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American Noise

The Rough and Tumble
The Rough and Tumble

Fun fact: You can join a band even if you can’t play an instrument.  

“When we started the band I did not play any instruments,” Mallory Graham of Nashville’s The Rough and Tumble tells EW. “And I was terrified to do so.”

Graham says her college friend Scott Tyler convinced her that if she agreed to play music with him, her lack of musical experience wouldn’t be a problem. 

“Scott insisted that I wouldn’t have to play an instrument; I would just have to make sound effects,” Graham says. “I’d listened to enough Prairie Home Companion to feel confident enough to do that.”

“So he started bringing me home these old, jenky instruments,” Graham recalls, like toy pianos and glass bottles to use for percussion. “It was a helpful creative process to get both of us over our personal blocks.”

Tyler says this process led to the duo’s “quirky instrumentation” — a sound showcased on the group’s 2014 release: The Rough and Tumble’s Holiday Awareness Campaign, a collection of songs celebrating lesser-known holidays. 

“Twenty-four songs celebrating 24 underappreciated holidays,” Tyler explains.

“We just kind of enjoyed the process of non-traditional instruments mixed with very traditional acoustic guitar and folk songs,” Graham adds. 

“We’re a folk-Americana duo,” Tyler says. “We do a lot of tight harmony singing.” 

“A lot of noise making,” Graham interjects. 

The Rough and Tumble play with L.A.’s soul-folk outfit Freddy and Francine 8:30 pm Sunday, Nov. 15, at Sam Bond’s Garage; $5. 21-plus.