The audience at Fridays on Vine this week will hear a variety of string instruments and the sounds of a cajon.
“A cajon is like a drum set in a small box. You get a variety of sounds depending on where you hit it,” said Jordan Benson, spokesperson and banjo player for Molly in the Mineshaft. “Hit it in one place and it’s a low sound, another place it sounds like a snare drum.”
The group includes between six to eight performers for its shows.
Scott Monson from Orem is proficient in playing the cajon, a Peruvian instrument.
The other musicians in the group are masters of a variety of string instruments including the guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin, cello and bass. Most of the musicians recently graduated from college.
“We feel strongly about the therapeutic aspect of music and like to perform and help people relax,” Benson said. “We like to play good music that makes you want to tap your toes and have a good time.”
Benson was Utah’s 2016 banjo champion, and currently works as an occupational therapist in Logan.
The band was founded in 2014 in Provo while members were attending college and performing with other bands.
“Only one of us studied music in college,” Benson said. “We have degrees in everything from healthcare to business to English and history.”
The band’s music reveals its wide range of musical influences and features flavors of contemporary folk, bluegrass, blues, jazz, Celtic and rock, according to mollyinthemineshaft.com.
Members of the band have performed throughout North America and Europe, including the United States, Mexico, Croatia, France, Switzerland and Spain. Their audiences range from elementary school children to international dignitaries, according to the website.
Other members of the band include singer Alex Vincent on the guitar and mandolin, singer Erin Patterson on the mandolin, singer Grace Dayton on the violin, Joshua Hayes on bass, and Talmage Haines on the guitar.
The band has played at corporate events, weddings and music festivals.
Benson said one of their favorite performances was at the Western Music & Cowboy Poet Gathering in Heber City.
He said the group used a variety of names and finally settled on Molly in the Mineshaft.
“We liked the alliteration and the sound of it, and the name was born,” Benson said.
He said the group wanted to make sure it could use the name, and in the process learned that a Brahma cow named Molly fell down a mineshaft in California in 2015 and was rescued by a team of veterinarians, animal control officers and tow truck operators.
Fridays on Vine concerts, located at Aquatic Center Park, 200 W. Vine Street, are free with limited seating. Patrons are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.