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Western Centuries has embarked on a somewhat unique experiment in songwriting and performing; three people, Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton and Jim Miller sharing the songwriting and lead singing duties in the band equally. We met in Seattle in 2010 through the lively traditional music scene in the area.
Five years ago, we decided to write and perform original material as a unit. In 2016 we put out Weight of the World, our first record featuring songs from all three writers.
Our second record, Songs from the Deluge, came out in 2018. Although Western Centuries initially met through bluegrass, old time and early country music, with each record the songs have stretched further and further away from a traditional mold. Our third, Call the Captain, recorded and produced in June 2019 by Bill Reynolds in his Nashville studio, represents by far our most interesting and varied set of songs yet.
Call the Captain is a collection of 12 tracks, ranging from intimate acoustic based songs, to country, R & B, and straight up rock and roll. The experiment continues in a time when record labels are signing bands based on algorithms and likes, it's refreshing to work with a band that puts in the work to create a sound together; something a plug in or a computer can't replicate.
Western Centuries are masters at what they do: Write songs, harmonize, and play music together. From a producer who lives on those older records where bands toured and put lots of blood and sweat into their sound, I am very grateful to be involved with a band that works so hard. It's a damn blast to record; the 2 inch tape machine just eats it up.
Bill Reynolds (Producer of Call the Captain)
Dressed in gold sequin tops and sturdy, beat-stomping boots, the formerly all-female four-piece Roses Wild first took to the stage in the fall of 2018, paying homage to country greats, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Gillian Welch at an arts showcase honoring history’s most daring women. Like a heady bouquet returning to the brambled rosebush, the band has since grown into a rollicking, Americana five-piece with a catalog of catching original music.
Bandleader Stefanie Clark Harris is the writer behind Roses Wild’s bittersweet songs, spinning a sound that’s part country twang, part hymnal. The tight knit musical family that is Roses Wild lifts Harris’s crystalline voice and Gibson Workhorse into two-stepping territory, where even songs of oppression and heartache have a touch of exhilaration to them. The band has shared the stage with the likes of Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Sarah Borges, and Ward Hayden and the Outliers.
Born and bred in New Haven, Connecticut, Roses Wild features Katelyn Russell (of The Split Coils) on drums and harmonies, Tiffany Lee Bollaro on harmonica, Nancy Matlack (Goodnight Blue Moon) on bass, and Jay Russell (The Split Coils) and Mike Jensen Sembos (The Backyard Committee) trading off on guitar, bass, and harmonies. Black Diamond, the band’s first EP, will be released in late 2019. Keep up with Roses Wild on Instagram at @stefanieclarkharrismusic.
Nora Kaszuba Photo