Exebelle, Chris Rattie & The New Rebels, Moosetrap


Taking inspiration from Virginia's folk tradition as well as the rural country-rock of Ryan Adams, the Band, and Neil Young, songwriters Philip Heesen and C.E. Wright formed Exebelle & the Rusted Cavalcade in September 2007. Kerry Hutcherson joined the duo soon after, having previously cut his teeth with the local group Copper Sails, while bassist Ryan Owenby enlisted after the disintegration of his own Richmond-based band, Motion Picture Demise. The lineup remained intact for the local release of The Skeletor Sessions in 2008; shortly thereafter, though, Wright returned to his native Utah. With their original frontman gone, the remaining members began incorporating thick harmonies and varied instrumentation into their previously stripped-down music. The Antipoison Creek Sessions displayed the new sound in 2009, with each member contributing lead vocals to at least one of the EP's four tracks, and the countrified C.A.F. followed a few months later. Exebelle wrapped up the year by putting the finishing touches on Vivement l'Automne!, which appeared in early 2010. That same year, Virginia native Ben Willson joined the group on piano and vocals, making his Exebelle [record] debut on 2011's "V". - Andrew Leahey, AllMusicGuide

Having gone without drums for quite some time, the band gained the aid of Mike Tremble for a short while in 2011 -- who had performed previously drummed with the band, some years before -- but then were back to square one when nature called Mike to LA. In 2012, with Philip's newly-acquired position in the popular Richmond band "Long Arms", he and their drummer Greg Butler became fast friends, leading Greg to graciously agree, along with Willson's friend and former bandmate Steve Chiles filling Owenby's spot on bass, to join the ranks of the Cavalcade in their quest toward a rowdier, more rewarding destiny. In 2014, Butler moved on and Exebelle welcomed drummer Kevin Willoughby into the fold.
Amidst a plethora of local shows that only keep growing in number and size, the quintet is also wrapping up its debut full-length (twice that, actually, as it is a double-album) in the studio and -- after what will have been a three-year process -- plans to have it out by the end of 2014.

Chris Rattie & The New Rebels

Chris Rattie blends country’s aching ethos with a keen eye for the future. He rises out of the muck and mire to be one of today’s most riveting, astute storytellers. The singer, songwriter and musician wraps his Steve Earle-wrinkled voice around tales of self-realization and wonder on his latest album. Porch (released Sept. 15) is steeped in frothy Americana, burnt around the edges with electric guitar and honest, godforsaken songwriting. “I’ve been out all night long singing these heartbroke songs. Ain’t nobody listening,” he sings on “A Little Shot Glass from Spain.” Later, he pontificates “Country Boy” tropes, fed with a provocative spoken word intro. “Country boy drives a big red truck. Loves rolling coal, it makes him feel real tough. Rebel flag stuck on the back,” he wails over smokey guitar lines and a honky-tonk rumble.
Porch is as much a masterful creative accomplishment as it is a raw recollection of his tireless journey to get there, the culmination of years of blood, sweat and tears. A native to central Pennsylvania, he cut his teeth as drummer for Vince Welnick of The Tubes and The Grateful Dead, drummer and prominent songwriter in The Rustlanders (whose second album was helmed by producer Don Was and recorded in L.A.’s East West Studios), and vocals/drums/guitar in rock band Marah. The experiences wrought invaluable wisdom, bestowing upon him the exact skills he needed to write, record and play the album he was always destined to make. Through nine coarsely-delivered, poignant tracks, Rattie defies convention and situates himself as transcendent.


Moosetrap is looking to debut their cardinal EP entitled "Disco Lovers" later this summer. "Disco Lovers" blends the sounds of current Americana artists with that of influential rock artists of the 1960's to create an original Alt-Country sound filled with swooping reverb drenched guitar lines, acoustic rhythms, soaring three-part vocal harmonies and the patented "Dave Pruitt Machine" behind the kit. Produced by multi-instrumentalist JD Foster (Marc Ribot, Dwight Yoakam, Calexico) and mixed/mastered by Adrian Olsen of Montrose Studios and the group Avers, Moosetrap hopes to play a concert hall, county fair, or aging theater near you.

Although officially forming in 2013 in King William VA, the original four members of Moosetrap have been playing music around the Richmond area for the past 8 years in a combination of iterations ranging from Central Garage, The Lost Vagabonds and The Kaine Brothers. After much deliberation the band has worked to reemerge as Moosetrap, an Americana, Alternative Country, Folk Rock group that blends such musical elements as vocal harmonies found prominently in the Appalachians as well as guitar lines you may encounter at an Allman Brothers concert. Once the group had agreed upon the musical direction, they recruited David Pruitt to take over drumming duties, and have been working together since. With the new EP on the horizon, the band is hopeful to perform in your town soon. Make sure to be on the lookout for "Disco Lovers."

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