We're stoked to announce that we will be playing this year's Big River Get Down in Hamilton, OH alongside The Revivalists, The Record Company, Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band, Marcus King Band, Smooth Hound Smith, and Naughty Professor!
On September 9th, us and our good friends Brave Baby will take over the Music Farm Columbia. Get yer tickets in advance to save some dough.
WASHINGTON, DC - it is with our great pleasure to announce that we will be headlining the 9:30 Clu on June 16th! We cannot thank you enough for your overwhelming, constant support that keeps bringing us back to bigger and bigger venues. In the span of 3 years you have watched us grow from playing in the basement of a barbecue restaurant, outside the National's stadium, The Bayou, Gypsy Sally's, Patrick's Parent's basement, The Hamilton, and now to one of the most legendary venues in the country!
Tickets go on sale THIS FRIDAY MARCH 25! Let's do this DC!!
Whoop whoop. That's the sound of the poliiiice. We've been pulled over roughly every other day in Germany. As much as we want to believe that it's due to our enormous street cred or overall badass demeanor, it's because our van is riding low due to the equipment in the back. Now, there's a million things running through our minds. None about us getting into any trouble, but instead what joke or prank can we pull off in this rather serious moment. I'm a firm believer that the Big man upstairs has an incredible sense of humor, but I can't get the image of God himself watching us in his heavenly Lazy Boy, White Russian in his left hand and in his right a big ass lighting bolt with Atlas Road Crew etched on the side. I swear we are one perfectly timed joke away from securing our tickets into the pearly gates or being struck down right where we stand.
Speaking of heaven, I've always imagined that everyone has their own version of heaven when they leave this Earth. Like a personalized summer camp. The geographic makeup, the people and weather is all personalized to the individual. Maybe for you it's a beach, or the countryside but for me the mountains have always had a mysterious aura about them. I'm saying this because I just got my first glimpse of the Alps. I think back in high school, It was Switzerland's "leave me out of it" mentality that I related to, leading to my curiosity about this specific mountain range but who knows, who cares even. Here's the good stuff. We're crossing over a bridge into Austria, below us is a river. Icy blue and about 100 yards wide, winding across the land as far as you can see The terrain around it looks like Pennsylvania on 81. Rolling hills of lush green grass. There's a small Austrian village to the left. All the buildings are cream colored with burnt orange roof tiles. And off to the horizon are the Alps. They're similar to the Rockies. Sharp, jagged snow-capped peaks and the perfect blend of sun and clouds makes every color a little bit sharper. It's a beautiful sight. Now did I have some great epiphany or emotional awakening after seeing these majestic mountains for the first time? Maybe, who knows, who cares? I'm with my best friends driving through the alps. Someone make me a White Russian.
We've been asking each other recently where's the youth around here? Our crowds have been primarily made up of older people. Most of whom will mention that they have kids our age who are into the DJ scene. Which is understandable. Currently we are all in a phase of "entering the beat lab". Using our computers to replicate the music that has been swarming our generation the past couple years. A random giggle notifies the rest of that something juicy is brewing in those headphones. Back home in the states we have a primarily college aged fan base. Although we do bridge the generational gap well through our music and our parents spreading the word throughout their friends and colleagues, the first rows at the stage are always the same. Twenty somethings grappling with the idea of adulthood, sharing the same age-related issues of "what do I do now?" or "they're getting married?!" They understand us and we understand them. But here we are in Slovakia, playing for members of a generation that grew up during the Cold War, we don't have that common ground to share. Different ages, different problems, different cultures. I'm no historian but I don't think Uncle Sam was welcomed at the dinner table all too much around these lands. Yet the five of us for 90 minutes a night have connected with people regardless of age, race, class religious or political views, and in a world full of "conquer and divide" I'm very proud to be apart of that. We're not politicians or religious crusaders. Were barely musicians, but we're first hand seeing the generational and cultural gap get smaller and smaller with every show. Granted the scale of this bridge is microscopic but it's still a bridge. And that's just as beautiful as dem mountains. But for now, DJ Drohan is giggling like a tickle me Elmo, world peace will have to wait for a moment.
What the f*ck is happening right now... These 7 words have quickly become the most frequently spoken phrase of the trip. With of course the exception of asking our no bullshit taking, death metal blaring tour manager heavy d if he likes fish sticks. Which he finds funny roughly 5% of the time. I'm not sure what he finds more annoying, the question or the contagious giggling from the peanut gallery that follows. Actually I take that back... "Where's Bryce?" Is still crushing it at the number one spot but that mark is set so absurdly high that even "is there any more wine?" doesn't stand a chance. Your boy is safe Mrs. James I promise!!!
Leading up to this European adventure, the five of us would frequently spend time in the van pondering or better yet, fantasizing what we were getting ourselves into. Of course our imaginations would run rampant with the images of gorgeous blonde bartenders, identical to that little smoke show on every bottle of St. Paulis beer. Or the locals taking us in as their own, teaching us their drinking songs as we sling back cold frothy beers in an elegantly painted, over sized stein. But we kept our expectations subdued and realistic. Warnings of; the French are snobs, the Germans are tough to crack, helped remind us that we're going to be a long way away from our bourbon soaked frat ragers we've become all too familiar with. Fortunately for us the reality has been much much better.
Yes, the Germans are very stoic. There's not much dancing. None to be exact. But for that 5-10 second window between songs you would think we're plum in the heart of Oktoberfest. They clap and whistle with such power and unison it's a little intimidating at first. Walking off for a set break you wonder if they're on the verge of starting a riot. Seriously, what the f*ck is happening right now?! Autographs, pictures, the merchandise is flying. Not a single seat has been empty so far. The hospitality has been nothing short of amazing. Every meal is better than the last, paired with what seems to be a never ending bottle of red. I don't think our standard request of a couple pizzas and a case of Miller lite is going to cut it in the states anymore. Sorry frat Bros, our palates have grown to Olive Garden and espresso. And don't forget the sparkling water.
On average we get one chance a week to go out. And being in the club environment every night is like taking a golden retriever to tennis camp, but keeping him leashed up as the drool builds from watching hundred and tennis ball fly through air. Well, Thursday night outside of Hamburg was our night off the leash. At dinner, the group of elderly women across the room were drinking and singing, celebrating a couple of their birthdays. We wave and laugh with them, but when those frauleins started zinging French fries at us, we knew something was about to happen.
It was a very small pub that we played in, but again every seat was filled. Surprisingly we had 5 people come from the previous nights show for round 2. There was a young couple with whom we had mutual friends with in college, and then of course the golden girls showed up. Locals rounded out the audience. After the show our old high school buddy jägermeister took center stage. We took shots with everyone. One being the daughter of the promoter, a hairstylist who could easily be the triplet of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Who promised us that she would give Dave a haircut when we got back to the apartment. Never happened. Another being a very large German guy who showed us his iPhone recordings of The Wind Cries Mary, and his Johnny Cash sounding original, It's Raining in Georgia. It's getting late and the bar is closing, so we set off to find a place for a night cap. The only place left open is Interpol, or Metropol... Something like that. It reminded me of that one bar in every neighborhood. The one where you never see people walk in or out of, but the glowing neon sign lets you know that someone's paying the power bill. So, we file in. The five of us, Justin-Miley and German Johnny Cash proceed to take shots followed by more beer and more shots until the regulars and the bar tender, donned in a track suit and Chicago Bulls SnapBack, ask us to tone it down. We have an early wake up call and drive so we decide to start the trek, apparently forgetting that we're in Germany and don't have wifi or data. But who cares! We're in Germany, with a strong buzz. We're singing in the streets and laughing only pausing to practice our hardcore parkour. Just as Bryce is leaping over a bike rack, performing his signature gnar gnar narcolepsy grab the entire block lights up. A German squad car has been following us the entire walk home and they blast us with their spotlights. We thought for sure we were heading downtown or atleast be questioned, but luckily all they did was stalk us for the rest of the walk home lighting up the path. Sorry officer were just 5 guys practicing karate and singing 'fat bottomed girls', what's the problem with that?
And on that note, the sun has popped out for the first time this week. And before you can say schnitzel our shirts are off. I'm almost positive I just heard big bad D bone utter... What the f*ck is happening right now
Writing this while cruising through the rolling hills of central Germany on our way from Bautzen to Krefeld. The landscape looks similar to that of South West Virginia - with grey, cloudy skies up above. We have been having a fantastic time here so far. Much to our surprise, the crowds have been way bigger than we expected! The first night in Arras, France - we played a tiny club ‘Blue Devils' in the heart of the city. The owner cooked us chicken with fries complete with French/Belgian beer. The next night - Rouen, France - we had some time before the show to look around and explore. We walked to the church where Joan of Arc was burned - which now has a tacky ferris wheel towering over it. The crowd of 100 people that night were all singing along to our songs, dancing, and almost every single person in the place asked for our autographs. Was definitely a shock.
Afterwards, the promoter pretty much force-fed us his homemade apple moonshine and we killed the whole bottle. He starts blaring ACDC over the bar’s speakers and proceeds to start pouring more whiskey down our throats. Taylor and Max are air-guitaring, Bryce is behind the bar, Dave’s shirtless, and I’m arm and arm with this promoter screaming at the top of our lungs….at this point, our 9am departure the next morning has completely left our brains. We end up going out in what turned out to be just a blur of a night complete with thick French accents, broken english, singing, dancing, and more whiskey. The people in Rouen we so kind.
The nine hour drive the next morning was pretty rough to say the least. Thank god for Heavy D (our tour manager). We made our way to Enschede, Holland where we were booked to play a really cool, family-owned blues club that had been there for over 50 years. The family was awesome - they had two daughters around our age who ran the bar, the dad owned all these badass vintage amps and guitars, and the mom cooked us a dinner fit for a king. The crowd seemed to really dig it.
The next morning consisted of a seven hour drive to Bautzen, Germany. This place is legit the most eastern city in the whole country. We were practically in Poland. We got to the club and the owner informed us that he had already sold 125 tickets to the show that night...We were so confused as to how these people even found out about us this far from South Carolina. The show was killer! The people were so friendly and seemed to really be into our music.
After the show - Max, Bryce, and I went out to find a couple drinks. Our hotel was about a 15 minute walk from the center of town - about halfway through the walk the f*ckin skies open up and it starts dumping rain on us. It’s probably 35 degrees out and we just start sprinting through the cobblestone streets and slick sidewalks to try and find anywhere open that will take us in. Rounding a corner- Max spots out a beacon of hope - a tiny black sign “BAR” in the distance…we sprint up to the door and rip it open. Inside, there are 3 German dudes sitting in the back corner smoking cigs who looked up and just stared at us three shivering wet dogs as if we had just landed from Mars or something. Not speaking a lick of German - naturally we fit right in. We started speaking broken English with them, they found out we were in a rock band from America, and they started playing our tunes and dug them. The bartender unveiled a piano next to the edge of the bar, pulled down some children’s guitar from atop the liquor shelves, and we started jamming. They called two of their girlfriends to come down and there we were - drinking, dancing, & jamming out on a freezing cold, raining Saturday in former Soviet Union Eastern Germany without a common language between any of us except for music. The bartender used us as his Guinea Pigs for his new concoctions like these Whiskey Sours floating on top of a Manhattan, Dark & Stormies with his own ginger beer...hell we were there until about 4:30 in the morning just singing songs and drinking with these guys.
We’ve definitely been having an experience better than any of us could’ve imagined so far. It has been exhausting, but the hospitality and the welcoming nature of these people in the cities we have been to has been amazing. The tour goes on!
Man, we cannot thank all of y'all enough for coming out strong to support us this past weekend in New York City & Washington, DC! These were some of the best shows we've ever played as a band and it was so good to see all of you. We had a blast touring with our good friends People's Blues of Richmond and are lookin' forward to this upcoming weekend in Harrisonburg, VA Beach, & Richmond.
When we started writing and working on the album 'Halfway to Hopkins' during the summer / fall of 2014 we never dreamed that it would take us to Europe, and all over the U.S. Seeing our fans sing our lyrics over 1000 miles away from home is still such a humbling experience. We want to give a huge thank you to a reporter who got on board with us from the beginning and continues to come out to our shows every time we're near him! Vincent Harris - you are the man and thank you for naming our album "Best Regional Album of 2015"!!