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MP3 The Old Nationals - ROCK: Roots Rock

Original American roots-rock.

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Roots Rock, ROCK: Americana

For some background on The Old Nationals and to share what they''ve been up to lately, below are excerpts from a recent interview conducted by legendary upstate New York radio disk jockey Frank Nazzaro.

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, we are lucky enough to have with us today for a visit The Old Nationals, the New York City roots rock and roll band. They''re in town this weekend for two shows, and I''m glad to be speaking with them this afternoon...welcome gents...

Hello, thanks, it''s nice to be here... this is great coffee...

Oh yeah, well...Can''t get on the air without the high octane French Roast... Well, let''s hope the FCC isn''t listening in, heh heh... So... The Old Nationals have been performing together for a long time in the barrooms of New York City, and the upstate region as well. And now you''re on the road promoting your new CD release... Let''s start by telling listeners a little bit about the history of the band...

Well, the different band members go back a ways... we''ve been playing music together in various configurations... in different groups, be it rock or bluegrass or jazz groups, for over 15 years now... The Old Nationals began playing as a group in 1998, and we''ve been performing in the New York City bar scene, and have played upstate and in Vermont a bit... when the summer rolls around we rent an old farm up in Shandaken, which is up in the Catskills outside of Woodstock for those who don''t know... and so the band rehearses and records a bit in this old barn that should have collapsed long ago... and we grow some nice tomatoes and zucchini...

Ratatouille! it''s not just for breakfast anymore... So, now the record you just relased... It''s eponymous, with a big old barrel on the cover here... And it has, let''s see... Ten songs, they''re all your original songs... I see Bad Habits, Jenny Lee, Slow Train... I recognize a lot of these from live performances from past shows over the years... Tell me a bit about making this record...

Oh sure... yes, most of the material that was recorded on what we''ve been referring to as the "barrel" sessions were songs we had been playing in our live shows for years... so we basically had a lot of unrecorded material from years of playing it live that we decided to try to capture in the recording studio format... it''s quite an experience to self-produce a whole LP from scratch, of course, a lot of long days and nights and hard work... so we started some sessions in our barn, and then in the studio environment we got to experiment a bit with some sounds and arrangements, and explore the possiblilities that the studio environment offers, but while trying to be true to the music as we feel it, and basically try to capture a raw, live flavor that is fundamental to our music... I think since we are a live bar band at heart, that is where our music likes to live, so... anyway we had a good old time, and overall it was a great experience... we were fortunate to be able to connect with and get to work with many great musicians and sound engineers along the way, like Dane Johnson, Scott Hull...

At your shows, one can generally catch you guys including a cover song or two, usually a classic rock song or an interpretation of some sort of American roots music... like blues, country or bluegrass... or even sometimes jazz or r&b... I''ve heard you guys play Hank Williams, Creedence Clearwater, Doc Watson songs... Ray Charles, or Otis Redding... You''re obviously influenced by many genres, and then you give it all your own, sort of, smoky, soulful flavor... Who would you credit as the band''s musical influences?

We definitely all in the band share a common love of the genres that you mentioned... as well as we each have our own specific tastes in various directions... I think we all are very open open-minded muscially, and listen to all musical styles... I think what we all have in common is that we are always searching for new sonic possibility... but in the end music is to be played from the heart and soul, and of course with us being us, anything we play ends up getting dipped in some big vat of electric bacon grease or something... Probably the biggest influence that comes through on this record would be George The Animal Steele... he was really a great improviser. He knew his limitations, and he gave his all... He''d usually lose or be disqualified somehow... and then he''d eat the foam out of the turnbuckles..."

Heh heh heh... that would explain the indigestion, as they say... well thanks for stopping by, congratulations on this new CD, and we look forward to what The Old Nationals have in store for us down the road...

Thanks for having us... we''ll see you soon.

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