Three bands, no headliner and an unforgettable evening: The Great Mountain Groove at the Aggie

The Great Mountain Groove hit up the Aggie for a spectacular three-band bluegrass-based event, featuring performances by Sicard Hollow, Pixie and the Partygrass Boys, and the Sweet Lillies.


Pixie and the Partygrass Boys performing the self-invented bluegrass style known as “Partygrass.”

Bailey Liverman

Some musicians truly love to bring the festival spirit wherever they play – a tradition that started off with traditional jam bands and is kept alive with many bluegrass bands.

The Great Mountain Groove tour is one example of this. In the post-pandemic world, Pixie and the Partygrass Boys, the Sweet Lillies and Sicard Hollow were wondering how they should go about touring in an increasingly changing world and music industry. So they came up with the bright idea to do it together, and the Great Mountain Groove was born.

One of the hallmarks of this tour is that you never know the order of the bands – the order is different every time. As opposed to the traditional opener-or-two followed by headliner system, all the artists choose to headline the event,

The night at the Aggie started out with Sicard Hollow, a band out of Nashville that blends their brand of psychedelic bluegrass with punk rock influences – and let me tell you, they shredded. Their music is much more defined by their killer musicianship and the talent they display at their instruments than their lyricism or vocal prowess, but they truly know how to put on a great show. Like most modern bluegrass bands, they fall into the jamgrass category, as their music has lots of instrumental breaks punctuated by lyrics. Every musician in Sicard Hollow is an expert of their respective instruments, and everyone has time to shine in their music. The guitar work and fiddle playing were highlights of the evening.

Then came Pixie and the Partygrass Boys, a personal favorite band of mine. This Utah-based band creates their own brand known as “Partygrass” by taking influence from everything from punk to funk to folk, and of course, bluegrass. They move quickly from Celtic-influenced traditional folk jams to radical punk anthems. Much of their music is influenced by their home in Utah, where they bonded over their shared love for skiing, evidenced in their songs “Ski and Party” and “Powder Day.” They are truly free spirits, with mind blowing musicianship that highlights the incredible vocals of Katia Racine (aka Pixie). Their instrumental music is just as inspiring as their vocals, displaying knowledge for what works in both a live setting and on a recording. The audience couldn’t help but to dance to them and sing along, as it is impossible not to get lost in their music. Their shows are definitely a party.

The Sweet Lillies, like many other bluegrass artists, are not defined by one singular genre. This band blends several influences in order to create the music they make. One of the main genres displayed in this set was ‘90s hip-hop, shown in their cover of Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain.” One of the notable parts about the show was their use of instruments that you might not normally see these days, including the washboard and the viola. Overall, their set was inspired and kept the audience engaged.

The Great Mountain Groove surely kept the audience moving. I’m excited to catch each of these artists next time they roll through town. They closed out the show with all of the bands coming together to play a song, which displayed their genuine friendship and respect for one another.

Article and photograph by Bailey Liverman. KCSU Music Directors can be reached at