The High Divers

The High Divers

Thorp Jenson

Thu, July 12, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Camel

$10 ADV, $12 DOS

Tickets at the Door

The High Divers
The High Divers
“We all moved to Charleston (SC) on the same day, and there was nothing else in our minds but forming a kick ass touring rock band”, says frontman, Luke Mitchell. With some extensive tours under their belts, as well as some opening slots for notable acts such as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Delta Spirit, Shovels & Rope and Drivin N Cryin; The High Divers are steadily becoming exactly what they’d envisioned since day one.
Riverlust, the group’s debut record, released fall of 2015, found its way onto many “best of” lists and was warmly received up and down the East Coast. The band has quickly gained a foothold in the Carolina music scene as well, starting to sell out various venues in Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. “We’ve been touring non-stop” says Mitchell, “We feel so static whenever we’re home for more than a couple of days”.

The Band is quickly approaching putting the final touches on their Sophomore release which is due out mid-September. “There’s been a little bit of a departure from any sort of “twang” on this record, says Mitchell “We don’t really want that “Southern Rock” moniker to follow us around forever, as we feel we’re so much more versatile than that label” . A band that would have felt equally as comfortable in the 60’s Detroit Motown scene as they would hanging out in Topanga Canyon in the early 70’s, The High Divers are creating songs that nod towards music of the past, while pushing ahead all the time.
Thorp Jenson
Thorp Jenson
In September of 2017 Rolling Stone Country called Thorp Jenson an
“Artist You Need To Know.” Later that fall, Yahoo Music said of Thorp and his
debut release: “Thorp Jenson is gaining quite a bit of attention with his self-
produced debut, Odessa, a singer-songwriter’s workbook of soulful, free-spirited
rock anchored songs with intriguing storytelling.” 
Richmond, Va.-based guitarist Thorp Jenson creates the kind of music that
makes you want to spend all night in a Southern dive bar and wake up the next
morning just to drive across the country—and his songs are at home in either
scenario. Jenson’s self-produced debut, Odessa, encapsulates the free-spirited
heartland-rock ethos of Tom Petty with a healthy dose of storytelling and
singer/songwriter introspection. The record features Jenson’s rich, soul-warming
vocals and bright lead guitar supported by musicians and co-writers who have
worked and toured alongside artists like Foxygen, Butcher Brown, Cris Jacobs

and more. 


“I wrote a lot of these songs thinking about characters,” Jenson says of Odessa.
“It always ends up including a part of me—you can’t get away from that—but if
you’re only telling your own story, you’re kind of pigeonholing yourself.” 



This character embodiment is apparent throughout the album, no more so than in
the title track—a vivid, rollicking tune in which Jenson imagines himself a soldier
returning from war to a small-town home that doesn’t quite fit the one in his
memory. Along with opening track “Oklahoma,” “Odessa” helps set the
overarching rock & roll aesthetic of the album, which Jenson says was influenced
by The Rolling Stones, whose catalog was in heavy rotation leading up to the
sessions. Jenson also surrounded himself with noticeably simpatico backing
musicians. “I needed to bring in the right drummer to do what I wanted to do,” he
says. “Somebody who had listened to Charlie Watts at some point in their life.”
That drummer was Dusty Ray Simmons, the band rounded out by
bassist/keyboardist Andrew Randazzo, guitarists Charles Arthur and Andrew
Rapisarda and saxophonist/backup-singer Suzi Fischer. “It helps to have some of
your best friends be some of the best musicians you know,” Jenson says. “They

really brought it.”

Jenson channels Ryan Adams at his most apocalyptic on Odessa’s dark yet
ultimately hopeful “All We Have Is Time,” and shows off his songwriting chops on

“The Garden/2nd Season,” a two-part track punctuated by a “Layla”-inspired
outro, and featuring lyrics co-written with Foxygen/Matthew E. White bassist
Cameron Ralston. The album’s lone cover, Jenson’s take on Modern English’s “I
Melt With You” was a bold addition, he admits, but despite his childhood disdain
for the track (“I hated that song growing up”), playing it at a wedding gig helped
him see past the blinding ’80s sheen to the solid framework underneath, which
he’s transformed into a spacey, comfortingly languid love ballad.



Growing up 25 miles south of Richmond in Chester, Va., Jenson, the son of a
loving but frequently on the road truck-driver father, received much of his young
education from his older brother. “I was maybe what you’d consider a ‘bad kid,’”
Jenson recalls. “We were bouncing around on our bicycles, smoking pot. Small-
town America—there’s nothing to do. In some ways, it’s kind of sad; but in

another way, it’s poetic.” 



As an early music fan who “hit the ground running” with ’90s grunge, Jenson also
found inspiration from his dad’s record collection, which included ‘70s staples like
the Grateful Dead and Derek and the Dominos. But, above all else, he was
moved by Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, which came out when he was in seventh
grade. “It’s just one of those albums,” Jenson says. “That record, to me—it’s just

perfect.” 


With Odessa, Jenson offers up a collection of spirited and energetic
compositions, setting fire to his lyrics with incendiary lead guitar tightly woven
with soaring keyboards, arresting harmonies and a pulsing heartbeat of a rhythm
section. After years of building a name for himself as a side-man guitarist in the
Richmond music scene, Jenson is now poised to break out as a vibrant
songwriter and dynamic frontman with his own story to tell.
Venue Information:
The Camel
1621 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thecamel.org