Revivalist

For years, the Revivalists were the not-so-small band that – with seven members, this group was never small – made their way from shows in their hometown of New Orleans to album releases and touring praise for their albums and their dynamic live performances – To advance shows and their careers step by step.

But after the decade has passed, things are definitely on the upswing, and guitarist Zack Feinberg appreciates some of the opportunities the revivalists are getting now.

“There are so many things. We’re playing Red Rocks, ”he said in a phone interview, referring to the iconic outdoor amphitheater near Denver. “This is absolutely crazy. We opened for the Rolling Stones. “

Yes, the Revivalists are playing Red Rocks next June. The band was also due to play at New York’s Radio City Music Hall last March, despite the pandemic getting in the way. And in 2019 the band opened a show on the Rolling Stones’ “No Filter” tour and brought lifelong memories with them.

“I never expected my band to open for the Rolling Stones in 2019,” said Feinberg. “I was born in 1987, that’s almost half of her career. It has just been unbelievably confirmed to be on this stage and to be in this football stadium opening for one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands in history. It’s so special to see these guys and meet them right before the show and just watch them do their thing up there. It’s inspiring and it just felt like a nice little acknowledgment of everything and all of the work we’ve done. I just had an incredible time and it was a highlight that I will never forget. “

Other special moments like this appearance with the Rolling Stones character will happen as the Revivalists continue their upward trajectory in their careers. In the beginning it was a slow climb for the band, which formed in 2007.

Within a year, the Revivalists had released a self-titled EP and began the extensive tour schedule that the band has maintained ever since.

Until 2014, however, the band – to the Feinberg, David Shaw (vocals), Ed Williams (pedal steel guitar), George Gekas (bass), Rob Ingraham (saxophone), Michael Girardot (keyboards / trumpet), Andrew Campanelli (drums) ) and the fairly young newcomer PJ Howard (drums) – was really gaining momentum. After self-releasing their first two full-length albums, the Revivalists signed a contract with Wind-Up Records, which in 2014 re-released a deluxe edition of their second album “City of Sound”.

Wind-Up’s larger platform gave revivalists more exposure, and their next album, 2015’s Men Amongst Mountains, took the band to a new level with the single, Wish I Knew You. Billboard ”on the magazine’s Adult Alternative Songs chart.

Then in 2018, “Take Good Care,” the group’s first album for Loma Vista Recordings (part of the Concord label group), added a second No. 1 adult alternative hit “All My Friends” to the band’s catalog.

Then, in 2019, the group had to do a project that came from another of the cool opportunities that arise for the revivalists.

With the name “Made in Muscle Shoals” is an EP for which the Revivalists went to the legendary Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and created new and sometimes significantly different versions of five songs, mainly of “Take Good Care “Plus a cover of” To Love Somebody “by Bee Gees and a new track,” Bitter End “. An accompanying mini-documentary walks the band through the EP making process, capturing elements of the band members’ creative process and the excitement of recording in the studio, where legends like the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding made some of their recordings on classic albums and Songs.

The idea for the Fame Studio session wasn’t that ambitious at first. The Revivalists wanted to record and film performances of songs from “Take Good Care”. But that thinking changed when the band got to the studio.

“We saw this as an opportunity to go to Muscle Shoals and shoot our live videos there. And while we were doing that, was it kind of what it is like to do it exactly like we did it live or like we did it in the studio? ”Said Feinberg.

“Let’s have some fun and get inspired by the sounds we heard in this room and through this equipment,” he said. “We just had fun exploring different interpretations of our songs.”

Some of the new versions on the EP released in January 2020 offer quite subtle differences. For example, the EP version of “Change” gets some new electronic accents, but retains the playful pop-soul sound (think of Pharrell’s “Happy”) of the studio version. “Oh No” remains largely true to the studio version, only with a little more organic sound. However, some other songs offer more substantial changes. “All My Friends” loses a lot of the pop glamor of the studio version and takes on a more reduced, soulful feeling. “Wish I Knew You” is transformed from its lively pop studio version into a meditative gospel ballad that only contains piano and vocals.

After the Fame Studio sessions, Feinberg said that the experience of exploring new ways of playing their songs will help the band move forward on a creative level.

“I think it helped us grow as arrangers,” he said. “There are so many ways to perform songs. I think it will affect our next studio experience in the sense that we’re open to trying things in a different style … It’s good that you try out songs in different styles and see if they are different and what not. “

For now, the revivalists are returning to the touring routine. The group already has a number of shows in the books for September and some shows for next year. The band has the arsenal to create an unforgettable show.

“Our live show is known to be quite a spectacle based on the group and the number of musicians on stage, two drums, horns, pedal steel guitar and a regular rock band,” said Feinberg. “It’s like all of this adds to the standard rock band instrumentation and we have a very dynamic and energetic front man in David Shaw who delivers every night. But with everything we’ve said, we like to keep it fresh too. We tour every night so we don’t necessarily play the same set every night. Unique things will happen every night. We pull out old material and new arrangements of new material. “

And in contrast to many concerts nowadays, practically everything the audience hears comes from the musicians on stage, which Feinberg is proud of.

“I’m always disappointed when I go to a concert and hear things happen that I don’t see on stage. Especially with an eight-piece band, everything comes to you live, ”he said. “There might be a (backing) track or two where we add a beat that is obviously something we did before and that doesn’t sound like our instruments. But our kind of ethos has always been that we’re an honest rock band and that I, as a concertgoer, appreciate and deliver this live energy, and our goal is to bring it to our live shows. “

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