Music » Band of the Week

Local Band In Focus

Shivering Timbers


Meet the Band: Jayson Benn (guitar, banjo, backing vocals), Sarah Benn (vocals, upright bass, banjo), and Brad Thorla (drums, toy piano)

History: The Akron husband-and-wife team started recording songs for and inspired by their newborn daughter in 2007, and it snowballed into a full-blown project. Their debut, We All Started in the Same Place, was produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach.

What They Do: Back-alley folk tunes, back-porch gospel, and Mother Goose murder ballads delivered by what Auerbach calls "a junkyard orchestra"

Who They Sound Like:

PJ Harvey, Iron & Wine, Nick Cave

Gigged With:

The Lisps, Thrift Store Cowboys, the Chapin Sisters

Big Break: Performing at the 30th birthday party of their friend Auerbach. He was inspired to produce their debut at his Akron studio.

Why They Say They Matter: "We've been adding more songs to our repertoire," says Sarah Benn, "shifting our focus to reworking old gospel and folk songs and writing more adult-themed material, while still retaining the playful and dark sound of the songs on We All Started ..."

Why We Say They Matter: The pretension-free Benns show a Lewis Carroll-like knack for balancing the sweet with the sinister, and their partnerships with Auerbach and his lyricist father Chuck could put them on the fast track to wider success.

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: Annabell's (in Akron) on January 21 and the Happy Dog on February 3. Andrew Clayman

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.