SOL DRIVEN TRAIN:
“If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a kind of train. Yes, a long, lonesome freight train rumbling from generation to generation on an eternally rainy morning: its boxcars are loaded with sighs and laughter, its hobos are angels, its engineer is the queen of spades – and the queen is wild. Whoo-whoo! Hear that epiphanic whistle blow. The train’s destination is the godhead, but it stops at the Big Bang, at the orgasm, and at the hole in the fence that the red fox sneaks through down behind the barn. It’s simultaneously a local and an express, but it doesn’t transport weaponry, and it certainly ain’t no milk run.”
– Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito
Sol Driven Train’s music weaves through genres like images in a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band’s playful sonic schizophrenia absorbs songwriting influences like John Prine and Paul Simon, Afrocaribbean rhythmic explorations, and funky New Orleans-style brass into earnest songs of life, love, loss, and long johns. The versatile 6-piece band, based in Charleston, SC, features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, and percussion. Combining rich varieties of American pop and folk music into their own brass-kickin’ roots rock sound, Sol Driven Train has carved out a unique musical identity within the Jam and Americana music scene.
Sol Driven Train’s sound has helped shape their hometown’s musical identity for more than a decade. It’s soulful and rich like Charleston’s food, approachable like its people, rooted in history like its architecture, and as diverse as you’d expect from a city that, for instance, has a Prius-driving Democrat for a mayor in one of the country’s reddest states. During the spring of 2000, a close circle of friends began gathering in college apartments downtown Charleston to create sound and share in the fun and cathartic joy of music. Through the course of 14 years and over 1,000 live shows, this same spirit still guides Sol Driven Train through the rocky road of the music industry. The venues have grown from bedrooms to festival stages, the amps have gotten louder, the lineup has evolved, and the crowds have multiplied, but the sense of brotherhood, mutual support, and creative independence within the band has strengthened. Along the way, the band has performed alongside their musical heroes, sharing stages with greats such as Bruce Hornsby, Levon Helm, Michael Franti, and Blues Traveller. Through hard work and a commitment to live performance, the band’s reputation and collective musical ability has grown with every season. Named “2011 Rock Band of the Year” “2012 Jam Band of the Year” and “2013 World/Groove/Reggae Band of the Year” by the Charleston City Paper, and “On the Verge” by Relix Magazine in January 2012, Sol Driven Train is an independent band breaking into the national spotlight. Ten independent releases including two critically-acclaimed albums for children, a live concert DVD, a live album, five full-length studio albums, and last summer’s popular “Watermelon” EP document the band’s winding musical development. The band has been working hard in the studio in between their 2014 tour schedule. “Dance” is an upbeat full length album scheduled for release in early 2015.
THE HEAVY PETS:
The Heavy Pets are an American rock band that blends rhythm & blues, jazz, funk, disco and reggae with rock & roll. Called “a living, breathing, force of nature” by Relix Magazine, the Petsare known for their soulful songcraft and powerhouse live performances. Riding high on the success of their most recent studio effort, Two Horses, look out for The Heavy Pets as they continue to hit the road hard.
“Nice big balls.” – Dennis Cook, Jambase
The group became an instant Sirius radio sensation in 2007 with the release of their double-disc debut album, Whale, driven by hit tracks “Operation of Flight” and “Sleep.” First embraced by the jam scene for their raw talent, their crossover sound that is showcased on their self-titled album, also dubbed a “Top 10 Album of 2010” by The Huffington Post, propelled them into the periphery of mainstream music. Returning to their acoustic roots on Swim Out Past the Sun(2011), THP’s guitar duo set aside their electric axes for a more organic approach. The Heavy Petsfollowed up those polished efforts by releasing theEverywhere Sessions: Volume 1 EP, recorded live in the studio with accompanying videos of the three songs “Chew,” “Help Me Help You” and “The Day the Sun Forgot to Rise.”