Great Peacock to strut their stuff in Ashland
Question? What do rock music, country music, and folk music have in common?
Answer: Who cares, that’s a dumb question.
But if anyone can blend the three genres together it is Tennesee band Great Peacock, who will be playing at Brickroom in Ashland on Sat., August 29.
It’s not because they found the holy grail of high precision mix-ability, but because they play from the heart without overthinking the process. At the same time, it is evident from their debut album, Making Ghosts, that the band takes their craft seriously.
Founding member Andrew Nelson says although Great Peacock has toured quite a bit in the past around the Midwest and the east coast, this is its first tour of the west coast.
“Our tour starts tomorrow in Pittsburgh and we’ll be working our way across to Los Angeles and then up to the Northwest,” he says.
And since Great Peacock’s music is very much tied to their home region, this tour sort of takes on the aura of a cultural exchange.
The job of balancing folk and country influences with the rock side of the equation is helped by the chemistry of the musicians. Nelson and guitarist/co founder Blount Floyd both trade off on acoustic and electric guitar with about a 50/50 ratio. Bassist Ben Cunningham also contributes with backing vocals, and the band is rounded out with Nick Recio on drums. The songwriting, which shows inspiration from country musicians like George Jones, is also something that tends to be done democratically in the band.
“Most of the songwriting was done by Blount and myself, but the others contribute as well,” says Nelson. “All the songs in our set are original, but we might throw in a cover whenever we feel like it.”
This easygoing attitude manifests itself on Making Ghosts with songs that are most often subdued and earthy. Listening to the album it is not surprising that Great Peacock would list Tom Petty as an inspiration. In spite of the fact that he is not embarrassed to describe a song as being “just a three chord groove” most of their songs are not what one would describe as minimalist. Their songs have a very personal attribute, and it’s perhaps not assuming too much to think that as relaxed as the music might be, there is still an urgency that is helped along by the rock side of their influences. As Nelson pointed out
“We sort of evolved from acoustic towards the Americana/rock direction,” says Nelson.
In fact, when asked if he could experience any one event in the history of music he didn’t hesitate at listing “the Allman Brothers at the Fillmore.”
10pm, Sat., August 29
Brickroom, 35 N. Main Street, Ashland
Photo courtesy of Big Hassle Media