Somewhere on a dusty road or a well traveled interstate, right at this very moment, a rock n’ roll band is pounding the rock. They’re probably wearing the same clothes they had on yesterday, and reminiscing about last night’s gig. Inspired by a guitar lick that cuts to the bone or a melody that lingers on refrain, this band is following a path forged by countless other musicians who’ve lived and died in dive bars or ‘made it’ with their posters taped to bedroom walls. What makes this band of brothers any different? This band is The Artisanals.
Johnny Delaware grew up in a small South Dakota town surrounded by cornfields and dirt roads. For 19 years, he lived in a wide-eyed perspective baptized in the setting of a John Mellencamp song. In order to personally evolve and carry out his musical destiny, Delaware knew that the heartland wind would have to blow him around the country. Eventually, Delaware would move to Charleston, SC and team up with guitarist Clay Houle, drummer Josh Hoover, and bassist Eric Mixon to form The Artisanals in late 2016. Within a year of forming, The Artisanals dropped their four-track debut EP, Literally, Anywhere, and promptly received critical acclaim from Huffington Post, Paste Magazine, Daytrotter, PopMatters.
Now, The Artisanals are set to drop their debut self-titled full length album. Produced by Wolfgang Zimmerman and set to release on AWAL on September 21, 2018, The Artisanals, is the first ever record to come out of the Magic Barn - an Iowa studio-converted-barn that features the Neve console and gear from NYC’s now defunct Magic Shop Studio which recorded David Bowie’s last two albums, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, and can be seen on Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways.
With sonic influences ranging from the heartland rock of Bruce Springsteen (“Angel 42”), and neo-psychedelia anthems of My Morning Jacket (“Pound The Rock”), to the dream-pop work of The Cars and The War On Drugs (“Drag”), The Artisanals 10-track LP showcases Delaware and Houle’s knack for writing hooks as well as their ear for quality production. The album utilizes everything from a gong, organ, piano, sitar, french horn, trombone, and koto, to a string section sourced from the nearby University of Iowa. Mastered by Howie Weinberg, (Spoon, Ryan Adams, Nirvana), there’s no filler on The Artisanals. From start to finish, this record is a straight banger.
The High Divers
“We all moved to Charleston (SC) on the same day, and there was nothing else in our minds but forming a kick ass touring rock band”, says frontman, Luke Mitchell. With some extensive tours under their belts, as well as some opening slots for notable acts such as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Delta Spirit, Shovels & Rope and Drivin N Cryin; The High Divers are steadily becoming exactly what they’d envisioned since day one.
After a horrific crash while on tour last year—in which a semi truck hit and flipped their tour van, injuring all band members and crew—caused an unexpected delay, Charleston's The High Divers at long last released Chicora, their follow-up to 2015's Riverlust, on March 2, 2018 via True Blue Records.
Chicora takes its name from the Charleston neighborhood the band calls home, and it's fitting, given they did all the recording in their living room. And although the album was already finished before the van accident, it also serves as a reminder of the community that rallied around the band in its time of need.