Published on October 16th, 2014 | by Ballard Lesemann0
The Weeks Kick Off Revival’s ‘Redux Fall Music Series’
The newly established Revival Entertainment Co. will kick off off its inaugural season this week with a cool concert at Redux Contemporary Art Center. Nashville-based indie pop-rock quintet the Weeks will share the stage with local combo Punks & Snakes. Friday’s event is the first of the booking/promotion group’s “Redux Fall Music Series,” organized by Revival execs Charles Carmody, Mark Yoder, and Bennett Jones.
Born in Mississippi and based in Nashville, the Weeks formed several years ago when singer Cyle Barnes, drummer Cain Barnes, guitarist/singer Chaz Lindsay, and bassist Damien Bone started putting songs together and gigging around the college town of Oxford, Miss.
Keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Alex Collier was splitting his time in Charleston as a Southeastern music manager and church pipe organist when he hooked up with the Weeks two years ago. He’d become acquainted with the group through some of their touring colleagues, and they quickly hit it off.
Collier played his first Weeks show armed with little more than a mini keyboard and a laptop rig. “I was set up on the set of the stage during the first run I did with them, opening for Local H up the East Coast,” he says. “After that, we did a tour with the Meat Puppets, which is pretty epic for someone like me who’s never really been in a band before — or even had a desire to be in a band, other than in a business capacity. It evolved from there.”
Collier relocated to Nashville in 2013, just in time for the band’s studio sessions for their critically praised 2013 album Dear Bo Jackson, adding keys and horns and additional arrangements to the set.
The Weeks spent much of the last 12 months touring the U.S. and Europe behind the 2013 release of Dear Bo Jackson, a finely tuned collection of dynamic rock/pop originals. They spent time on the road with Kings of Leon in Europe and performed at a variety of music clubs, special events, and major festivals (Bonnaroo, Firefly, Forecastle, Wakurusa, Mountain Jam, Shaky Knees) in the States.
“There’s just so much going on. We’re road-doggin’ it for sure,” Collier says of the band’s recent activities. “You’d think that when you do a festival circuit, you might have some extra time off but it’s busy and it can really it out of you. We’ve been back in Nashville a lot recently, working on a new album.”
In August and September, the Weeks guys found enough home time in the Music City to track a set of new songs for the follow-up to Dear Bo Jackson. The band enlisted veteran studio producer Paul Ebersold (Sister Hazel, 3 Doors Down, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Leslie, Heyrocco) to oversee sessions for a forthcoming full-length, due early spring.
“Paul’s a brilliant old Memphis guy and a great musician,” Colliers says of the acclaimed producer. “He’s challenged each us of individually to become musicians. It’s sort of scary to get into a room with a guy with such character and such knowledge, but it’s been great. We’re really proud of the way we’ve gone from the early recordings to Dear Bo Jackson to the new stuff that will be coming out.”
In the meantime, the Weeks issued a four-song EP in the late summer titled Buttons, holding fans over until the new disc arrives. Issued digitally and on white 10-inch vinyl, the mini-album features two reworkings of previously released songs and two new tracks.
The Buttons EP displays elements of both the band’s early stylings and current approach to dynamic pop/rock. “I’d say think Thin Lizzy maybe paired with the Rolling Stones — or even the Band,” Collier says of the new tunes on Buttons and the recent sessions. “It’s like the idea behind the sound of Dear Bo Jackson; we’re a rock band with some tunes that have a soul/melodic thing happening, or even branching out a bit with jazz or TV/cinematic stuff.”
On Buttons, the Weeks flirt with classic rock riffs and power-pop melodies while leaning into more contemporary indie/alternative sounds. There are a few fist-pumping moments as well where Barnes sounds brooding and heroic, and he occasionally drifts into richly romantic territory.
“It all trickles in, melodically and sonically,” Collier says. “It happens easily in this band because we all react well to what’s happening in the moment, on stage or in the studio.”
Later this month, the band will gear up for another trek across the U.K. before heading back out to the West Coast in November.
At Redux, the Weeks will share the stage with local singer/songwriter Jack Burg’s ever-evolving Punks & Snakes. Burg released a debut Punks & Snakes album earlier this year — a self-produced 10-song album titled No Swagger. He’ll be joined by bassist Bill Carson, guitarist Andy Dixon, drummer Brett Nash, and special guests.
Upcoming events in the Redux Fall Music Series include Curtin (featuring songsmith Austin Nelson) on Wed. Oct. 29, local pop/rock acts SUSTO and Johnny Delaware on Fri. Nov. 7, and a Matt Monday (a.k.a. Righchus) album release show with support from DJ JeffET on Fri. Dec. 5.
“I was talking with [Revival’s] Charles Carmody recently about how Charleston has evolved over the last couple of years in the sense that the city has really great venues and media that will write about bands and songwriters,” Collier says. “There’s a greater awareness. For touring bands, it’s super-easy to skip over Charleston, like if you’re coming up from Florida or heading through Atlanta/ Charleston’s sort of stuck in a little corner. I think it’s becoming a great little pockets for bands to hang out — even for a full week or so. Imagine coming from a little town like Oxford, Mississippi; there’s a lot of cool stuff for a visiting band to enjoy in Charleston.”
Revival Entertainment Co. presents the “Redux Fall Music Series” at Redux Contemporary Art Center on Fri. Oct. 17, featuring the Weeks and Punks & Snakes.
Top photo by Emily Ball.
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