9:30 Club presents at U Street Music Hall: The Stomping Ground Tour - Early Show
Ivan & Alyosha
1115 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
Raised in Possum Kingdom, South Carolina, brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart developed an early enthusiasm for music, learning piano from their mom and moving on to guitar in their teens. As they grew older, the brothers walked different paths – Bear pursued college football, earning several all-time Furman University records and winning the 2002 Banks McFadden trophy, while Bo studied architecture at Clemson (though he too excelled on the gridiron, appearing in a supporting role in the 2003 football drama, Radio).
Despite their respective successes, the Rineharts still dreamt of making music. Bear formed a band during his college years playing coffee houses and later with Bo and Seth Bolt, a childhood friend they became the group known as NEEDTOBREATHE. The band’s expressive songwriting and aggressive regional touring saw an ardent fan base grow in the South East in ever-increasing numbers.
Upon signing to Atlantic in 2005, NEEDTOBREATHE headed to the UK to record their debut album, “DAYLIGHT”, with British Producer Andy Green, which released April 2006.
2007 saw the release of their second album, “THE HEAT”, co-produced by the band with Rick Beato and Collective Soul’s Ed Roland. Where DAYLIGHT was marked by its cerebral, often opaque lyrics, THE HEAT saw NEEDTOBREATHE investing in its music with a truer sense of honesty and real circumstance.
2009 brought “THE OUTSIDERS”, debuting at No. 9 on Billboard’s Rock Albums Charts and scoring a Top 20 slot in Billboard’s Top 200 album. This third album co-produced by the band with Rick Beato, Jim Scott and John Alagia, revealed a greater insight into their feeling of not belonging. Bo Rinehart said “We come from a really small town called Possum Kingdom in South Carolina, and there is not really a music scene there. So we felt a bit out of place when we got signed to a major record deal and we showed up at the offices and there were posters of Led Zeppelin, when that happened we felt like, we’re definitely “country come to town.” And so it took us a little bit of time to really find our place and figure out who we were, and at this point we’ve really come to terms with it and we’ve really embraced it. We’re proud of it, and I think our fans find a lot of similarities in that (story). It’s really become something we wear on our chest now – we’re proud of it. We’re the outsiders.”
Relentless touring continued through 2009 and 2010, including their first tour of Europe. With sold out shows at Chicago’s House of Blues, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and many more, they cemented their reputation as a “must-see” live act.
When the Rinehart brothers set out to write the songs that appear on their fourth album “THE RECKONING”, they felt something bigger awaited them. Bear explains “There was always this creeping reminder that we needed to show what the last ten years on the road had taught us. If we couldn’t do that, everything we had worked for was meaningless.”
Rick Beato joined them in their home studio, now located in Charleston, SC to co-produce over the next seven months. “We never settled. We were looking for a spark. Sometimes in the studio you’ve got to keep searching until something happens that feels magical. We were waiting for that moment to strike on each song before we called this album finished.” Lyrically, all roads lead from the album’s title, which Bear says has several different meanings, one of them being the justification of accounts. “I like the idea that you put in all this work and at some point it comes to a peak -- that’s the reckoning time.”
THE RECKONING debuted September 2011 at No. 6 on Billboard’s Album Charts and No. 1 on iTunes Rock Charts. Headline tours throughout 2012 and 2013 took The Reckoning across North America and the UK, playing iconic festivals such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and the UK’s Hard Rock Calling.
NEEDTOBREATHE are once again back in the studio working on their fifth album, as yet unnamed, slated for a Winter 2013/2014 release date.
Ivan & Alyosha
All the Times We Had, Ivan & Alyosha's first full-length album, encapsulates the personalized blend of rousing songcraft, infectious melodic hooks and thoughtful lyrical introspection that's already endeared the band to just about anyone who's witnessed one of their effortlessly uplifting live shows, or who's heard either of their two prior indie EP releases.
The Seattle combo—which borrows its name from a pair of characters from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov—delivers its songs of struggle, perseverance and spirituality with a resilient, upbeat attitude that's reflected in their bubbly brew of stirringly strummed folk-rock guitars, surging instrumental interaction and a bright, buoyant blend of voices that reflects the band members' family-style camaraderie, evoking a timeless pop ideal that's as affecting emotionally as it is pleasing to the ear.
The intrepid ensemble—comprised of core members Tim Wilson (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Ryan Carbary (guitars, piano and vocals), Tim Kim (electric guitar and vocals) and Tim's brother Pete Wilson (bass and vocals), plus a revolving assortment of friends and collaborators on keyboards, drums and other instruments—has spent much of the past two years on the road, traveling the highways and back roads of America, often with wives and children in tow, building a loyal fan base with their joyous, high-energy live performances.
Ivan & Alyosha's prior releases and live shows have won the band copious critical acclaim. They've also done successful stints opening for the likes of Aimee Mann, Brandi Carlile, the Low Anthem, Rosie Thomas and John Vanderslice. Since early in its existence, the group has been embraced enthusiastically by alternative radio, performing multiple on-air sessions for NPR as well as receiving notable support from such key stations as KCRW, KEXP, WFUV and WNYC.
The same qualities that originally won Ivan & Alyosha media attention and a devoted grass-roots audience are apparent on All the Times We Had, which the band co-produced in collaboration with keyboardist/engineer Chad Copelin, and mixed by Jesse Lauter (The Low Anthem). The 11-song album effortlessly captures the warmth and immediacy of Ivan & Alyosha's live performances, lending added resonance to such lyrically compelling, melodically arresting tunes as "Be Your Man," "Running for Cover," "Don't Wanna Die Anymore," "The Fold" and the album's' bittersweetly reflective title track, which features guest vocals by the band's frequent touring partner and longstanding admirer Aimee Mann.
"We didn't get it perfect, but I definitely think we got it right," Tim Wilson says of the new album. "We really worked hard to get a live vibe, and to capture that inspiration that we get when we're on the road, when everybody's together and feeding off of each other. You can nit-pick and edit everything until it sounds perfect, but we were more concerned with just getting the best performances we could. I think that it's more mature and more focused, and closer to what we do live, than the records that we'd done before. We definitely had moments in the studio where it like, 'Oh, wow, this is special.'"
Ivan & Alyosha formed in 2007, when Tim Wilson met Ryan Carbary. Both had been in various Seattle-area combos, but the songs that Wilson was writing at the time seemed to call out for a new musical approach. The pair spent nearly a year writing material for their debut EP, The Verse, The Chorus. Released in March 2009, the EP generated an unexpected level of national exposure, with the charming tune "Easy to Love" (reprised on All the Times We Had) receiving considerable airplay. The debut EP won the band an interview on NPR's All Things Considered and coverage in NPR's All Songs Considered SXSW 2010 preview. A subsequent appearance at the SXSW festival generated considerable music-industry word-of-mouth.
By the time Ivan & Alyosha recorded its second EP, Fathers Be Kind, in February 2011, the group had expanded to include Tim Wilson's bass-playing brother Pete, whose songwriting abilities contributed considerably to the band's creative arsenal, and Tim's high school friend Tim Kim, whose distinctive guitar work added a new dimension to their sound. Fathers Be Kind's majestically jangly title track became a favorite of fans, critics and DJs, and reappears in a newly recorded version on All the Times We Had.
"When we recorded The Verse, the Chorus, we'd never really played live as a band," Tim Wilson notes. "By the time we did the Fathers Be Kind EP, my brother Pete and Tim Kim had come on board, and we had done a west coast tour or two, and some dates on the east coast, but we were still figuring out how to play together. After Fathers Be Kind came out, we went out and spent year and a half touring, and became a real band. I think that's reflected on the new album."
Indeed, All the Times We Had demonstrates the positive effects of the band's extensive roadwork, underlining just how far Ivan & Alyosha has progressed since its humble origins.
"I think that we all feel pretty strongly that this is what we're supposed to be doing, playing music, trying to write good, timeless songs, and trying to connect with people," Wilson states. "I think that we have a pretty deep sense of purpose, that this is not just some accident. I guess that the essence of faith is having felt or experienced something that maybe you can't hold in your hand, and I think that's how I'd describe my attitude towards music. And it's OK if it's hard, because anything in life that's worth doing is hard.
"I'm guilty as guilty as anyone, of wanting certain things or wanting to be in a certain place right now," he concludes. "But we're building something, and building something takes time. I'm learning to enjoy the journey, and I think we all are."
$1.00 per ticket will go to Palmetto Medical Initiative, which exists to provide sustainable, quality healthcare to those in need while increasing accessibility to global medical missions.
U Street Music Hall
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