Playing shows in Austria this year with our full, electric configuration of the band means that we need to take a bass guitar and a six string that is versatile enough to play a wide range of material. Insuring instruments is easy enough, but insurance doesn’t prevent an airplane from backing over a guitar case that’s made its way onto the runway. We needed great sounding instruments, but didn’t want to take guitars that we’ve been playing for years, and to which we have a deep emotional connection. After we upgraded tuners and put in some Seymour Duncan pickups, we found that these Made in Mexico Fender guitars play and sound as great as their American made counterparts. These guitars were intended only for traveling, but Kelsey has already recorded two new songs with her MIM bass, and both instruments have felt great at rehearsals. These will quickly be added to the list of instruments that we’d like to keep out from under the wheels of an airplane.
A couple weeks ago, we did our first podcast with our new friend and skilled host, Kelly Philips, for her show Tapestry Music Podcast. We got to discuss different aspects of our own music and some of our influences, as well as some of the work we do outside of writing and performing.
Good conversations about music could go on endlessly. Unfortunately, we only had a short amount of time to talk about what all these different aspects of music mean to us, but it was uplifting to be engaged in conversation with a fellow music lover and player like Kelly.
Listen to our conversation here:
Our latest album, Let Go Of All You Know, was released on December, 21 st 2018. The album was recorded between August and November of last year in our studio, and features new drummer, Luke Zajdel. Many times, when starting work on a new album, it is normal to bring back songs that were left over from previous projects. Good songs can get put aside because they don’t fit in with the group you are putting together. However, we began writing these songs immediately after the release of our first album in 2015, so it contains entirely new songs with no musical or lyrical ideas that were left over from the previous project.
We took a more open-ended approach this time, and didn’t try to edit things down to 3 and 4 minutes. As a result, we ended up with a collection of songs that stretch out and go to different places than we have gone in the past. This album is representative of each of us as individuals, and how we all fit together to create something bigger. Hopefully, “Let Go Of All You Know” means something different to each listener, but for us, it represents being open to new ideas, letting go of old superstitions, and taking on each new experience as it’s presented.
We dug deeper, both musically and lyrically, to create songs that will hopefully take the listener on a different journey with each track. We certainly had that experience while writing, and especially still have that experience while performing these songs. We’re excited for all of you to go on this ride with us.
In January, we got to help facilitate a music therapy session with a group of students from Connellsville Area High School. We joined our friend, Dr. Krista Boyer, in a discussion about the positive benefits music can have on mental health. It was a great feeling for us to have these students all playing together in a percussion circle, and to see them really lose themselves in the music and watch aspects of their personalities open up.
We experience music from two sides, as the writers/performers and as the listeners. Listening to and playing music are a release for us, and its very rewarding to see this release happen in someone who is picking up an instrument for the very first time. We can feel it in a room when we’re performing, everyone riding on the same energy and sharing in a positive experience.
So much of what we do is within the context of writing, recording, and performing, so it felt great to play music without any expectations, and blend in as participants of the percussion circle.
This presentation was recorded in the CAHS TV studio, along with an interview with student anchor, Ryan Craig. Video of the session will be posted here soon.