Southern Power Pop Lives on Bar/None Records

16 Apr

holsapple

I first heard of the dB’s (led by Stamey & Holsapple) back when I was in college at WUVT Radio — and that has been a while back! The band came out of North Carolina and were masters of the genre that became known as “Power Pop.” Jangly guitars, crunchy chords, high octane arrangements, catchy melodies – I think you know the drill. Flash forward 30 years or so and the boys are still at it. The have mellowed a bit, but these guys have retained their knack for composing and performing some highly enjoyable music. We especially enjoyed the single “Early in the Morning” and the track called “Santa Monica.” If you fondly remember The dB’s “(I Thought) You Wanted to Know” or Stamey’s timeless “The Summer Sun,” pick up on this CD — and fast! You will surely dig it.

“hERE aND nOw” is the first new collaboration in almost two decades by Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, the acclaimed songwriters of the dB’s. Scheduled for release June 9 on Bar/None Records, it features Branford Marsalis on two tracks: the single “Early in the Morning” and Peter’s ode to New Orleans, “Begin Again.” Drum aces Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Son Volt, Bob Mould, the Mountain Goats), Logan Matheny (Roman Candle, The Rosebuds), and percussionist Gary Greene (Hootie and the Blowfish, Big Head Todd and the Monsters) bring power to tracks such as “Some of the Parts” and “Widescreen World”, and the dB’s’ rhythm section Gene Holder and Will Rigby join in on the atmospheric “Santa Monica.” The acoustic side of the duo, reminiscent of their 1992 RNA album “Mavericks,” comes to the fore on tracks such as “Long Time Coming,” one of several that feature Greg Readling (Chatham County Line, Tift Merritt) on pedal steel. The lead track, “My Friend the Sun,” is a cover of a classic from the legendary British prog-pop band Family.

Peter and Chris grew up together in Winston-Salem, NC, and started playing music together in middle school—and have really never stopped. Through countless bands along the way—including Rittenhouse Square, Little Diesel, Sneakers, the H-Bombs, the dB’s, Continental Drifters, the Golden Palominos—and recording sessions and sideman stints with the likes of R.E.M., Bob Mould and Hootie and the Blowfish, the two have maintained a deep musical connection. They both are proficient at most string and keyboard instruments, and neither is much good at winds! Having relocated to Durham, NC, from New Orleans in 2006, Peter is constantly evident in international musical situations while Chris produces many records each year at Modern Recording, his home base in Chapel Hill, NC, where this record was made. www.holsapplestamey.com

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