White Shell Road, Jason Heath and The Greedy Souls, Treehouse Sanctum
3131 Walnut St.
Denver, CO, 80205
This event is 21 and over
Opening musical act for Etta James, Bo Diddley, Ani DiFranco, Michael Franti, Leon Russell, and G. Love and Special Sauce. Telluride Blues Festival for years 2001 through 2008 with other musical guests such as James Brown, Jonny Lang, John Mayer, Otis Taylor and Buddy Miles.
The son of Greek-American restaurateurs, Alex Maryol grew up in Santa Fe New Mexico surrounded by a lively artistic and cultural landscape. Raised on the music of Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley, he began songwriting during his teenage years while performing at smoky bars and coffee shops in downtown Santa Fe. While primarily influenced by blues greats such as Lightning Hopkins and Buddy Guy during these years, Alex maintained a love for all musical genres from classical to grunge.
In his early twenties Alex gained notoriety by performing as a blues act at festival favorites such as the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival and the King Biscuit Blues Festival. These years of working in the blues laid a solid foundation for him to expand his ideas in other fields of music.
White Shell Road
One rainy night in late 2012 The Cardinal Grey's Chris Newton, Steve Bradfield and local musician/law prof Eric Franklin discussed the ridiculous idea of forming Denver's first, only and probably last Golden Smog tribute band in the effort to perform the Smog's 1995 record "Down by The Old Mainstream" from beginning to end and well just to "have a good time" Next thing you know local heros Ryan Dudas, Ryan Johnson and Paul Bennett from Denver's tour de force Bear Antler joined onto the project after many beers and coaxing and thus the group was born.......
So what does this mean for me you might ask? Well, you all have been cordially invited to watch them stumble through two shows full of midwestern themed rock and roll before one of them moves to Las Vegas to become an adult, here are those details:
Friday, May 31st at the Walnut Room (w/ special guests)
Saturday, June 15th at Hi Dive (opening for Idlewhile)
Happy 2013 and let's have some fun
White Shell Road
Jason Heath and The Greedy Souls
In an era of hype, trend mongering and style without substance comes a band that stands for craft and integrity. Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls look for hope and life affirmation in that heart of darkness throughout their second album, Packed for Exile, released independently on Still Small Recordings.
Firmly entrenched in organically American music, the band mines elements of rock, country and folk coupled with rich storytelling and the poking and prodding of emotional contexts both personal and worldly.
Packed for Exile follows Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls’ first release, The Vain Hope of Horse, which PASTE Magazine called “a wonderful debut: ragged, soulful and well-written." The compelling collection included guest appearances by Tom “The Nightwatchman” Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Wayne Kramer (MC5) and Wilco’s Nels Cline on lap steel. The songs resonated with strains of working class rock’n’roll and rustic punk, leaving Dave Marsh, legendary rock journalist and author, to comment, "Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls speak to the heartache and joy in the world, with the wisdom not to try to separate them, and the skill to make all of it beautiful."
“Actually, we didn’t set out to do a record,” Heath says. “I was working with other musicians and had a lot of songs that didn’t fit into that repertoire, so I recorded demos of me and just acoustic guitar, then added different members of the Greedy Souls, plus Nels, Tom and Wayne joining in. So while Vain Hope sort of became the record it wanted to be and just happened, for Exile, we’ve gone into it as an actual band album.”
The Greedy Souls include the core of Heath, Jason Federici (son of late E Street Band member Danny Federici) on accordion and organ, Ben Perdue on upright and electric bass, and Heath’s lifetime compadre Abe Etz on drums, as well as distinctive touches from guitarists Jonathan Chi and Aaron Gitnick, pianist Chris Joyner and fiddle player Ysanne Spevack.
The songs on Exile are fresh and original yet also echo with legacy. This is especially so on the album’s first single, and deceptively upbeat “California Wine,” which is filled with streaks of Golden State sunshine through its buoyant melody, but also brings with it wary skepticism.
“There’s a collective consciousness about the myth of California,” Heath says. “It’s the Wild West, the dream come true, the gold rush. There’s timelessness about the idea and it’s got weight now in the modern age. You see people come and go with dreams on their sleeves sometimes those dreams get smashed on the rocks.”
The elegiac “This Blind Heart,” comes off as sheer introspection, but there are layers to be found beneath the haunting melody and confessional lyrics. “It sounds on the surface as though it’s mostly about relationships,” Heath says. “But it could be about bigger things – fighting on instead of fighting with your existence, a progress of evolution for something better.”
The swelling waltz, “A Fighter’s Lullaby” is a definite standout, filled with resolve and comforting support. “As we were working on it, Jay’s dad was pretty ill with cancer and the song seemed to become about situations of that nature, traveling that wilderness of struggle and despair,” Heath notes.
The band kicks things up with stomping, blues-drenched saloon swagger of “Devil Ain’t Talkin’” and turns to more reflection with a chugging rhythm atop a musical whimsy in “Runnin’ Like a River.”
“It’s an interesting metaphor for things. In all the years of pop music, people haven’t really gone too wrong with the river metaphor,” Heath says. “I like the idea and it goes with the album’s exile theme. I can’t help but look at exile in old testament terms and the song has that imagery – Babylon, leaving slavery, Zion, leaving excess and running out of there, like a river, not knowing where you going to but you're heading out anyway.”
In the firelight warmth of “Ghost in My Home,” the exile theme continues on. “It’s about how you can often be in total exile, forced upon you or self imposed, and feel that while being in a close relationship with somebody,” Heath says. “You’re with them and you see each other everyday and yet, you feel transparent and alone.”
A Los Angeles area native, born in the city of Inglewood, Heath was raised all over Southern California. His interest in making music began to rise in 6th grade with long time friend, Abraham Etz.
“We decided to start a band before we could play. That was quite a long time ago,” Heath, says. “He chose drums, and I picked bass but got a six string before I got a bass. We were so bad we had to write our own songs; we'd practically kill ourselves trying to figure out a Ramones song.”
As the years went by, music became central to their life as Heath and Etz found themselves playing together in various outfits, including Spinewire, who recorded with Tom Morello and producer Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse).
The Greedy Souls began to come together in December 2006. “The series of songs I’d worked on at open mic’s and house parties around LA with a revolving group of troubadours sort of turned into that first album.”
Other recordings also include a version of Bruce Springsteen’s “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” in tribute to Jason Federici’s father who was such an essential part of the song. The Greedy Souls offer it free through the site Backstreets.com, staying true to the original spirit in an evocative re-telling of the New Jersey boardwalk story.
With the release of Packed for Exile, the band carries its vision forward through songs that paint pictures of lives in flux, meeting challenges sometimes unseen.
“It’s Americana in terms of being American country, folk, blues, punk and rock ‘n’ roll influenced,” he says. “We like to call it Post-Americana Acoustelectric, Agit-POP, Arena Folkountry Rawk…. It’s all working class music, with common themes – love, loss, redemption and the search for justice.”
For Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls, that search goes on, in a mission of music.
Treehouse Sanctum is a brand new band from Denver, CO. They are currently comprised of the lovely Danya Lynn & the barely adequate Sam Rymer. The rad duo's sound is a blend of vocal harmonies and acoustic progressions that are both complex and unique. The rise and fall of their melodies are accentuated by reflective lyrics derived from life; and the faith, humor, love and pain found within.
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