To say The Last Bison have a lot of irons in the fire is a flaming understatement. The band's major-label debut album, "Inheritance," is set for a March 5 release. A new video is in progress. On Tuesday, the band heads back out on the road.
The group's seven musicians took care of some hometown business on Sunday, though. The Chesapeake-based chamber-folk-rock combo gathered at the headquarters of the Virginia Arts Festival in downtown Norfolk for a listening party organized by WROX-FM (96.1). The event included interviews with the band which were recorded and for a radio special to air on 96X March 4 at 9:30 p.m.
The interviews, conducted by WROX's James Steele, included stories about how the band came together, played its first gigs, attracted radio attention and won over Jacob Marshall, drummer for the band Mae, who eventually became the group's manager.
I won't spoil surprises, but there were fun descriptions of what it was like to make the new album at Fairfax Recordings in Van Nuys, Calif., in a space once occupied by the famed Sound City Studios. (Sound City is the subject of a new documentary produced and directed by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana.)
Producer Kevin Augunas, known for his work with Gotye, the Black Keys and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, ran the sessions.
Last Bison singer and primary songwriter Ben Hardesty said he was amazed to think he was working in the same studio where acts such as Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana and Pat Benatar made hits. "What are we doing?" he remembered thinking. "We're from Chesapeake."
During a break, Hardesty told me he was excited to see the band's album released nationally. "Our whole ethos is to make music that's beautiful, good and true," he said, "and that ultimately brings people joy."
Hardesty said if the record company's marketing strength can help The Last Bison bring joy to more people, he's satisfied.
- Dark Am I
- River Rhine
- Tired Hands
- Take All the Time
- Watches and Chains
- Autumn Snow
The Last Bison tour dates:
2/27 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall
2/28 – Charlotte, NC – The Evening Muse
3/01 – Jackson, TN – Barefoot Joe’s @ Union University
3/02 – Augusta, GA – Sky City
3/04 – Jacksonville, FL – Underbelly
3/05 – Athens, GA – The Melting Point
3/06 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
3/07 – Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover Music Festival
3/10 – Denton, TX – 35 Denton Music Festival
3/11 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s Downstairs (free show)
3/18 – Denver, CO – The Soiled Dove Underground
3/20 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
3/21 – Boise, ID – Tree Fort Music Festival
3/22 – Wenatchee, WA – Caffe Mela
3/23 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
3/24 – Vancouver, BC – Media Club
3/26 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
3/29 – San Francisco, CA – The Rickshaw Stop
3/30 – Los Angeles, CA – The Mint
4/02 – La Jolla, CA – The Loft (UCSD)
4/05 – Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar
4/06 – Ames, IA – The Maintenance Shop (Iowa State University)
4/08 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue & 7th Street Entry
4/09 – Milwaukee, WI – Club Garibaldi
4/10 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
4/12 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
4/13 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
4/14 – Louisville, KY – Uncle Slayton’s
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