Carroll may be rural, but that doesn’t stop local musicians from connecting with their fans, whether that means a digital release or an intimate house show.
Two local bands, Water Taxi and Wild Harbors are performing locally and celebrating the release of new music.
Westminster-based Wild Harbors will be performing close to home on April 26 at a house show in Frederick.
The husband and wife duo of Chris and Jenna Badeker are playing at the House on Knollwood at 7 p.m. Due to the small, intimate venue, fans should email firstname.lastname@example.org or message them on Facebook for the exact location of the show.
“It's a very different feel from like a venue show or a coffee shop or something where people are kind of coming in and out [and] you’re separate from the audience. It’s a neat, intimate way to share songs and stories with people,” Jenna said.
They’ll be playing mostly songs from their new album “Monument” that came out in March and is full of alt-pop singer-songwriter harmonies.
“We've just been really humbled and very grateful for people's reactions to the record so far,” he said.
“We have our own stories that those songs have come from, but it's so cool to see how other people's lives interact with that. And sometimes it's been in ways that are obvious,and sometimes it's in ways that are totally unexpected,” Jenna said.
“Our goal as songwriters is to be honest, and to try to tackle things that maybe people aren't naturally talking about all the time,” she said.
Chris said it’s been gratifying to talk to other men after the shows who typically might not be as emotive or forthcoming, but feel like they can relate to the songs.
“I never anticipated that sort of reaction I guess, but to give other guys an ability to hear their voice and songs I thought was a really cool thing.”
Carroll County folks may recognize the Badekers. Jenna taught in Carroll County Public Schools for years and Chris works at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library.
The pair met at McDaniel College where they started playing music together even before they began dating.
“We were friends there for years, and had started each writing on our own dabbling with songwriting,” Jenna said. “Having that start, of a community of people around us to love us and cheer us on even when, you know, the songs you’e coming out with may or may not have been any good ... That gave us the foundation to be able to keep pressing into it and dig deeper with it.”
Chris said an early McDaniel song was titled “Canary in a Coal Mine.”
“In my head, I'm like, ‘This is going to be the best song in the whole world.’ And of course, a week later, I'm like, ‘No, this is embarrassing.’”
But the image of a bird in a coal mine stuck in his brain and made it onto “Monument” in a new form.
“It's funny, as a songwriter, what you leave behind and what ends up coming back around. You never really know,” he said.
“Monument” is available on CD and through all major online streaming platforms. More information about the band and future shows is available at www.wildharbors.com.
Water Taxi, a local quartet, released a new single “Closely” on April 8 after recording at I.D. Labs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The group says the new bop has a different feel from their previous album, more mellow and pop influenced than hardcore.
Others have described it as a windows-down, beautiful weather driving song, which they appreciate. True to it’s name, the song is about is about emotional intimacy and one-on-one time with that special someone.
Water Taxi, named on a whim for the service that totes guests around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, is made up of Jesse Benge on drums, Steven Amernick on guitar, Cameron Consuegra on vocals and Tanner Latta on bass.
Their genre background is varied. Benge’s roots are more hardcore, while Amernick comes from hip-hop and rap, and previously recorded solo tracks.
“We've always been about making music that we want to make, regardless of trying to conform to a sound or something,” Benge said.
Amernick’s love for hip-hop was how he came across I.D. Labs, where idols like Mac Miller recorded.
Miller’s death in September 2018 was one of the things that motivated him to take the leap and reach out to the studio to book recording time.
Sam Conturo produced the single at I.D. Labs.
“He was very helpful when it came to pretty much everything,” Amernick said.
Not just a studio band, Water Taxi plays a lot of live shows. They’ve played bigger Maryland venues like Baltimore Soundstage and their fair share of house parties where they feel connected to the local music scene.
One of their most frequent house show venues is the basement at Amernick’s grandfather’s house, which has become a gathering place for a bunch of Carroll County musicians.
“When we first started, it was really hard to find people that would want to book us for shows. So we started to throw our own in my basement. We’ve made a bunch of friends a doing that, and now we don't necessarily need to do that anymore,” he said.
“There's so many bands that are putting out music that live withing15 or 20 minutes of each other,” Consuegra said. “Everyone is like kind of putting themselves out there. And we're really happy to be a part of it.”
“I do love the music scene. I feel like it's a lot bigger than people expect,” Benge said.
“Closely” is part of a planned album, release date to be determined.
“We’re taking our time,” Amernick said.
Water Taxi’s music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and Bandcamp. The band is active on Instagram at @watertaxiband.