The North Fork is an Omaha/Lawrence based progressive folk rock band. The group started in February of 2013 with vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Cole Jeffrey, violinist Russell Clark, bassist Alex Vogt, and percussionist Ben Johnson. Soon, they experimented with cello, mandolin, and keyboards/melodica, played by Ashlyn Heidebrecht, Dakota Jafferis, Joe Shoemaker, and Cale Cindric.
The original lineup and early experimentation played a more straightforward folk style of music with progressive elements, often being compared to bands like The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes. The sound quickly morphed into a more heavy/driven sound when electric bass and lead/slide electric guitar were played by Clark (bass) and Vogt (guitar), switching between playing a lead instrument and bass. Johnson also began to use the drum kit. This progressive folk rock sound was captured in The North Fork’s debut album Highlands (2014). The album was recorded and engineered by Chris Maddox at Attic Traffic Productions in Lawrence, KS.
Shortly after the release of Highlands, Vogt left the band to focus on personal music endeavors. His replacement on electric guitar/bass became current lead guitarist Marty Mootz, whom the band met at Attic Traffic during recording. Kolby Koczanowski was also added as a vibraphonist and percussionist. This change was amidst Cole Jeffrey delving deeper into more jam, jazz fusion, and progressive rock music.
The lineup change, along with new songwriting styles, contributed to a more jammy sound while still maintaining the integrity and craft of songwriting and long, progressively composed songs on much of the material.
The band recorded and released “Oxbow Farm” in the summer of 2015, before Cole Jeffrey left the Midwest for a 6 month San Diego internship. It was recorded and engineered at Daybreak Studios in Lawrence by Mootz.
After a 9 month hiatus, The North Fork got back together with a new lineup, which stands today. Alex Thiessen plays drum kit and Mario Vlasic plays bass and sings. The recent incarnation of The North Fork is currently working on a new album and playing frequently in the Midwest and Colorado. An extensive summer tour is in the works!