Artist You Should Know: South 20

June 25, 2014 

This week's Artist You Should Know is the Fresno band South 20. The band was formed to play musical accompaniment to the stories of local author John Brisbin. The band's releases an 80-minute epic titled "A Little Creek Named Cow," on June 30.


The members of South 20 are musical interpreters.

Their job as a band is to create an emotional ambience that plays background to the stories of John Brisbin, a long-time local contractor and author/poet.

Musically, they draw influences from folk and jazz, some blues rock and bossa nova. Lyrically, the songs are stories, tales of life and our heritage.

It's true Americana, Brisbin says.

"In this era of manufactured music and consolidated media, the stories have been virtually eliminated from music," he says.

The basics: The members of South 20 (Roger Hallaway, Sharon Rogers, Phil Sarkissian and Edward Fritz) are college students or recent college graduates. Rogers, the band's vocalist, brought in players specifically to create accompaniments for Brisbin's work.

Affiliations: Fritz plays in the ska band Basura and Hallaway plays with the post-punk band The Horse I Rode.

Releases: "A Little Creek Named Cow," a 12-song, 80-minute epic with lyrics and poetic verse. The album was released June 20 and the band plans to tour the project this summer.

Find out more: You can follow the band on Facebook at Watch an extended video interview with The South 20 at

Know a local band or musician more people should be familiar with? Send ideas to Joshua Tehee at or @joshuatehee on Twitter

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