen's music has been featured on WOSU's "Broad & High" television program as well as WOUB's popular "Crossing Boundaries".
During their 2016 Tour of Ireland, they garnered the attention of Michelle Jackson Crothers of the Inishowen Times in County Donegal:
Sometimes, just sometimes, I find myself in just the right place at just the right time. A serendipitous occurrence which sneaks up from nowhere and leaves my life that little bit richer and my soul singing loudly.
I am a terrible one for procrastination! If you remember my ‘challenges’ for the year, you may be wondering how well I am fairing! Well, let’s say that tomorrow always seems to be the day after, or the day after that!! One of my goals, to visit ancient sites around Inishowen, seems to have fallen of my radar. I can come up with all kinds of excuses, but realistically, they are all lies. I am just lazy!
So, driving along with a friend, they suggest that as we have a free half hour, we go out to Cloncha. It is exactly the push I need, and we park up and walk, in brilliant sunshine, up the path towards the church. Even the surrounding countryside emanates a deep peace and I find myself breathing in the harmony and gentle rhythms all around.
As we near the church, I think I am hallucinating when this beautiful, haunting music drifts on the air in a seeming tribute to the centuries old Christian heritage of this place. As we walk into the ruins, crystal clear voices and acoustic guitars fill the crumbling walls and I am transfixed.
Three guys, a group called Square Thirteen from Ohio, are videoing their music in various sites around Ireland , and we have just happened to stumble upon them in this location at this time. They play with such melodic conviction to entertain the spirits of the past, and their gentle, rich voices touch me deeply. It is a moment that could not be planned, but which will live with me for a long, long time. I feel like I have been given a gift, blessed by the unexpected and part of something greater. A moment shared with strangers. A moment across time.
---Michelle Jackson Crothers, the Inishowen Times. County Donegal, Ireland.