New Year means new songs for Them Coulee Boys
We had the absolute priviledge of having our song "Hammer" being played last night on Simply Folk on Wisconsin Public Radio. Never in our collective lives did we ever expect to share a playlist with the likes of Cat Stevens andTom Waits, but it happened. A big thanks goes out to Simply Folk for supporting Wisconsin musicians like us!
You can listen to the program here and watch our video for "Hammer" below.
So we played at The Cabin on UW - Eau Claire's campus this past Saturday, and had an absolute hoot doing it. We have a lot of friends in Eau Claire, and it is always nice to be in a place where it all feels familiar. While we were there we got interviewed as a band for the first time, which was probably something we'll all need to get used to. Meghan Hosely from the Spectator at UWEC took the time to ask us some questions after the show, and one that we never really thought about is our influences.
I jumped in right away, saying that those hours in the truck with grandpa or dad listening to the oldies and classic country had an affect on me, regardless of how long I tried to resist. On one hand you have Merle, George Jones, and the man in black, while on the other you have The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the like. Now that I've found my sound, I realize I'm not afraid of the twang, or the big ol chorus. It's what I was raised on.
But then, on the other hand, you have Beau and Michael's love for classic rock. You can almost hear that soaring lead guitar every time Beau goes up and down the neck of his banjo. You can feel the groove of Michael's bass, expecting a leather-clad lead singer to start wailing over the top. It feels like a rock band, despite the instruments we're working with. Hell, everytime Jens fills in a harmony with that deep bass voice of his its hard not to think of a choir behind you, swaying in time.
When the question came up where we got our sound, we responded that it pretty much came out of the instruments we played. I've always been an acoustic guitar guy and Beau's banjo just seem to fit. Add in the mando and bass, you are kind of limited to the sounds you can get. When we went into the studio, we made the conscious decision to not let our instruments limit us. If this song called for an organ, we'd add it. If we needed a little something extra that fit the theme, we'd add it. I like to think we took some chances with this record, and I sincerely hope you guys like what the final product is.
Now for lessons. A couple of weekends ago we played a wedding down in Soldier's Grove. Underneath a tent in the middle of a field nestled in between the bluffs on each side, we celebrated the love of some new friends of ours. We played two sets earlier in the day, but when the party really got going, we felt like we needed to give them their money's worth. We set up sans amplification and played a marathon set, with little break between songs. We played just about every cover we knew, along with some we didn't (David Bowie? Really?) but had a hell of a time doing it.
Problem was, at the end of the day we had played about five hours of tunes, with three hours without amps, and had to play 3 hours the next day. Oh and we slept in a tent that night. We all ended up sick as dogs, but toughened up and played well the next day. At the end of that Sunday, I felt like I could have slept right in the damn parking lot. Maybe next time we take it a little easier. We love the craziness that comes with being in a band, but maybe next time we should at least pack a little booze to help us through the day. Next time.
Hope fall is treating ya well. We'll see ya soon!
Growing up I always had an obsession with the idea of an album. I was never the guy to make the mixtapes, riddled with hits from a variety of artists. I was more concerned with hearing what one band had to say, from start to finish. I'm not saying I've never bought any greatest hits albums, or that I've never listened to NOW (because I have...16 being the best), but from an early age I knew I preferred listening to the whole thing.
I remember the first album I became obsessed with in such a way was Green Day's "American Idiot". I remember sitting in the back of mom's van, hoping she couldn't hear the aggression, the politics, and (most importantly) the profanity coming from my cheap headphones I was blasting. I remember how I became fascinated in how each song led to another, how each song told a story, and how that story grew as each track passed. The highs, the lows, and those iconic power chords had me thinking that I was a part of the story, even though all I had to do was press play.
When it came time to craft how Them Coulee Boys debut album would appear, my mind drifted back to those memories. When writing these lyrics, I never really had a story in mind. But the more Beau, Jens, Michael, and I worked through each track, the more it became apparent that a story was being told. Its a story of highs, lows, and the way we choose to live through those two extremes in our life. Whether in the exuberant pangs of love, or the excruicating pain of loss, we hope that this album can give you a little insight into how we chose to move on. It's an album in which we are very proud of, and can't wait to share with you.
News: We've been busy as of late, finishing up our summer at Timbuktunes, and another beautiful night at the Trempealeau Hotel with some new friends at The Giving Tree Band. We are headed down for a couple of dates we're really excited about in September, including a show at The Cabin at UWEC. Overall, we're keeping pretty busy and we're very happy about that. Also, if you didn't figure it out yet, we're starting a blog. You can come here for anything and everything Them Coulee Boys. All four of us will be contributing stories, photos, and news that you won't find anywhere else. So feel free to join the conversation, we'd love to have you.