The Applebutter Express: from Bradenton to Bonnaroo

wtatangelo@bradenton.comMay 31, 2012 

This year's Bonnaroo lineup features heavyweights ranging from Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Alice Cooper and the Beach Boys.

The Applebutter Express, whose singer graduated from Southeast High, is also on the lineup.

The jam-bluegrass band with strong Bradenton ties is the first act from the greater Tampa Bay region to play the world-famous music festival.

Held in Manchester, Tenn., the annual event takes place this year June 7-10.

The Applebutter Express performs 2 p.m. June 7 on the Solar Stage.

A new manager helped the group, which performs at McCabe's Irish Pub in downtown Bradenton on Friday, land the prestigious festival gig.

"It's unreal," said vocalist Shannon Biss from her home in Tampa.

"Playing Bonnaroo is such a crazy dream and to have it come real is just amazing."

Biss, nee Moore, graduated from Southeast in 2005.

She married singer, songwriter and ukulele player Kyle Biss and the couple formed The Applebutter Express.

The group also features Bradenton resident Matt DeSear on bass and Joe Trivette, of Lakeland, on fiddle.

The Applebutter Express recorded its self-titled debut album at Audio Images Recording in Bradenton about a year ago.

Owned by Shannon's uncle, Mike Badalamenti, it's where the band is mixing its new live EP, as well.

"It's extremely unique," Kyle Biss said of his band's sound.

"It's good time, feel good music."

Details: 8 p.m. June 1, McCabe's Irish Pub, 302 Old Main St., Bradenton. Admission: Free. Information: 941-896-3126 or mccabespub.com.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer, can be reached at 745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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