Sat. Nov 4th
Kerrytown Concert House
415 N. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor
You can stream it right here…
The fine strands that the Appleseed Collective thread together would involve defying expectations while also delivering sonic baskets of surefire charms. Just as I can’t corral any contemporary indie-rock, punk, psych or soul band into one limiting genre, these intrepid Ann Arbor-based explorers have a suitcase full of sounds that strike familiar chords. But their graceful twist on string-band jams, dixieland jazz, ragtime, and frenetic bluegrass tie together for a taut new take on traditional American music and make fresh, four-minute vehicles for these familiar-ish styles to arrive at newer, more eclectic destinations.
This tireless band is often out on the road, but they found some time to get into a studio and record a few new singles–each of which will be featured on a forthcoming album (arrival date TBA).
“Bad Habit” is their first of a likely string of singles this season, and in classic Appleseed-style, it detours every 45-seconds, kicking up the tempo, changing the fiddle flourishes, letting the harmonies of one movement swoon in but then letting the standup bass blossom a bit under the swift strums of a guitar perfectly tuned for that Django-a-go-go kind of sound. Chimes and mandolins and cymbals start to flicker under the smooth-crooning vocals while the locomotive drum brushes never relents.
I caught up with singer/violinist/mandolinist Brandom Worder-Smith as the band gets ready for another busy season of performing locally and traveling. He’s joined, as always, by Andrew Brown on guitar, Eric O’Daly on bass, and Vince Russo on percussion. Expect this single, and whatever comes out from them down the line in 2018, to continue not merely to revive “bluegrass,” but to revamp it.
I feel like whenever I find a band that seems to be reviving something that is “niche…,” that it’s then only a matter of time before I start hearing or noticing more bands tapping into that. What do you consider to be the lasting appeal…or what has continually drawn you to the realms of traditional American music?
Brandon Worder-Smith: Just like there are always people whose taste will be drawn towards the cutting edge (early adapters), there are always people who enjoy reminiscing about the past, or experiencing a past they never had. We live on the top of a mountain of culture and to not know where we came from is to not understand where we are going. I just like the music. It has a certain feel to it.
What’s your experience…, I mean, if you were writing your own music memoir…, of growing and sustaining an independent band (in this internet era of ours) over the last 5 years? What’s been challenging? What’s an overlooked charm or an underappreciated-rewarding experience about it all? What makes it worth while and what does it take to keep it going?
BWS: There are piles of stories on the cutting room floor of my life. Sometimes I wish I could have filmed everything, I’m sure there must be some moment of beauty or hilarity that I’ll never remember now. Life keeps moving and changing and we have to move with it and escape the whirlpool of nostalgia. It’s all been wonderful and terrible and I appreciate all of it.
What’s all the latest news! Including this new song and the most recent recording experiences. How have you been approaching the latest batch of tunes…, not just recording
BWS: There are more singles to come before we drop a full album. Maybe a music video. We’re playing at Kerrytown Concert House on Nov 4th and will have copies of Bad Habit available there.