Monday, February 13, 2012

In The Spotlight--The Albrights

Buffalo's The Albrights hit the Galaxy March 12th
Some bands are content to come up with a formula, a sound, and allow it to become their prison, always writing to that format.  Just two tracks into The Albrights samples it becomes clear that these guys break that mold with a vengeance.  "Good Woman" sounds like something you'd find on a Black Keys record, then "Strike Out" comes out swinging with strings and an almost progressive feel, sounding nothing like what you just heard, while still being fantastic.  You'd almost think it was two different bands.  All of this variety comes from their appreciation of all types of music, and the divergent styles of the two primary songwriters.  And it also made it a challenge when putting the finishing touches on the lineup.

"Joe and Brandon had started playing together in school years ago. Mostly classic rock covers. I met up with them about 5 years ago and starting carrying some equipment for them at shows and eventually became the bass player," says Matt.  "We decided to make a record shortly after and did a 5 song ep with electronic drums. We used it to shop drummers and work our sound really."  The first drummer they met helped them record their album "Ask, Tell", but wasn't the long term answer.  "He had a great job as a teacher at the time, so we knew at some point we'd need to find a permanent player and someone who could tour the album with us."

He continued, "We played some gigs with a couple of different players and we had a lot of trouble finding the right fit. The contrasting writing styles of Joe and Brandon make it tough for someone to fit them both comfortably. Enter Dustin. This guy shows up, we make some small talk while setting up his drums. We played, and he killed it...he really worked hard before coming to an audition and it showed. He quietly left and we've been playing together since."  While the writing varies, there is a concerted effort to keep the sound simple.  "Stylistically our sound was developed from not trying to sound like anything or anybody. I mean, Brandon doesn't use a crazy pedal board and neither do. There's a organ/piano and drums. No vocal effects.., it's just raw and real."

Give 'em a listen

The band tells us the arts and music scene in their hometown of Buffalo, NY, is strong, and growing.  "New exploratory venues are opening up everywhere and there has been a surge of talent moving to our small city from larger markets. With many of our clubs offering culturally diverse live music 7 days a week, and a really affordable cost of living, Buffalo, NY seems like a no-brainer for musicians and artists alike. The best part? Those "larger" markets are only a few hours away in either direction. New York, NY, Toronto, CA  Pittsburgh, Cleveland etc."

Using all of the standard tools of promotion, and some novel ones as well, has worked well for the group.  "We drove around Buffalo in the back of a truck playing acoustic instruments and shouting all through the city. We had our name on the truck and promoted at every stop light. Oh and the truck belonged to Buffalo Car Share, an organization committed to helping cut down on carbon emissions by encouraging carpooling and alternative modes of transportation.  They shared the experience through their social networking sites as did we (we reached a whole new audience by doing that)." They also told us, "We do also use Facebook, Youtube, Reverbnation, Sonicbids, Twitter, all the major social networking tools.  We can link up with anyone and everyone at any time. We LOVE social media for sure, in today's world, over promotion doesn't exist."
In the end, like many of the groups we've talked with, they just love to play music.  "We're obsessed with music. More so, live music in particular. Success in this industry being able to travel around and just do it. Play good shows, have fun and make new fans and friends . We're musicians that can really play, so we just wanted to make a record that sounds like us. We've had a tremendous amount of feedback on our sound, philosophy and our energy onstage and off. As far as Celebrity vs. Substance, we believe that if we're honest with ourselves and keep making honest records, we'll be able to keep working. People seem to really respect that, especially lately."

You can check out their sonic diversity for yourself on our great March 12th show.  Thanks to the band for talking with us, and we'll see you at the show!