Last year at the end of January/beginning of February last year, Greenwich “Northern Rock” band Eastbound Jesus stormed into Red Square in Albany to record their debut live album over the course of a weekend – 40 songs in all over the course of the two nights.
Over the next several months, the band pared ’em down to 14 selections and pressed ’em up as Ruff Stuff ‘Nuff Said – a whoopin’ live album, unadorned, unsweetened and without any overdubs.
Last weekend’s PearlPalooza bash firmly established the one-day free street fest as a serious contender to LarkFest. With the huge crowds that jammed North Pearl Street, it was almost impossible to imagine that the WEXT-sponsored fest started just three short years ago with a couple hundred people in Albany’s downtown listening to Rusted Root on the Fourth of July weekend.
Two stages. Nine bands. One big party…
The stage at the corner of Pine Street hosted the Local 518 bands, and while it would have been better to mix the homegrown bands in with the national acts on both stages, the crowd at the local stage seemed just as enthusiastic as the one in front of the main stage.
From Titanics, who kicked off the stage at 1pm, to Eastbound Jesus, who closed up the stage with a rousing, hot-wired, rock’n’ roll hoedown, the bands were in top-notch form, proving that the Local 518 music scene has got a bunch of serious talent ready for bigger regional and national spotlights. And the crowds responded. Encores were demanded and granted; Wild Adriatic dipped into some Led Zeppelin. Stellar Young fans exhibited serious devotion to their fave band, waving giant cut-out heads of the bandmembers from the audience. And Eastbound Jesus once again had folks do-si-do-ing on the sidewalks and foot-stompin’ on the asphalt.
When the Felice Brothers ended their first song, “Honda Civic,” last Friday night at Jillian’s in Albany, someone from the crowd yelled out, “It’s too dark up there.” The stage indeed was darkly lit with a dim blue light, much darker than most any music show. Ian Felice, pausing briefly between songs, stepped to the mic spontaneously and said to the crowd, “It’s a dark world, man.”
NAME: Adam Brockway
BAND AFFILIATION: Eastbound Jesus
INSTRUMENT: singer/writer/acoustic guitarist
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first album I ever bought was probably Nirvana Unplugged in NY. I always loved the sound of Cobain’s gritty voice mixed with acoustic instruments. That album is the reason I started playing.
2011 was a breakthrough year for the Greenwich-based band Eastbound Jesus – including the release of their debut album, “Greatest Hits, Vol. 1,” in January and a high-profile win at the prestigious Saratoga Performing Arts Center Battle of the Bands back in May. And 2012 is shaping up as another great year, beginning with the upcoming release of their sophomore album, “Holy Smokes.”
Mixing up a contagious blend of Americana, bluegrass and a North Country spin on southern rock, Eastbound Jesus will be celebrating the release of “Holy Smokes” with a CD release party at Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs at 9pm on Friday. Joining in the celebration will be the Mallett Brothers Band from Portland, Maine.
Congrats go out to the Greenwich-based roots-rockin’ band Eastbound Jesus, who snagged top honors at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s second annual Battle of the Bands competition on Friday night.
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