Springing ahead

The 'mericans are comin' back 'round
By CHRIS CONTI  |  March 25, 2009

090327_Mericans_m
VISIONARY Daltry (second from left) and the 'mericans. 

When I asked Chris Daltry just where exactly his acclaimed quintet the 'mericans had been hiding out in '09, the founding father of the rootsy rockers, as well as the acclaimed mid-'90s indie outfit Purple Ivy Shadows, was quick to deflect to any insinuation that the Providence group had been slacking.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly say we've been hiding anywhere this year, but we have intentionally booked fewer shows so that we can focus on writing new material, and we'll begin recording the week of Easter," Daltry clarified while discussing the 'mericans show this weekend at AS220 supporting Maryland's Cotton Jones (in town behind their excellent new disc, Paranoid Cocoon). It will be the first appearance for the 'mericans since a January gig with Barn Burning and friends the Figgs (whose bassist Pete Donnelly worked the boards on 'Merican Recordings and 2007's Where All Dead Leaves Go). Daltry performed a string of solo acoustic shows down the East Coast to iron out some of the new material, including stops in Philly and his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Daltry's southern-fried roots shine across Where All Dead Leaves Go, warm with tremolo, hooks, and harmonies akin to retro gems from bands like Galaxie 500, who Purple Ivy Shadows covered on a 2004 tribute album, as well as Boston's Buffalo Tom, who will join the 'mericans, Thom Yorke, J Mascis, and others on an upcoming tribute to Miracle Legion's Mark Mulcahy. And look for the 'mericans to kick out a cover of the Purple Ivy classic "Pawtucket" (streaming now at myspace.com/themericans) on a string of Rhody dates, ranging from an opening slot for Route .44 at the Blackstone in early April, to providing the sounds for the next beer fest in May, to an unplugged gig at the South Side Community Plant Sale, to their first performance at the Block Island Music Festival in June — all of which speaks volumes to the band's accessible sound. And Daltry guarantees they'll debut material in the live setting, culminating in a new release by year's end.

"Our upcoming gigs are really varied, which is something that I've come to learn is important, trying different things that will not only put us in front of different audiences but also be fun for us, and I hope they keep coming," he said.

Daltry's open-door policy of notable friends joining the fray (e.g. Joel Thibodeau of Sub Pop's Death Vessel sang on the 'mericans' debut) has evolved into a five-piece unit, having culled the rhythm section of the Cold War, while lead guitarist Mike Moore remains the longest tenured 'merican.

"After over 11 years together, Purple Ivy Shadows had become dysfunctional because it somehow wound up being a complete democracy, one where it was almost impossible to agree on anything," Daltry said. "And the 'mericans can't follow that route because it's a band I created to satisfy my own musical vision. I've always kept the door open to friends who want to be a part of it for as long as they wish, as long as it remains fun and inspiring to them."

1  |  2  |   next >
  Topics: New England Music News , Thom Yorke, Bob Marley, RHYTHMAFIA,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CHRIS CONTI
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   TEXTURES AND TREASURES  |  July 23, 2014
    Two of Rhode Island's finest singer-songwriters team up.
  •   STRAIGHT OUTTA AQUIDNECK  |  July 16, 2014
    In the words of Freddie Black on the leadoff banger “Shut ’Em Down”: “If you didn’t know before, now you know it now.”
  •   OFF THE COUCH: SHORTS 'N' CAKES  |  July 16, 2014
    And the Pete Theroux Memorial Fest
  •   MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS  |  July 09, 2014
    If we could bestow a RI Music Community Achievement Award to anyone around here, I wouldn’t hesitate to crown Davey Moore the people’s champ.
  •   NOW THIS IS A PARTY!  |  July 02, 2014
    The 15th annual LibertyFest bash has outgrown its Smith Hill roots and will relocate to Dusk, and hot-damn, it’s a doozy.

 See all articles by: CHRIS CONTI