Thu · May 18, 2017
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
World Cafe Live - Wilmington
$25 + Fees
This event is all ages
Please be advised that if you’re attending a show at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, you should make plans to dine elsewhere beforehand. There are two great restaurants right across the street and plenty of others a few blocks away – we recommend Merchant Bar, La Fia, Chelsea Tavern and Twisted Soul.https://www.worldcafelive.com/event/1436653/
The trick there was that we couldn't really play our instruments! I had never played guitar before and Ben Nichols (lead singer, guitar) had only played bass in other bands. Finding Roy Berry (drummer) and John C. Stubblefield (bassist) solidified the line up and being hidden away in Memphis allowed us to woodshed, experiment with different sounds and create one that was ours alone.
Eventually we got out of town, and playing 250 shows year not only made us tight as a band but as a family as well. We are still one of the few bands out there with the original line up from almost the beginning, and it shows.
Picking up Rick Steff on keys allowed us to expand the sound and grow musically. Being able to play whatever we could think up in our heads and having the music we loved and grew up on motivate and inspire us to try new things and take chances. We realized that if you added some horns to Ben's lyrics that it took it to the next step, from sad bastard country rock to soul and R&B and we realized we were a Memphis band and came by it honest. We have always brought Memphis with us wherever we went and this just proved it.
We came out screaming on 1372 Overton Park. Big sound, bigger horns – like a kid with a new toy we put them on everything and loved it! This record was a marked departure from the previous sound and announcement of way things we're gonna be now!
While 1372 Overton Park was written and the horns added after the fact, Women & Work was written with the horns in mind so it was a little less gung ho and was starting to settle in nicely. Women & Work is one of the best modern Southern rock records in my opinion and the song "On My Way Downtown" has almost surpassed "Tears Don't Matter Much" as the crowd favorite... almost!
This brings us to the new record. All A Man Should Do contains some of the most resonant lyrics Ben Nichols has ever written, lyrics that read like chapters from his life on the duality of relationships, getting older, finding where you want to be in this world, and musically we are broadening our sound. Working with producer Ted Hutt for a third time at the famous Ardent Studios, we felt comfortable enough to take some chances with a palette of new tones that sound understated yet powerful, bringing life to the stories behind the lyrics without overshadowing them.
It's also the first time we've ever put a cover song on a record, with a full band version of big star's "I Fell in Love with a Girl", and having Jody from Big Star sing back–up vocals makes it that more special and amazing. This is a Memphis record in the greatest sense and a perfect finish to the three–part love letter to a city that brought us up and made us what we are today.
"I was 15 years old in 1989. This record sounds like the record I wanted to make when I was 15. It just took 25 years of mistakes to get it done." — Ben Nichols
"Having Big Star actually sing on your cover of a Big Star song that you're recording at Ardent Studios – it doesn't get much more exciting than that." — Ben Nichols
"We had a Rhodes keyboard that was stolen from our singer earlier in his music career," explains Kevin Cunningham, the band's lead guitarist. And the other story? "The band may have commandeered a Rhodes at some point from an undisclosed location," he sheepishly admits.
Take another look at that last sentence: the band sought to reacquire a Rhodes piano, a keyboard that's been out of fashion for nearly three decades. The band's name isn't just a funny story – it's a battle cry.
"The music of the past is what spoke to us the loudest," explains Cunningham. "It is music you can feel, timeless music, songs that people react to in any generation. It's less like a yearbook of a certain point in time and more like a National Geographic magazine. It's good no matter when you hear it."
Of course, you would expect a response like that from a band whose principal songwriters, singer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Pillion and bassist/guitarist Dan Haase, grew up a stone's throw away from Bruce Springsteen's adopted hometown of Asbury Park. It's not like they really had a choice in the matter; "The classic Asbury sound was in the water," Cunningham jokes.
The Boss' influence proves to be more spiritual than literal, however, on Falling off the Edge, Stolen Rhodes' debut album. If anything, the ghost of the Allman Brothers looms the largest, particularly in the mile-wide chorus of "Blue Sky" and the easy-like-Sunday-morning "Freight Train." (Speaking of "Easy," the band's track "Beautiful Way" sounds like the Allmans taking a crack at that very Commodores song.) Pillion takes no vocal cues from the Southern rock gods, though; his raspy tenor is bound to draw (lazy) comparisons to Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill, but one listen to the horn-kissed "One Day Everyday" and it's clear that Free-era Paul Rodgers is a better starting point.
At least for the moment, anyway. While they may currently take their inspiration from an earlier time, Stolen Rhodes has no interest in carving out a career as a classic rock tribute band. For them, the writing process is nonstop and constantly evolving. "It changes daily," Cunningham says. "We are all students of music, so we are all bringing in our own personal tastes that we continue to discover to expand our sound." One aspect of the band's personality that seems unlikely to change, though, is their love of playing live. Indeed, for each day they spend writing new material, they spend five days practicing for that weekend's gig, and that passion for performing can be felt throughout Falling off the Edge. With each track clocking in at a minimum of five minutes, this is a band that loves to let their songs breathe, and are not afraid to go wherever the moment takes them.
Their hard work has thus far paid off in the form of a dedicated – and diverse – live following, and also earned them the respect of veteran acts from opposite ends of the music spectrum (punk rockers Dropkick Murphys and country act Diamond Rio have both sung the band's praises), and while Stolen Rhodes is grateful for the regional success they've attained, they have their eyes on a larger prize. Falling off the Edge, they hope, will serve as their calling card to the national stage
World Cafe Live - Wilmington
500 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE, 19801