Friday, July 24, 2009

Roadside Graves to tour in support of new album

Last month, Roadside Grave’s latest epic, the 18 song My Son’s Home was released. The band sold out a release show at NYC’s Piano’s and has been garnering numerous accolades from the press, including Pitchfork who said the band “excel at the brave and difficult paradox of suffusing death with life, injecting vivacity and humor into their reflections on mortality.”

Now the band is thrilled to announce a string of summer tour dates that will take them from their native New Jersey to the west coast and back again. Along the way they’ll be playing with Rural Alberta Advantage, The Parson Red Heads, Avi Buffalo and more. Also, the band has recently been added to September’s Monolith Festival where they will play alongside the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, M. Ward, The Thermals, The Walkmen, Girl Talk and more.

Summer Tour Dates:
July 28 @ Mojo 13 – Wilmington, DE
July 29 @ The Black and Red Bar – Washington, DC
July 30 @ The Taphouse – Norfolk, VA
July 31 @ Nightlight – Chapel Hill, NC
August 01 @ The Bottle Tree – Birmingham, AL
August 03 @ Martin’s – Jackson, MS
August 04 @ Thirsty Hippo – Hattiesburg, MS
August 05 @ Chelsea’s – Baton Rouge, LA
August 06 @ Blue Nile – New Orleans, LA
August 07 @ Rikki Bailey’s Tatoo Shop – Longview, TX
August 08 @ Lampberts – Austin, TX
August 10 @ Hotel Monte Vista – Flagstaff, AZ
August 11 @ Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
August 12 @ The Knitting Factory (Main Room) w/The Parson Red Heads, Avi Buffalo – Hollywood, CA
August 13 @ Prospector w/The Parson Red Heads – Long Beach, CA
August 14 @ Echoplex w/ Henry Clay People – Los Angeles, CA
August 15 @ Spaceland w/Le Switch, World Record – Los Angeles, CA
August 21 @ Mike’s Tavern w/Blue Party – Kansas City, MO
August 22 @ Memorial Union Terrace w/Rural Alberta Advantage – Madison, WI
August 23 @ LEMP – St. Louis, MO
August 24 @ Garibaldi’s – Milwaukee, WI
August 26 @ The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
August 27 @ Vollrath Tavern – Indianapolis , IN
August 29 @ The Court Tavern – New Brunswick, NJ
September 12 @ Monolith Festival – Red Rocks, CO
September 19 @ Let it Roll Festival – Ghent, NY

A video interview of the band is now on youtube. In the video, the band discusses their songwriting process and feature’s exclusive live footage.

My Son’s Home is our third full-length record. It was conceived of as an album about soldiers and their complicated struggles to forge identities and relationships in times of war. The idea was inspired by the Bobby Bond song “Six White Horses” and a short John Steinbeck novel entitled The Moon is Down (which we recently learned was also the basis for the film Red Dawn).

Other subjects emerged during the writing sessions, and the record slowly evolved into an eighteen-song cycle about the lives of individuals, families, and friends in a variety of familiar settings: the homestead, the battlefield, the country and the city.

The album is populated by familiar faces from American folk and rock songs, ranging from the back-story told in our “Ruby” of the embittered Korean War vet who vows to shoot his wife in Mel Tillis’s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, to the Aesop-like fable of “The Snake and How It Lost It’s Legs”, in which Dear Henry and Dear Liza from the children’s folk song “There’s a Hole in the Bucket” are responsible for the snake’s brutal dismemberment. There are cops and spiders lurking in the cigarette trees from “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”, and Johnny B. Goode faces a flurry of nightsticks, bringing him back down to his knees.

We found ourselves increasingly influenced by David Milch’s television series Deadwood. Milch's characters are dynamic, in perpetual interaction with one another and the values that shape their community. We wanted our songs to speak to the conflicts- tragic, humorous, absurd- that arise in an individual as one attempts to eke out an authentic existence in the face of the challenges that characterize social life.

The songs celebrate and eulogize this process and the costs it exacts on the souls of the characters. They are songs about birth and death , and everything in between.

The basic track recording and mixing took place at Hypersnakes in Sayreville, New Jersey- a modern recording studio sandwiched between a bus depot and a rundown strip club. Listen closely and you might hear our neighbors Biohazard tuning up on the quieter songs. Listen even closer and you might discover the sounds of a gospel group that was warming up on stage while we recorded on the half-broken Steinway piano in the lobby of The State Theater in New Brunswick.

Many of the other tracks were recorded at dawn in attics and basements throughout New Jersey, in towns like Collingswood, Metuchen, Edison, and Pt. Pleasant. The players were the Roadside Graves- John, Colin, Rich, Mike, Jeremy, and Dave, along with special guests like Fun Machine’s virtuoso keyboardist Johnny Piatkowski on the farfisa and mellotron.

The sound is that of the teetering ramshackle wall of sound, the sparse and tenderly haunted fingerpicked ballad, Irish table chantey, the harmonium soaked funeral march, dark rumbling surf-folk, the ocean floor. Our goal was to create music for people who love music, in all its many facets and faces.

My Son’s Home traverses a wide landscape of topics and sounds, and it is our hope that it will prove as good of company to our listeners in their lives as it has to us in ours as we wrote and performed it, for it’s yours now. - John Gleason and Jeremy Benson, January 2009

01. Far and Wide
02. My Father Sat Me Down
03. Valley
04. Ruby
05. Wooden Walls
06. Lift up the Gate
07. To the Sea
08. Anthony’s Gate
09. God Touched Me
10. I Carried Myself
11. The Snake and How It Lost It’s Legs
12. Where the Water Flows
13. My Son’s Home
14. Black Wind
15. Take A Train
16. For the Light of the Homes
17. Dirty Work
18. Work Itself Out

Roadside Graves are:
John Gleason – Vocals, Guitar
Jeremy Benson – Guitar, Violin, Vocals
Rich Zilg – Guitar, Vocals
Mike DeBlasio – Piano
David Jones – Bass
Colin Ryan – Drums

Visit the band online:

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