Jay Van Raalte and The Spectrum
December 17 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm| $10
Jay Van Raalte and the Spectrum
w/ Extra Texture
Jay Van Raalte and the Spectrum
What would you get if you blended the economy of The Edge with the blowtorch blues of Jack White, added to the direct, narrative songwriting of Tom Petty and the dramatic flair of The Killers? Probably something like Jay Van Raalte. The Charleston native’s musical endeavors have ranged from old school blues to folk/country, from musical theater to modern rock, but three things remain constant: thoughtful guitar playing, perceptive songwriting, and a strict attention to detail and arrangement. All of this is on display in Linearity, the Reverend Guitars featured artist’s debut release. The self-produced EP features Van Raalte on nearly every instrument, but bringing the songs to life onstage requires a team: Derk Van Raalte (bass) and Bradley Palles (drums) make up the rest of live band Jay Van Raalte and The Spectrum, providing a rock-solid foundation for Jay’s fiery guitar playing.
Upcoming release Something More and Kind Of Less, Jay’s first full-length album, has been a long time coming. The album is diverse, ranging from the screaming, chaotic guitar solos of Cautionary Tale to the folk textures of Passing Through, the Smashing Pumpkins-inspired Piece by Piece to the hypnotic drum loop of Achtung. That’s not a conscious effort so much as the natural expression of Van Raalte’s curiosity coupled with a sincere desire to let every song be exactly what it wants to be. Co-producers Matt Megrue and Derk Van Raalte encouraged this spirit, resulting in a body of work that’s both playful and stubborn, vulnerable and ambitious.
Van Raalte is more excited than ever about the road ahead, which is saying something given that previous career highlights include performing with Blues legend Buddy Guy, working with heroes like Drivin’ n Cryin’, and playing cities as wide-ranging as New York City, Nashville, and Atlanta. Right now, Jay is burning the candle at more than both ends: logging hours on the road with The Spectrum, doing hired gun guitar work, and making studio time to record and produce. As a kid whose dream was to ride in a van with friends, playing music to new friends in new cities, Jay doesn’t want to miss a minute of the journey.
Jay “has a willingness to try on different musical styles, production techniques, chord progressions – to be a creative omnivore” and “plays a thick, smoky style of lead guitar that drips with roadhouse menace.” Yet Jay’s goals remain modest: “I just want to make music that I think is good with people I like.”
Linearity Review (Post and Courier, Best SC Music of 2021):
Jay Van Raalte’s “Linearity” is a fantastic collection full of great moments. It’s hard not to feel the breeze when the chorus on “Used To Be” kicks the song into a different gear. It’s hard not to do a little headbanging when “Pennie Lane” launches into that perfect descending riff. It’s hard not to catch your breath a little when Van Raalte gets nostalgic on “Origami Stars” and sings “A picket fence surrounds the backyard in my mind.” The whole EP is full of those types of moments, and it didn’t have to be that way. Van Raalte is a fiery guitarist who could’ve released an album full of shredding and death-defying solos. Instead, what we got were melodic riches, five songs with indelible melodies, indie-rock grit and a heart as big as all outdoors. VINCENT HARRIS
Future Forward: Jay Van Raalte & The Spectrum (Sound and Soul, 2022)
Guitarslinger Jay Van Raalte comes complete right out of the box, a melody-savvy veteran performer and studio ace at twenty-three with highlight reels of experience earned behind six strings side-stage as a member of Charleston outfit Jump Castle Riot and front and center of slim, atmospheric power trio The Spectrum. Leaning comfortably on the execution of prime R.E.M. and honey-razor Britpop, the former competitive surfer’s debut EP Linearity throttles with coming-of-age clarity, rock n’ roll theatricality, and heartbreak-on-the-sleeve angst. AARON IRONS
* Show is for all ages. Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by a parent & will be subject to a $5 surcharge. The surcharge must be paid in cash at the door on the day of the event.