We always get together as a group right before we take stage and “win state.” We huddle up, put our arms around each other, encourage each other, talk about the show, gauge the crowd and quiet our souls a bit before we play. From time to time a few folks we are holding conversations with right before drift into the circle and become a part of that pre-show ritual. Some folks get it, some are clearly weirded out, some folks quietly walk away. But we all stand there with our arms around each other, staring at our shoes, wondering if we have time to grab another drink before we hit the stage. We stand quietly in loud places and talk boldly about small things. On some nights the circle is large, on some nights its the 4 or 5 of us standing just inside the “employees only” door. But every night it’s different. New faces, new challenges, new monitor mixes.
It’s been a while since we have been in touch and allowed everyone a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes. I thought I’d take just a few to catch everyone up.
As most of you are already aware, one of the founding members of JATD and one of our dearest friends Brent Chamberlin, stepped out of the band last year for a variety of great and wholesome reasons. But with Brent leaving, we were left with somewhat of a void. Another founding member down, another lineup change imminent. Another challenge at capturing that ever elusive flow of dynamics.
We talked about bring in a new band member.
We talked about gearing up and getting weird.
We talked about Kyle dropping the acoustic and slinging a tele.
We talked about calling it quits.
We talked about every possible thing we could do to make the transition, less, transition-y.
And it was only when we kind of ran out of steam chasing a phantom, that we realized that the heartbeat that pumps blood through the collective JATD body isn’t about that “outside” stuff. It’s our brotherhood together, our love of playing music with each other, and our even deeper love of playing music for you that animates JATD and makes a drifter out of all of us.
We decided to lean into the void and lean into the not-knowing and to just love playing music with each other. And when we did that it all felt right again.
We’ve been largely flying under the radar the last several months as we weave our way through the tapestry of change and have been largely silent in keeping, you, our dear friends and fans in the loop. So here’s a little update for y’all, a little group circle of what was, what will be and what is:
-Our recently released E.P. “Get the Spirit” is available for streaming and downloading on most outlets. We also have physical copies we’d be happy to get in your hands. Our experience recording this EP was nothing short of dreamlike. We had the pleasure of recording with Ben Tanner, one of the top guys out there doing it right now. And we had the honor of recording at one of the most historic studios in the United States, F.A.M.E Studios in Muscle Shoals, Al. From the gear to the ghosts of the musicians, producers and engineers that reside in that place, it darn near puts a shiver up your spine.
-We are going to be hand-picking and strategically selecting our shows over the next 6 or so months. The last two years we spent a lot of weekends on the road and a lot of time away from a home base. That being said, we are going to try and play some great local shows, hit up some great out-of-town opportunities as they present themselves, and make our way into markets where we know we have some folks out there listening. We are going to try and be a little more quality over quantity in the next chunk of time.
-Since we won’t be on the road as much and away from home base, we’re going to spend several weekends and other chunks of time writing new material in hopes of releasing another full length album within the next year. We’re in the works now of putting together some songwriting retreats and taking the 1001 song ideas we have and putting some flesh on their bones.
Despite our timidity in reaching out to you all in the past several months, many things are gathering under the surface in the JATD camp. And we can’t wait to move in fresh directions with you.
From where I’m standing, the future is as bright as it’s ever been, our memories of the past are as warm and fond as they ever were, and right now is all we have….so let’s drift together.
All the best and win state!