The Tillers’ Ohio River tour stops in Huntington


Submitted Photo

The Tillers and J.D. Wilkes will perform at Hertiage Station Saturday.


The Tillers and J.D. Wilkes will be making a stop in Huntington as a part of their The Great Ohio River Tour Saturday at Heritage Station.

“We’re an Ohio River band,” said Sean Geil, the Tillers vocalist and guitarist. “J.D. Wilkes is from an Ohio River town of Paducah, Kentucky, and we thought it’d be fun to travel the length of the Ohio River on a tour. We’re hitting river towns along the way and sticking to the river roads as we drive along, to take in the whole river scape and play for all the towns along the way. Huntington is definitely one of those towns.”

Geil said the culture of the river has impacted their band.

“We’ve always been loud and proud Ohio River rats from the beginning of our band, we love having this big old river,” Geil said. “We live two blocks from the river, and we’ve spent many nights out on the river, putting up a fire and playing around the fire with friends, having a good time, celebrate the river, so we thought it’d be nice to do something like that. It takes extra time sticking to those one, two lane river roads sometimes, but we’re going to try to do that as much as possible.”

The Tillers formed in 2007 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We started out of the ashes of two other local bands,” Geil said. “I was in a bluegrass band and we were still together but we weren’t playing as much as I wanted to. The other guys had other responsibilities, so I started reaching out to try to find a band to fill out my time. So, our old bands weren’t what we wanted to be doing. It started very casually and people took a shine to it so we decided to make it our full endeavor. Neither one of us had anything going for us outside of part-time jobs here and there, so it was important for us to get on board with people who are like minded.”

“We write a lot of songs about where we’re from and we write about the Ohio River. We sing old time traditional songs, so we’ll be doing all of our Ohio River songs at the show,” Geil said.

The Tillers’ last full-length album “Hand on the Plow” was released in 2013. The band plans to release something in the near future.

“We’re writing right now,” Geil said. “We’ve had a busy couple of years. Since the last album, I’ve had a son, but we’ve continued to play regularly. We lost some friends, some family members battled cancer and another band member has a 7 month old. Our time to create has been not so much. This winter we’re settling to write a bunch of songs and record come spring. We’re opening for Del McCoury in December and play all over the place.”

The show Saturday is a return to Huntington for The Tillers.

“We’ve played at the V-Club and we’ve played Camden Park for the concert series; that’s an interesting place. We also played with legendary band, The Fox Hunt,” said Geil.

Nathan Thomas can be contacted at [email protected]