Originally hailing from a small Wisconsin town made world famous by a pair of overalls (Oshkosh, B'Gosh), the now Milwaukee-based band have cultivated a sensibility beyond their years due in part to the powerful literary force that is frontwoman and songwriter, Sarah Vos.
Raised on Bible Hymns by her preacher father, Vos' backstory sounds more like that of an old bluesman from the Mississippi Delta than a young folk singer from Wisconsin. Despite their youth, Dead Horses have crafted a timeless sound, informed as much by modern roots music as it is by the classics.
Known for high energy performances, as well as intimate listening room experiences, Dead Horses tour tirelessly with heavy pickers and players in tow–always striving to expand and diversify their live show. From ballrooms to festivals Dead Horses have performed with Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, and Elephant Revival, as well as on mainstages at Bristol Rhythm and Roots, WinterWonderGrass, Americana Music Festival, and Red Ants Pants.
At one such fateful festival, Dead Horses piqued the interest of Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) who later invited the band to his studio to record their latest album, Cartoon Moon. Featuring mandolin, organ, banjo, harmonium, and Coomer on drums, Cartoon Moon is a masterful achievement from a band that has come into its own.
Vocals, Guitar / Sarah Vos
Double Bass, Vocals / Daniel Wolff
"Dead Horses brought their 'A' game to Coomer's studio with a terrific batch of pensive, reflective tunes that alternate between breezy and introspective. And in Sarah Vos they have a compelling vocalist, similar to a combination of Norah Jones and Eilen Jewell, who carries every tune with her husky, deeply emotional tone that feels lived in and real." -Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter "Cartoon Moon" 4 out of 5 album review on September 30, 2016
"Milwaukee's Dead Horses bring out the best in songwriting and folk music via lead vocalist Sarah Vos. The trio mixes Vos' lrics with classic blues and country to create Cartoon Moon and give listeners ten solid tracks of love, loneliness, and life." -Brenda Hillegas, Elmore Magazine "Cartoon Moon" 93 out of 100 album review on September 30, 2016
"In an age of stark division during yet another hyper-polarized election cycle, in a time when even playing the National Anthem sends the Internet into apoplectic shock, when the threat of random violence leads to a level of heightened awareness which verges on paranoia, Dead Horses’ universal idea that we are bound by a common need to share our love and to hope for better times seems not only fitting, it’s actually much needed." -Donovan Wheeler, National Road Magazine "Cartoon Moon" album review on September 21, 2016
"Cartoon Moon is radiant, but never showy. It'll take repeat listens to recognize the skill in the saloon piano of 'Brothers', or the dazzling bango picking on 'Ain't Got Time'. That's because Sarah Vos' words of hope and heartbreak, conjuring images of familial bonds and nature's beauty, are all encompassing." -Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Cartoon Moon" album review on September 16, 2016
"All I know is that I can’t stop listening to this album. But don’t take my word for it. Take a listen for yourself." -Lisa Snedeker, Huffington Post "Cartoon Moon" album review on September 7, 2016
"Beautiful and fresh, Vos' exceptional songwriting becomes music magic." -Frank Gutch, No Depression "Cartoon Moon" album review on August 10, 2016
"...captures the folk sounds of the late ‘60s. Its disenchanted folk mines a fertile ground that’s bloomed for the past 50 years, and its slow crescendo works as well now as slow, sad crescendoes did for Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in days of yore." -Will Rivitz PopMatters "Cartoon Moon" track premiere on August 11, 2016
"The song is as infectious as it is moving, bringing to mind the folkier material of groups like the Dixie Chicks at their most sensitive and poignant." -Glide Magazine track premiere on August 3, 2016
"Dead Horses has a sound equally beautiful and effortless." -Stephanie Elkins, Wisconsin Public Radio "Simply Folk"
"Cartoon Moon is not just a good album, it's a great album, and people need to hear it." -Ken Coomer, drummer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) in an interview with The Oshkosh Northwestern on May 3, 2016
"It's not out of line to suggest that Dead Horses are among the most popular Wisconsin-bred bands right now. Between the trio's timeless and downright lovely sound, its perpetually rigorous show and festival itinerary, and the fact that both the Milwaukee and Fox Cities music communities are eager to claim them as their own, Dead Horses have been winning fans in all corners of Wisconsin since the release of 2014's Space and Time." -Tyler Maas, Milwaukee Record preview on April 18, 2016
"Dead Horses has taken an artistic step forward since their accomplished 2014 full-length Space and Time. And if there's more where that came from, the band will find plenty of golden opportunities in the Milwaukee music scene."
-Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review on August 5, 2015
"The immediate appeal of Dead Horses remains Vos' biting, sultry vocals and neatly-crafted songs, supported with conviction by the fastest pickers in town." -George Halas, SCENE Newspaper preview on July 2, 2015
"Dead Horses has become a prominent fixture in Wisconsin’s blossoming music scene. An American folk aesthetic enhanced by a youthful twist, not unlike the early work of fellow midwesterner Sufjan Stevens." -Audrey Piehl, The Badger Herald preview on February 26, 2015
"Best Folk Album of 2014" -Karen Impola, Iowa Public Radio "The Folk Tree" end of year lists
"...the amazing old soul voice of Sarah Vos, evocative of First Aid Kit's Klara Soderberg. However, you also have the feeling that her lungs could burst open a la Susan Tedeschi or Melissa Etheridge and blow us all down." -91.7 WSUM FM review of Space and Time on November 24, 2014