It is rainy and cold, and that makes it a mostly miserable day at the CitySeed Farmers’ Market at Wooster Square. But these folks are badasses – inconvenienced but undeterred by any sort of bad weather. I am playing music, randomly seeking shelter from the storm under the tents of willing farmers and marketers, seeing friends and neighbors, sharing conversation and song, but taking long breaks during downpours: Blondie (my guitar) is wet and starting to get cranky, but she loves me so she soldiers on. My hands are stiff and numb, and I hurt. I suppose the overall feeling is fairly gloomy and uncomfortable, but it’s the MARKET, right? So, everybody smiles through the squint-y face you make when you’re getting pelted by windy raindrops, and tries to be extra kind to each other. Remind me, and I will tell you later exactly how kind these folks have been to me.
I try to pick up the pace a little during the two or three drier periods, but my hands aren’t working well lately. Playing has been uncomfortable for a while now, and it is sort-of bad today. By 12:40 (only 20 minutes to go!), I am struggling, and briefly consider quitting early (gasp!). And that’s when I saw Them walking up DePalma past a milk crate filled with beautiful butternut squash. And I am instantly Thankful. Mark Mirando told me, “Everyone should immediately know that you are “in the band” the very second you walk through the door.” And I Knew they were a Cool Band the first Second I saw them.
me: Okay, what band are you guys in? (maybe an awkward question considering I’m the guy holding the guitar)
Me: No, Seriously, Who are you guys?
They are Andrew Leahey and The Homestead. Their new record is called “Skyline in Central Time.” They’re from Nashville, but they’re as good as anything coming out of Austin. They’re currently on tour opening for some band that will probably be opening for them in two years. They just played New York, and are headed to Boston – with no stop in CT (wtf!?). The only reason they are here is because some guy in Maryland told them we have the best pizza. They concur (and earn bonus points from me).
Short story, shorter – I gave one of the dudes my guitar. A different dude ran to the van to get his. Within two songs, they had a small crowd interested in who they were, what they were doing, where they were going next, if they had a record, and could they buy one. I vacillated between felling sad that they were better than me (it was My gig afterall!), and feeling genuinely giddy over discovering a new band. We traded records, and I got the better end of the deal.
Cleanly recorded. Clear vocals. Good Vocals. Great at times. There’s something instantly familiar here, and I bet these songs are grittier live. Introspection made easy to swallow. Foot-stomping and toe-tapping music that makes you Think. Nashville? I’d sooner believe Memphis. Or Knoxville.
Stream of Consciousness Comparisons:
Tom Petty and Uncle Tupelo. Keith Urban and The Cars. The Eagles and Teenage Fanclub.
I will seek out Andrew Leahey and The Homestead. My recommendation: you should too.