James Taugher, Balto
155 Fell St
San Francisco, CA, 94102
This event is all ages
A few years ago, Johnny Solomon was a fixture in the tight knit Twin Cities music scene, forming the angular indie pop band Friends Like These and touring extensively, receiving critical praise from far-flung sources that looked like the beginning of a promising career. The rising success masked his struggle with addiction and mental health problems and quickly eclipsed his career, landing him in jail and treatment facilities across the country. By the end of that whirlwind, he retreated to a small town across the border in Wisconsin where he assumed his music days were over.
However, when he moved out of the city, his demons followed him and he spent his nights writing and recording what he thought would be his eulogy: songs about lost love and lost chances, He recruited some friends to come out and put it all to tape. Calling his new band Communist Daughter, they released their debut album Soundtrack to the End in 2010. As they gained national attention, Johnny once again had to put it all on hold and checked himself in to rehab.
In 2012, Communist Daughter returned with a clear-eyed John, his now-wife Molly Solomon, bassist Adam Switlick, Steven Yasgar on drums, Al Weirs on guitar and Dillon Marchus on keys. They released an EP, Lions & Lambs, and began touring the country again and gaining national attention.
By 2014, they had entered the studio to spend the next two years crafting their sophomore release. Working with producer Kevin Bowe (Replacements, Meat Puppets), they recorded in and out of studios trying to capture the deeply personal songs in a much more deliberate style. Going from studio to bedroom to studio again, they created an album with 11 songs running the gambit from high peaks to dark lows. They took the finished tracks to Nashville where Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Benjamin Booker) put the final mix together, and had Heba Kadry (Future Islands, And You Will Know Us…) master the final product in NYC.
"Soothing on a surface level, like latter-day Yo La Tengo covering a gentle folk song … ’Balboa Bridge’ will be therapeutic for someone else out there struggling.” --Stereogum
James Taugher, formerly Spendthrift, is going back to his soul roots and exploring what established his love affair with music in the first place. A singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Taugher performs around the Bay Area of California and has garnered eclectic comparisons to Bon Iver, Van Morrison, Allen Stone and Wilson Pickett. Taugher’s charming onstage presence and soulful songwriting has thrilled audiences up and down the West Coast and even in some European countries. His sound blends motown and soul with modern elements, evoking a sound from mid- to late-'60s soul and modern RnB. Taugher has also performed alongside acts such as Third Eye Blind, California Honeydrops and Ty Segall. James Taugher’s first single, My Little Lady, drops August 5th and will also appear on his upcoming debut album, expected for release on October 14th.
Portland's Balto plays unbridled American Rock and Roll - steeped in both the mythology of the great folk storytellers and the legendary Motown groovers. Biting cynicism, instant classics, rip-your-heart-out live energy, a willingness to swagger, shred hard, and live behind the beat. After a busy 2015 that saw several festival appearances, an Alaska tour, and the release of a 7" Vinyl, Balto has put the finishing touches on its next full length LP. Recorded over a two week period in rural Oregon, the album is a mind-bending coming of age for the band, from pensive, anxious minimalism to boozy, swaying grooves. Look for it in late 2016.