The Battlefield Brings Peace and Harmony to Oberon’s
‘What is Love,” for $500, Alex
The Ashland fire marshall has set Oberon’s capacity at 63, but with 12 on the dance floor, the place can seem pretty crowded. Three-piece LA based folk group, The Battlefield, will be taking the stage in the small venue on Tuesday, July 28, but only a few nights before they will be playing to an 800-person stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Switching between crowds of 800 and 20 could seem like a difficult transition, but it’s all part of the band’s plan to spread notoriety along the west coast.
“We love funky little bars,” said Jenny Weaver, one third of the band’s vocal makeup. “We play a broken-down drum set for smaller shows and it makes the performance that much more fun.”
Contrary to their name, that fun includes a mesh of sweet-sounding vocals accompanied by banjos and guitars in the vein of Fleetwood Mac or Mumford and Sons. The organic, down-home melodies and sweetly-crooned harmonies soar above the soft plink of the banjo.
Downtown Ashland is The Battlefield’s fourth stop on tour following the launch in LA. Though the group performed on the East coast last year, this trip coincides with the band’s debut album, The Tipping Point, which was released last week.
“So much of our inspiration (for the album) came from nature,” Weaver said, “I’m excited to frolic in the Pacific Northwest on our days off!”
With friends and connections in the San Francisco Area, the Battlefield has played plenty of shows around the Bay but never any further North. The release of the band’s first CD was done all through independent production, a difficult decision that Weaver says all bands face these days.
“Music is like the Wild West these days. Being independent allows us more creativity in the production but we lose some of the advantages that labels provide.”
The cliche of record labels controlling an album might not be as strong as it once was thought to be, but the big money companies have the ability to bring in support for bands when they are recording.
Studio artists and co-writers are often contracted through labels and are on call when production is taking place. Fortunately, through the band’s choice to stay independent, they were able to hand select their producer Raymond Richards, who they felt brought the album together masterfully.
“It’s important to align yourself with people who share the same vision,” Weaver said, “ You have to have a producer who you can put your trust into.”
Be sure to get to Oberon’s early as their set to begins at 9pm and only 63 attendants will be allowed in before the fire marshal shuts the place down for being, ahem, “a battlefield.”
9pm, Tue., July 28
Oberon’s Three-Penny Tavern, 45 N. Main St., Ashland