Chatsworth based quintet melds Southern Rock, pop and funk into a cohesive energetic sound
It’s funny how it works sometimes. You’re playing trivia in a bar. You bump into a person you’ve never met. Ten minutes later he’s telling you about his favorite local band you’ve never heard of. A few weeks later you’re writing them up because, dammit man, they’re really, really good.
It just goes to reinforce a key point about “the scene” I’ve enjoyed making about once a week, every week, for years now. No matter how well you think you know it, no matter how “connected” you are or how many bands you can rattle off, there are always more and they are often exceptionally talented.
Remembering January is the band this week, a group from Chatsworth, GA that has been around in one form or another since about 2010. Birthed in a pool hall in Chatsworth (that’s a terrific origin story, btw) the band came together quickly and established an excellent reputation in North Georgia before making their way up to “the big city” at the 2011 and 2012 Riverbend Festivals.
The quartet consisting of best friends Cody Bunch and Chris Deal, Tyler Southern, and Brandon Singleton would go on to decide that quintet was a cooler word and eventually added Preston Parris, making it a five-man roster.
After releasing a well-received demo, the fellas hit the studio and started laying tracks for their first full length album, Chair Above It All, which was released to adoring fans at Pokey’s in Cleveland just last month. The album is eleven tracks long and is a delightful romp through a variety of styles and influences that manage to unite under the banner of the band perfectly.
The guitar licks and occasional unison choruses are straight out of southern rock, very Allman-esque without committing to the genre too exclusively. In fact, the first impression I got from the opening track, “Moved Away,” was more funk than anything, but here is the strength of the band.
Although they cite a number of musical influences, they use a very light touch with all of them, maintaining a delicate balance that reinforces the notion of “influenced by” rather than “sounds like.”
The vocals are superb, unique and perfectly suited to the group, and reminiscent of Chris Robinson (of Black Crowes fame.) The instrumentation itself is mature, the result of players who are perfectly at home with their instruments and each other. The songs are well-written, with strong pop potential that reminds me (though the bands sound not at all alike) of Journey during their golden age.
They’re catchy tunes that have some substance, but probably also sound pretty good when being chanted by a bunch of drunken sorority girls.
Although not listed as an influence, there are certain tunes, “Biscuits & Gravy” and “Our Crowd” for instance, that could easily be a radio hit for Little Feat. It’s that perfect blend of southern rock and playful funk with something…extra…a secret ingredient that makes you smile when you hear it, whether you mean to or not.
I will add that there is, to my ears, a strong dose of country now and again, but only enough to keep the boys rooted in their southern upbringing. Taken as a whole, the album is funky southern, with scorching riffs, smooth vocals and a rhythm section that could keep time in a hurricane.
The band is Remembering January, the album is Chair Above It All, and it is available now on iTunes and Spotify. Take a minute to give it a listen and I’m sure you’ll agree that Chatsworth, GA has reason to take great pride in their native sons.