Published on February 20th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann0
Brewvival 2013 Hosts the Kingston Springs and More
When they formed four years ago, cranking out beer-drinkin’ rock probably wasn’t the main goal for Nashville-based indie foursome the Kingston Springs. Their bluesy, fuzzed-out riffs, rhythms, and rhymes stand well on their own, but they easily enhance the mood-altering experience of sipping fine ales and lagers in joyful company, too, no matter the setting.
Singer/guitarist Ian Ferguson, guitarist/keyboardist/horn player James Guldry, bassist Alexander Geddes, and drummer Matthew DeMaio will perform their first Charleston-area show at this weekend’s Brewvival beer festival in North Charleston on Saturday.
Named for the small town on the rural outskirts of Nashville, the quartet has been condensing and refining their raw, guitar-driven style in recent years.
“The band started when we began writing music together about five years ago,” frontman Ferguson says. “Our sound has definitely developed over the years, and maybe a touch of blues or some twang has been added, but I don’t think we’ve ventured too far from our original sound as a band. Our show now is what it is, and it will evolve from here into something else, hopefully. A live sound is an ever-changing thing.”
Listening to the band’s recently released, self-titled studio album, it’s tricky to peg them with a neat definition.
“We just wanted to maintain our original sound, which would be considered grittier, ’cause we recorded our first EP in a basement,” Ferguson says of the new disc. “And in this day in age with all of the fancy gear out there, it’s easy to lose grittiness in the mass of digital stuff, which was why we recorded to tape.”
There’s a hearty mix of styles on the album, from early-’70s acid and hippie rock to vintage electric blues, gospel, and mountain music.
“There are hints of all kinds of stuff in there, from country to folk to rock ‘n’ roll with some psych/surf,” Ferguson says. “But there’s a definite overall tone of rock ‘n’ roll.”
Thematically and musically, the music, culture, and scenery of Middle Tennessee inevitably seeps into the Kingston Spring’s music. The band doesn’t necessarily try to emphasize a Tennesseean “Southernness,” though.
“I think it definitely finds its way into our writing,” Ferguson says. “We don’t consider ourselves a ‘Southern’ band, but we do have Southern aspects about us. It would be difficult to live in Nashville and not have it rub off on you in some way, but I don’t just mean the country side of things. Nashville’s got a great local rock scene and all kinds of other genres, for that matter.”
The band is currently on a lengthy road trip that will meander through the Southeast, up the East Coast, and out to the Midwest before winding down to the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama in May.
Ferguson prefers to perform in smaller settings like bars and taverns as opposed to big festivals and outdoor events. “There are cool things about them both, but I think as a band we enjoy intimate settings,” he says. “It’s because, having experienced them both, we’ve had our favorite shows with the best crowds in more intimate settings, but who knows what the future holds?”
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Kingston Springs will share the Brewvival music stage with two other Lowcountry acts — Charleston/Virginia-based roots band James Justin and Co. and veteran soul/rock singer/guitarist Graham Whorley and his band.
While no one in the Kingston Springs considers themselves to be craft beer aficionados, they all look forward to playing the specialty beer festival and enjoying some of the samples of hard-to-find ales and lagers on hand.
“We aren’t very picky with our alcohol,” admits Ferguson. “We kind of take what we can get. But that being said, if we have access to good beer, we are overjoyed. Anything from high-gravity to IPAs and APAs to many others. Anything but light beer, but like I said, we take what we can get. We’re looking forward to trying everything Brewvival has to offer.”
The Kingston Springs, James Justin and Co., and Graham Whorley perform at Brewvival 2013 at COAST Brewing Co. from 12-6 p.m. on Sat. Feb. 23. The bands will perform across the yard from the beer tents. Food from local vendors and food trucks will be available for purchase.
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