Hearsay: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Getting a crack band to back you may seem easy – indie-rock singer-songwriter Kevin Aldridge can count among his backers ex-members of Woodeye and The Black Bonnets. Maren Morris has Cooper Heffley (John Price, John Lamonica) and Taylor Tatsch (John Price, Deep Blue Something). Brandin Lea (Flickerstick, The February Chorus) has never been at a loss for local heavy hitters to commit to seeing his solo music through, including The Feb Chor’s current lineup of Jordan Roberts (Calhoun), Austin Green (Telegraph Canyon), and Taylor Craig Mills (solo, The Iliads). But other than the three aforementioned singer-songwriters, plus maybe a few others, there are only about a dozen such vehicles in town, bands whose music is written and arranged primarily by one person. Most bands are bands in the traditional sense of the word, and the average solo singer-songwriter either has to scrounge at the last minute to get musos to perform with him (or her) onstage or in the studio or just go it alone. Rarely do we see a band stay together while adopting a secret identity to back a singer-songwriter. Yet such is the case with Velvet Love Box, whose three members and co-vocalists – bassist Neil Schnell, guitarist Scot Cloud, and percussionist Brandon Bumpas – recently have begun backing alt-country force Carey Wolff, all under the moniker The Morning After. Not sure when the quartet will be playing out, but for a taste of the musicianship now backing Wolff, a stellar player in his own right, check out VLB at any one of a string of upcoming dates, starting Friday at Baker St. Pub & Grill (6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-738-5600) and Saturday at Tumbleweeds Sports Bar (1008 NE Loop 820, 817-626-5225). Visit www.velvetlovebox.com. … First, a clarification and an apology: Contrary to information in last week’s column, indie-rock singer-songwriter Brandin Lea remains a co-owner of The Chat Room Pub. I regret the error. Secondly, to anyone who took my column as anything other than a friendly, tongue-in-cheek jab at Lea for not devoting every minute of his waking life to his excellent tuneage, gimme a break. I’m the same person who’s been singing Lea’s praises since I first graced town six and a half years ago, writing stuff like “The massive, pretty pipes of Brandin Lea … are the pistons of an artillery tank/Ferrari” (June 15, 2005), and of his former band, Flickerstick, I once said, “A more super-tight, energetic, powerful rock ‘n’ roll outfit in this neck of the woods is hard to imagine” (Jan. 7, 2004). I’ve also once or twice referred to Lea himself as an “A-bomb-in-a-leather-jacket” and “classy.” And we haven’t even touched on all of the praise I’ve lavished on specific songs he’s written and performed: solo, via Flick, or via his current vehicle, the “dark, brooding, haunting, David Lynch-ian” February Chorus, “simply one of the best bands in North Texas” (Oct. 12, 2005). Basically, if you detect even the tiniest amount of sarcasm in any of my praise, then you just don’t know which end is up, foo’. Visit www.myspace.com/februarychorus.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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