The Wild Reeds, Blank Range

The Wayfarer Presents

The Wild Reeds

Blank Range

Leather Tramp

Sat, February 25, 2017

8:00 pm

$8.00

This event is 21 and over

The Wild Reeds
The Wild Reeds
The Wild Reeds can be defined by one word: Harmony. The sound from this LA based band fronted by Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe, and Sharon Silva dips in and out of multiple genres - some ethereal folk, some rock and roll rhythm and a hint of country twang (from Nick Jones and Nick Phakpiseth), but it all comes back to the root of this bands power: harmonies that create an instrument in and of itself.
The Wild Reeds released their formal debut albumBlind and Brave, in August 2014 at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. The album, produced by Raymond Richards at Red Rockets Glare Studios (Local Natives, Parson Redheads, Honey Honey, Dustbowl Revival), expounds on loss, love, growing up, and the experience of artists and workers pursuing their dreams.
The Wild Reeds spent most of 2016 on the road with stops at SXSW, Nelsonville Music Festival, Pickathon, Summerfest, Winnipeg Folk Festival and support and headline tours throughout the USA and Canada. In May, the band released a 3 song EP called Best Wishes that continues to display the growing and maturing artistry from the 3 unique songwriters. The EP was recorded by the band at NRG Studios in Los Angeles and was mixed by Doug Boehm (Girls, Dr Dog, Twin Peaks). The band are finishing 2016 in the studio working on their next album...
Blank Range
Blank Range
"It's a snapshot of transition, of worldview formation, of deciding which questions to try to answer, and which ones to leave alone." That's Grant Gustafson (guitar/vocals), theorizing about the genesis of Blank Range's new EP, Vista Bent.
Blank Range was born in Nashville in 2012, by accident. Jonathon Childers (guitar/vocals) and Matt Novotny (drums/vocals) were touring the Southeast with their college band, and through an acquaintance, stayed at Grant's on their way through Nashville. The last stop on the tour after Nashville was a Memphis house show that was canceled, leaving Childers and Novotny in Nashville for a few more days than originally planned. The seeds of the band-to-be were planted during those days and within six months, Childers and Novotny moved to Nashville. Blank Range was formed shortly thereafter as two separate creative conversations fused into a conversation between two front men and two songwriters.
After making the decision to end an eight-year relationship in favor of forging ahead with a then young creative partnership, Childers slipped into emotional disarray, finding discrete and temporary refuge in the bottoms of bottles. The recording process of Vista Bent forced Childers to reckon with his past face-to-face, unearthing a sober purpose and previously buried optimism. The concluding optimistic outlook of "Gardens" and "Circumstances," Childers' two contributions to Vista Bent, are his statements of intent.
Jonathon Childers' songs are raw, they read like attacks on himself and his circumstances. His voice bears the imprint of more years living than he has been alive, getting gritty when he reaches: "Just take me back," he pleads, in vain, as "Circumstances" approaches its refrains."
Gustafson's questions of intent are communicated partially through a lens that was developed during his music studies at North Central College in Chicago, particularly improvisational jazz. "Jeff Parker was the guy. I took a guitar lesson with him - he was involved with everybody. People didn't have regular bands at North Central. One guy would get a gig, and invite a bunch of friends to play. It was all improvised."
Gustafson plays a baritone guitar, custom built by his brother, Alex Gustafson at Chicago Fret Works. An obsession with 1960's Italian Spaghetti Westerns and soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone led Grant and Alex to collaborate on a baritone guitar that would become part of the foundation of the Blank Range sound. Alex rounded out the Blank Range six string customizations with a recent build for Childers.
Will Brown (keyboards) and Matt Novotny also studied music in college. Novotny gravitated toward the complexity of Latin rhythms. "Matt had a lot of ideas for subtle percussion additions that had been floating around in his head," Childers indicates. "Seeing him get to realize some of those on Vista Bent was a real joy." Taylor Zachry's (bass/vocals) persistence for pursuing The Byrds' four-part harmonies and Brown's draw to Duke Ellington's composition style, round out the Blank Range sound that is ever evolving.
Their shared study of music gives Blank Range a wide sonic palette to draw from, and therefore, the ability to craft more refined portraits of feeling. The execution of communicating those feelings in a live setting has been crafted, in part, by members' performances on tours playing with Jessica Lea Mayfield, Michael Nau (of Cotton Jones), Quiet Life, Jonny Fritz, and Rayland Baxter.
Blank Range spent the last three years touring North America, supporting national tours for Benjamin Booker, The Mountain Goats, The Cave Singers, and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. On an enigma of a weekend, they opened for Alice In Chains in a few Midwestern casinos. Blank Range's live performance has blossomed, in part due to the education witnessed while sharing the stage with Spoon, Drive-By Truckers, Houndmouth, Strand of Oaks, Kevin Morby, The Wild Reeds, and Diarrhea Planet.
Vista Bent speaks straight to the heart of the transition into adulthood, where the emblems of youth live on as indelible parts of a full-fledged identity.
Leather Tramp
Leather Tramp
When songwriter Jake Abernathie and drummer Flint Lidar first met in 2009, their love of music formed a strong friendship between them, but it wasn't until later that autumn when the Yucaipa-Pendleton Fire forced them and their families out of their homes for several days that they began to creatively collaborate. With nothing to do but watch their hometown smolder, the two spent their time writing music, and thus Leather Tramp's predecessor, The Pendleton Project, was born. The project grew in size, recruiting several other locals in the area, including vocalist Sydney Funderburk. Pendleton often performed in the Inland Empire, but also reached the Los Angeles area as well. During these shows, strong ties were made with a nearby Beaumont-based band, fronted by Lucas Cathey, and the two groups would often join forces in their proceeding performances.

But The Pendleton Project eventually dwindled in numbers; some bandmates moved away due to schooling, and Jake and Flint's musical pursuits separated. The two began playing in several side projects, and nearly two years passed before they resumed their collaborative efforts.

In the summer of 2013, after a short and spontaneous Pendleton Project reunion performance at a local mic night, Jake decided to start putting together a new group: Leather Tramp. Feeling as though many of the songs he wrote while leading The Pendleton Project, among other pieces written after, never reached their full musical potential, he composed and arranged several of his songs for the massive ensemble that became Leather Tramp. Originally this attempt was designed to be a one-time show, hoping to convey his vision of his music (at least once) for his small hometown of Yucaipa. Planning with former sister-bandmate Lucas Cathey, who booked bands at the local venue, Jake recruited him, former Pendleton members Flint and Sydney, and a small army of musicians for the singly planned debut of Leather Tramp. The search for orchestral members in Southern California was no easy task, but the group managed to focus its efforts just in time for its grand performance in early August. Expecting the band to disperse as quickly as it had formed due to its logistical challenges, Jake was surprised to find that many of the players called upon for the one-time event wanted to know when the group’s next performance would be.

Leather Tramp continued to thrive from that point on, and was joined by an array of the debut performers, including trumpeter Chandler Riley, trombonist Gary Soland, violinist Laura Bedol, and violist Ashley Wright. With Jake and the majority of the members studying music at California State University of Long Beach, the band began performing in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, eventually recruiting keyboardist John-Michael O’Brien, bassist Marc Encabo, and cellist Cole Syverson. Bringing a unique mix of performers to the Greater LA area with their eleven member troupe, Leather Tramp packed stages with surprising agility and ease, showcasing their versatility as an ensemble as well as their talent as individual musicians.

Now joined by violinists Miko Shudo and Elizabeth Chavez, and woodwind doubler Lawrence Pi, the dozen continues to perform around Southern California, taking the stage at multiple music festivals, venues, and showcases while turning heads with their dynamic sound.
Venue Information:
The Wayfarer
843 W 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA, 92627
http://www.wayfarercm.com