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Twin Forks (feat. Chris Carrabba)

Twin Forks (feat. Chris Carrabba)

Dan Layus, The Social Animals

Wed, May 10, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$18 ADV - $20 DOOR

Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Twin Forks (feat. Chris Carrabba)
Twin Forks (feat. Chris Carrabba)
"I use my gut, and my gut don't lie to me" is more than just a lyric in Twin Forks' exuberant "Something We Just Know," it is a kind of mission statement for the quartet. If you've ever been to a musical performance that made you lose all sense of time and place and give in to the cathartic feeling of clapping and dancing and singing along, you've already visited the sweet spot where Twin Forks have made it their mission to reside. "Whatever makes the audience stomp their feet and sing at the top of their lungs, that's what I want to be doing," says singer/guitarist Chris Carrabba. "I want to be generating that spirit from the stage.

Carrabba figured out the guiding principle for Twin Forks before he even knew exactly what the project would sound like. During recent solo tours, Carrabba -- whose Dashboard Confessional grew from an intimate solo-acoustic affair to a bona fide arena rock band during the mid '00s -- says he was reminded how important that audience connection had always been to him as a performer.

He also knew he wanted to craft a sound closer to the music he'd loved as a kid -- classic folk, country and roots music. Growing up outside Hartford, Connecticut in an area he describes as "half-rural, half-city," Carrabba developed an early fondness for acoustic singer-songwriters he heard on the radio -- Cat Stevens and John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot -- as well as the more obscure Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan and Guy Clark LPs he found in his mother and step-brother's record collections. "At the beginning of Dashboard, I wanted to write an acoustic record, but every time I played a D,C, or G chord -- which are called the 'cowboy chords' -- I would think about how Tom Petty or Cat Stevens or John Denver or Gordon Lightfoot did this already," says Carrabba. "That's when I started tuning my guitars all to hell and back, just so they sounded weird to me. I was probably playing DCG anyway, but I didn't know anything about guitar, and that was how I could get myself feeling like I was in new territory."

"When I started playing acoustic-based music, I wasn't trying to avoid traditional folk because I didn't love it -- I just loved it so much and didn't wanna do an injustice to it," Carrabba notes. "And I had other influences and I thought, why can't I combine this punk and hardcore feeling with this classic folk feeling -- because they were both such massive loves of mine. But right now I'm more excited about utilizing the age-old, time-tested thing and trying to excel within the parameters of a traditional template."

He still wanted to be in new territory, though, so when he started writing songs for the project that would evolve into Twin Forks, he wanted to add a new twist. So Carrabba spent three years teaching himself traditional fingerpicking technique. "There's magic in that kind of playing, where you're managing two guitar parts," he says. "I have always found it fascinating and it just seemed like it was calling to me." Equipped with that new set of skills, Carrabba started writing his most delicate, musically articulate compositions yet, temporarily setting them aside for he-didn't-know-what. In the interim, making his 2011 covers album, "Covered In The Flood," gave him the chance to explore his relationship with songs by some of his favorite folk and country artists, both classic and contemporary, including Clark, John Prine, Justin Townes Earle and Corey Brannan. He then worked up those covers for a performance at San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival.

The experience was a major awakening. "Onstage at HSB, we were elated. All I want to be is elated while I'm performing. Why else should we be getting onstage? We're not up there to be some good-time charlie band, but we are not hiding the fact that we are elated to be onstage with you and we're choosing the songs that are giving us the best edge to be able to do that."

After Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Carrabba returned home with a new sense of purpose and a clarity of vision for Twin Forks. In the previous two years, he had been sticking to a temporary rule he'd imposed on himself as a songwriter: "I had made this rule that I would not say 'love' or 'heart' in my lyrics," he explains. "I would talk about those things but I wouldn't say them. So when I came home from that festival and I did write the first song and it did say both 'love' and 'heart,' they felt like the right words, after not having used them for so long. I let the songs happen and found a tempo that suits what Twin Forks became."

"Something We Just Know" came to him first, and then, the flood -- another eight songs in the following eight days. Twin Forks began tracking the new songs whenever they could, between tours with other projects, in a multi-purpose space Carrabba had converted into a studio. Over the course of several weeks starting last fall, they managed to record more than twenty tracks that they plan to whittle down to eleven or twelve for the debut LP they plan to release later this year. "We tracked everything live, and I have this tendency to get really excited about what everyone is doing and I'll make a little hoot or shout, and you can hear all those things in the final versions of the songs," says Carrabba. "On 'Scraping Up The Pieces,' everytime I listen to it and hear Suzie laughing, I'm dying to remember what could have been so funny. Then we additionally multi-track, which we figured was a thoughtful way of approaching the record. You get the error-prone thing that has all the magic in it, but that doesn't mean you can't chase a little more precision. But the goal is always to do our best to get it right in the same room with each other, looking at each other, laughing with each other. I think you can feel that all over the songs."

Originally recorded with musician friends including mandolin player Suzie Zeldin, bassist Jonathan Clark and drummer Ben Homola, Twin Forks has evolved as a live band to include Kimmy Baranoski on backing vocals, Kelsie Baranoski on mandolin and Shawn Zorn on drums.
Dan Layus
Dan Layus, primarily known as the frontman of the critically acclaimed band Augustana, is set to release his debut solo album, 'Dangerous Things,' out October 21, 2016 on Plated Records/ADA.

'Dangerous Things' spans influences from Hank Williams to Tom Waits, from Dwight Yoakam to Woody Guthrie. The album was recorded in Nashville at SouthxSea Studios with minimal production. The lyrics are about life's struggles and its simple joys, and harmonies are provided by Muscle Shoals' own The Secret Sisters.

Of the new music, Layus explains, "I always knew this album was out there waiting, I just had to let it come to me. That was the most challenging part of this record. It was three years of repeatedly realizing I was trying too hard to write a perfect song. It all started to make sense and feel good as soon as I stopped treating songwriting like it was songwriting. Somewhere along the way I decided that if an idea was going to turn into a song on this album, then it had to be written organically and purely. It had to be an inspired moment that was unfolding melodically, musically and lyrically, all while making me feel something. Subsequently, that's how I recorded the songs -- I played the song live a few times in front of some microphones and when I felt something real happen, we moved onto the next one. The songs and recordings on this album are inspired by other people's stories and informed by my own experiences and I've never felt more proud or comfortable sharing an album as I feel with this one."

Layus spent 12 years as the creative force behind American roots-rock band Augustana. After years of grueling touring which took them from basements to amphitheaters, the band as unit had run its course and disbanded. Layus decided to keep the name and subsequently released another album and toured twice more as Augustana. In 2013 he moved to Nashville and found an immediate home in the songwriter community, penning songs for Platinum country artists and pop artists alike. In this new endeavor he also found something even more valuable -- the new sound he had been searching for and scratching at since the inception of Augustana.
The Social Animals
The Social Animals are a full time, van-living, beer-drinking young band. Experts across the globe have called them "The Opposite Of Toby Keith". They speak through elegantly sarcastic and thoughtful lyrics splattered across a canvas of indie rock/Americana instrumentation. They don't do backflips at their live shows or slide across their knees into guitar solos. Instead, they play their music
passionately and honestly, leaving room for a shirt-staining dance party in a crowded club, or one too many glasses of wine and a cab ride home from a listening room. Between songs, their dry commentary on the status of their lives and the world around them often causes people to look up from their phone screens, an action known to be scary and difficult for people throughout the nation.

They recently finished an album recorded at Ice Cream Party Studios in Portland, Oregon. The studio, (owned and frequently used by Modest Mouse), is as eccentric, hidden, and professional as it is smoky. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick), the album highlights their shift toward indie rock, while simultaneously retaining the Americana edge that helped push them to where they are today. Through a mixture of both his tremendous beard and his very intelligent ear for all things music, Berlin helped shape the band's second release into something worth stealing online. Captured almost completely live, the album showcases the band's growth as a professional entity, driven by powerful vocals and the dirt of endless touring. If you've made it this far, congrats.
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