|Photo by: southeastengine.com|
The combination of guitarist/vocalist Adam Remnant, his brother Jesse on bass, drummer Leo DeLuca and keyboardist Billy Matheny has produced one of the folk rock powerhouses of the Athens area. Formed in Dayton in the late '90s, they earned their break in 2006, when they were discovered by The Wrens and signed to Misra Records.
The regional bent of their lyrics came to the forefront with the release of last year's Canary, a concept album that revolves around the life of a mountain-dwelling family struggling through the Great Depression.
"I felt like it was history to learn from, [it's] still relevant to life today in this area and in other areas throughout the country," said Adam Remnant, the main songwriter of the group. "A lot of the same issues with coal mining and previous uses of natural resources in the region, they're analogous to the fracking issue today."
All of the members have accomplished musical lives outside of the group, with the Remnants and Matheny leading solo careers, and DeLuca managing Misra Records. Remnant believes that the group's song creation process is helped along by having two other members with writing experience.
"They understand what it's like to be a songwriter and trying to see your song come to life with a band, so they bring a lot of understanding of arrangement to the table," said Remnant.
The group has formidable instrumental talent as well and are able to fill out its sound with keyboards and a banjo. However, Remnant doesn't think that this makes a considerable difference in the band's songwriting.
"As far as songwriting goes, that usually just comes down to the guitar or the piano," he said.
The band recently finished recording its Canaanville EP, consisting of four songs in the vein of Canary, but not fitting with the album's tight concept. Its July release will coincide with the premiere of a music video for the first track, "Old Oak Tree."
"Some of [the songs] I hadn't finished writing before we made Canary, but there's [sic] ideas there I wanted to feed through," said Remnant.
So, come give Southeast Engine a hero's welcome back from the band's rigorous SXSW tour, and head to Donkey on Friday. The show opens its doors at 8 p.m.
Jackie O's will fill the need for good, progressive rock on Saturday night with three Athens bands that bring back a pure form of rock 'n' roll.
Casa Cantina's New Grass show highlights two bluegrass groups this Saturday night.
Master of the keytar will bring the music, but not the cheese, to the Smiling Skull Saloon this Friday night.
Come party like the Fresh Prince at Jackie O's this Friday night.
Get ready for an a cappella revolution of all your favorite songs at the Donkey this Friday.
The Smiling Skull will host an electric mix of folk and experimental rock on Thursday night.
Nashville's Useless Eaters take the stage at The Union for a Monday night show.
The Regrettes will bring a little bit of nostalgia to Casa Cantina tonight.
Hurl and The Spins and Lost on Iddings will blend rock, country and jazz this Saturday at Jackie O's.
Be honest... when was the last time you saw anything reggae-related amongst the sea of folkies in Athens? Come see the Cincinnati roots phenomenon that doesn't take itself too seriously.