Savannah Buist and Katie Larson met while collaborating on a music class orchestra project.
The two musicians completed the project but created so much more: a friendship, as well as a band, The Accidentals.
“We actually lived on the same street as each other for, like, 10 years, but we didn’t know and we were super introverted, but being in the alternative styles really broke us out of our shells,” said Buist.
While working on the project at Buist’s house, Larson played a song on Buist’s guitar that no one else had heard before.
Buist loved the songs, and from that day forward, they were a band.
The original band was made up of Buist and Larson, but in 2014, Michael Dause joined the band as the full-time percussionist.
Starting out, The Accidentals played small gigs in order to get the band’s name out there. Their first gig was in 2012.
They played at a little bookstore in their hometown of Traverse City, MI.
“We were so nervous that we read the lyrics right off a page and wouldn’t even look up at the audience,” Larson said.
The Accidentals got better as they played in coffee shops, bookstores and other spots in Traverse City to get comfortable with life on stage.
That led to the band opening for big names in Americana music such as Brandi Carlile, Dar Williams, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Duhks.
Three years after their first gig, The Accidentals had the funds and the stardom to start their first national tour, called “Making It Happen.”
An Indiegogo campaign raised enough money to play in Chicago, San Diego and Salt Lake City. Another notable stop during the 2015 tour included South by Southwest.
The Accidentals find themselves on the road a lot, so it can be challenging to stay healthy performing nearly every night, getting a little sleep and then doing it all over again.
In order to stay as healthy as possible, Buist said, “We try to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and limit the amount of tacos consumed from Taco Bell.”
Larson immediately said, “We limit ourselves to one Taco Bell run per tour.”
The band also focuses on their mental health as well and “try to be thankful for what we are doing because it’s really easy to get caught up in all the daily payoff,” said Buist.
Inspiration for new songs is something that The Accidentals are always looking for while on the road.
Sometimes, their new content comes from the people that they meet along the way.
Most of the time, the band stays with someone in the community that they are performing in and acts as a host family while they are in town.
The band learns about the host family that they are with and Buist describes these people as “a family outside of what we do.”
One song in particular stuck out to Buist when asked about inspiration: “Michigan and Again.” Buist described the song as finding the small, great things about a certain place and finding that home away from home.
The Accidentals music is a blend of folk, bluegrass, jazz, classical and alternative rock. This musical blend can heard on their new album, “Odyssey,” which was released July 24, 2017.
This album was recorded while the band was in the middle of a tour and they found it difficult at times to balance recording while touring.
Larson recalls a time when “we had just finished recording the second half of the album and we had to drive 14 hours straight back to Traverse City to play a show.”
The Accidentals are on tour in support of their album “Odyssey.” On Thursday, April 5, The Accidentals will play at Ignition Music Garage, 120 East Washington Street, Goshen, for the third time in their young career.
“We are excited about that particular vibe of the venue,” said Larson.
“Every time we have been to Ignition, the audience has been a crowd of intelligent listeners, and so we’re really excited to go back to that and debut some of our new stuff, tell some of the stories behind Odyssey and to rock out!”