Indie folk-rockers Old Desert Road will be releasing the fourth and last of its seasonal EPs this weekend at First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry.
The relatively new group out of Twin Cities features lead singer and rhythm guitarist Rob Phillips, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jennifer Peterson, bassist Zach Anderson, lead guitarist Nathan Dean and drummer Matthew Kelly.
The show is set for Saturday and features other local acts Jack & The Coax, Lake Avenue and Going To The Sun – along with special guests. Doors open at 7 p.m.
For more on the band, check out my interview with Rob Phillips below!
First things first: Could you tell me a little bit about the formation of your band?
Myself (vocals/guitar) and Jennifer Peterson (violin/vocals) started playing music together in 2003. Originally Old Desert Road was a project we had with our dear friend, Zach Frisbie. We played a few shows together and wrote some tunes but eventually Zach moved back to Arizona. Jenn and I never stopped playing. We played a few shows together, the two of us, eventually meeting Jeff Kruse (lead guitar). The three of us played around town with a few different drummers eventually adding bassist and gentleman, Mr. Zach Anderson to the mix and settling down with Matthew Kelly on the drums. Ten years since its begging, Old Desert Road was once again in April 2013. Jeff eventually moved up north and we were fortunate to meet Nathan Dean (lead guitar) who has recorded our last three albums with us.
How does the songwriting process usually go?
Most of Old Desert Road’s songs were written by myself years ago and adapted to the full band mix throughout the last couple of years. The band works out these songs together to help create a blend of instrumentation and vocal harmonies. We are working on new material and plan to release our first full length album in the fall of 2015.
What kind of messages do you send in your music?
There are often struggles and speed bumps along the road of life and we can all get through it. Love is a beautiful thing.
Are there themes that you keep going back to?
Love. Relationships. Hardships. Family. Friendships. Religion. Darkness. Loyalty. Respect.
What would you like a listener to take away from the music?
Love your Life and Live it Long!
I hear the show marks the release of your fourth and final seasonal EP … could you tell me about the other EPs, why you chose to do seasonal EPs and what you hoped to accomplish with them?
We live in the most beautiful state in the US. Minnesota has four wonderful seasons and Old Desert Road wanted to share that with you by releasing a four-part seasonal collection of EPs (four songs each). We chose each release’s tracks very carefully, attempting to paint the picture and the feeling of that season while listening.
I’ve seen the list of your influences/inspirations … but if you could tour with one band (still around or not) who’d it be? Why?
Dave Matthews Band. They have one of the largest followings. They are one of the most talented touring bands left. We feel their fans would also enjoy our sound. Or Neil Young because he’s fantastic.
To piggy tail off that question, what’s your dream gig? What venue would it be and why?
Red Rocks (Colorado) or the George (Washington) opening for Dave and Neil. Sold out. Boom, magical.
You’re a relatively young band, but if you had to choose, what’s the band’s most memorable occasion/show?
Dec. 12, 2014. Charles (McTerry Music) and I put together a benefit concert for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis. They invited the national touring band Blitzen Trapper along with locals Farewell Milwaukee and Bigtree Bonsai to play the show. We were fortunate enough to open for them. There was at least 350 people in the room and it was all for such a great cause — an amazing night all around.
What future ambitions/projects are you guys looking forward to/working on?
Old Desert Road plans to continue to share the Four Seasons Collection locally and soon nationally. We will be releasing our debut full-length album fall of 2015.
Lastly, what should the audience/fans expect from the show?
First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry will be full of music lovers this Saturday evening. Not only will there be great company and cold beverages, Old Desert Road has invited some very talented bands to join the party! Jack & the Coax, Lake Avenue and Going to the Sun will be our special guests to keep the party rolling.
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