The Band of Heathens w/ Jared & The Mill and Thorp Jenson

The Band of Heathens w/ Jared & The Mill and Thorp Jenson

JARED & THE MILL, Thorp Jenson

Tue, June 13, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Camel

$12 ADV, $15 DOS

Tickets at the Door

The Band of Heathens
The Band of Heathens
duende – [duen-de] (noun) 1. a quality of inspiration and passion 2. A heightened sense of emotion, expression and authenticity 3. a spirit

Duende, the title of The Band of Heathens’ fifth studio album (and eighth overall), marks their tenth anniversary as a group, and it certainly applies to its overall theme about the collective search for connection and communion in a technology-fueled world increasingly splintered, distracted and lonely. As band co-founder Ed Jurdi, who first learned of the term, explains, “It’s the essence of the artist,” or as partner Gordy Quist says, “It’s a word we don’t have an equivalent for in English, Artistically, that’s where we tried to set the bar, to do what this band does best.”

Indeed, Duende lives up to those high ideals, a stylistically diverse effort that takes a leap beyond their last, more acoustic, introspective effort, 2013’s Sunday Morning Record, with an eclectic batch of material that shows where The Band of Heathens has been, but more importantly, where they are going.

There are high-energy rockers like the Keith Richards-Chuck Berry guitars and barrelhouse piano in “Trouble Came Early” as well as the Grateful Dead-by-way-of J.J. Cale Oklahoma boogie in “Keys to the Kingdom,” and the New Riders pedal steel country twang of “Green Grass of California,” an ode to the more potent strains of sensimilla on the dispensary shelf and a fervent plea to “legalize it.”

Duende also touches on some of The Band of Heathens’ favorite topics, from the sacrifices of a life lived on the road (“All I’m Asking”) to the limits of materialism (“Keys to the Kingdom”), social media absorption (“Cracking the Code”), and a moving depiction of Mexican immigration in an age of increased discrimination (“Road Dust Wheels”).

Thematically, Quist’s “Cracking the Code” comes closest to reiterating the album’s desire to reconsider the value of relationships and priorities in a world of virtual reality and social media. “While modern technology has certainly allowed us to stay in touch over vast distances – something a band that lives on the road certainly appreciates – it doesn’t really provide the authentic connection we crave,” says Gordy. “We’ve created a portal through which we lose ourselves and miss what’s really going on right in front of us, hiding the fact our supposed connected culture can be a really lonely place.”

“I feel the album brings together all our influences, everything we’ve done over the years as a band,” explains Jurdi. “We’ve touched on every part of our career… our roots, some singer/songwriter contemplative stuff, some high-energy rock ‘n’ roll. It’s all us, the record we were supposed to make. Ten years later, that’s what keeps us coming back.”

Engineer/co-producer Jim Vollentine (Spoon, White Rabbits, …And You’ll Know Us by the Trail of Dead) helped the album’s diversity sound coherent, adding unique touches such as mellotron and drum machines to the loping rockabilly of tracks like “All I’m Asking.”

The term “Americana” was practically invented to describe The Band of Heathens’ approach, which has mutated almost as much as the genre to which they’re identified. And while the Rolling Stones and The Beatles remain touchstones on songs like “Sugar Queen” and “Deep Is Love,” respectively, influences as diverse as Sly and the Family Stone (in the psychedelic fuzz-tones of “Daddy Long Legs”) and Latin music (“Road Dust Wheels”) also rear their heads. Literary inspirations also come into play, ranging from a character in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar depicted in as a strutting cougar in “Sugar Queen” (“She even talks dirty/When she’s on her knees to pray”) to Tom Standage’s A History of the World in Six Glasses, which recounts how beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca-Cola have shaped culture and civilization to modern times (“Trouble Came Early”).

Duende is The Band of Heathens playing to their strengths, unapologetically constructed as an old-school 10-track, two-sided vinyl album (which it will be released as, with a second disc encompassing four songs from their Green Grass EP released earlier this year).

With Duende, the proof is in the results. Let them change your mind.
JARED & THE MILL
JARED & THE MILL
Howdy, We are Jared & The Mill. All of us were born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and we still call it home today. When we first got started in the summer of 2011 we just wanted to play some music with our best buds, have a few shows, and have a good time. Jared and Michael had been buddies and playing music together since they were kids, and after they met up with another childhood duo, Josh Morin and Larry Gast III, after that they realized they needed a bass player, so along came Chuck Morris III. Some months later, Jared ran into Gabe Hall Rodrigues, a local accordion and keys player at a coffee shop. Gabe joined, and as it goes we were soon hammering along in the local scene, playing alongside the bands of new friends and old throughout Arizona. The wheels kept turning, and before we knew it we had over three years of touring under our boots; playing in the living rooms, dive bars, venues, theaters, music festivals, and even arenas of this big ol' country of our's alongside fellow upcoming bands, and with some of the biggest acts we had always looked up to.

Playing for fifty people one night in a smokey bar, and the very next night opening up and playing for eighteen thousand in an arena was inspiring and eye opening to say the least. Opening up and sharing stages with the likes of Zac Brown Band, Barry Gibb, Boy & Bear, War on Drugs, Wildfeathers, Cake, Flogging Molly, The Killers, Allen Stone, and others while touring alongside bands just getting their start like us was a real honor. We certainly gained invaluable experience from all those shows and all those trials, but something else happened out there on the road for us, something we have a hard time explaining, but anyone who's spent some time out there on the interstate understands; we became not just friends, but family.

Being out there changed our lives, it changed how we thought about things and it changed how we wrote about things. Those miles molded our music and molded our souls and it made our bond even stronger. Life gives to you and it takes from you, and we have written about that give, and that take. We've written about getting older, about those friends and those loved ones and those things that never leave and about those that do; about those sweet things and those bitter things, and that struggle to keep the course as you try your best to carve yourself into what you hope is a good man. We have written about our desert home we so very often miss, and we've written about the stories of others we've heard along the way. Our music has been called, compared and regarded by a number of different names and genres, and we've been influenced and shaped by many different events and people, but more than anything, we'd like to think that some shred of the Southwest -- of our home -- can be found in the heart of our music.

So here we are, with new music to release and another busy year ahead. We've got some new tunes and a sound that has grown, and we're eager as hell to share it with all of you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for listening.

We'll see you down the road,
Jared & The Mill
Thorp Jenson
Thorp Jenson
Thorp Jenson and his band the Eastern Frieghtliner create music cut straight from the Amercian landscape; a nod to the Rock and roll, southern soul, and country music that has been brewing for a century and a half. Some folks would call it Americana or rock and roll, but if you asked Thorp he would tell you it is just Amercian music; a stew stirred in the heartland underneath the Viginia skies Thorp and his band call home.
Venue Information:
The Camel
1621 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thecamel.org