Truth & Salvage Co. continues to revel in support of debut release
:; Fox Theatre :: October 14 ::
By Brian F. Johnson
Chris Robinson knows music. As the frontman of The Black Crowes, the artists has often prided himself on knowing exactly what pot dealers listen to and encouraging his fans to do likewise. Though Robinson is on the harder side of rock and roll with his own music, he has always gravitated to slightly more mellow offerings, like Ry Cooder, Neil Young, Gram Parsons and, of course, Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, whose 2008 album Vagabonds Robinson produced.
So, it’s really no wonder that Robinson hooked up with Truth & Salvage Co. The Los Angeles-based six piece, which boasts four lead singers, looks like they hung out with Lynyrd Skynyrd in the ’70s, but they sound more like Robinson’s beloved Jayhawks — a blend of singer/songwriter, alt-country and rock and roll, with more than ample harmonies.
Keyboardist Walker Young, who is also one of the singers in the band, didn’t need any introduction to Robinson, who met the band through a mutual manager in 2008. Young grew up in Atlanta, and was in middle and high school when Mr. Crowe’s Garden turned into The Black Crowes and broke out of Atlanta into the national mainstream. “When I was in middle and high school they were blowing up,” Young said in a recent interview with The Marquee. “And then here we are up at his [Robinson’s] house working on our songs with him and he’s sitting there singing the chorus and helping us with harmonies. That’s the Hollywood world we live in.”
Robinson, along with his brother Rich, went on to sign the band to their newly established Silver Arrow label and, alongside his old friend and collaborator Paul Stacey, Robinson produced Truth & Salvage Co.’s debut, self-titled album, which was released this summer.
The album gained massive attention, right away. Truth & Salvage was cited as a “Top 10 Band to Watch This Summer” by USA Today. Rolling Stone said that the band “has what it takes for the long haul,” and Glide said the record comes off “more like a greatest hits album than a debut.”
Young said that having Robinson and Stacey’s influences in the studio helped the album tremendously. He said that while one would think Robinson would just turn everything up, the fact of the matter is that both producers kept the band pretty dialed down. “I think that both Chris and Paul made us dial it back a bit,” Young said. “You know, we’re a live band. That’s who we are, and both of them kind of worked to keep us reigned in a little bit, so that it wasn’t a giant mess.”
Young said that group started with about 30 songs for the album, but that culling it down wasn’t too hard. “It was kind of our set, so those were the songs we picked. But now, we’re playing three hour long sets and putting some of that stuff back in there. It’s funny when you’re on the road, you’re supposed to play the thing you’re supporting, but all you can think of is what’s new in your head, and those are the ones you want to do,” he laughed.
The attention the album received got the band booked to a number of high profile festivals, and those performances then drew attention from television. In August, the band appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” where they performed two songs from the album. Young said it was a great experience. “We got to do that in L.A., where we’re from. So we got to invite a bunch of friends and to have them there singing in the front row was really comforting, but then you realize that this is going out to like two million people. That’s just crazy.”
All of the recognition isn’t going to the band’s head, though. Young said that part of their dynamic — especially considering that they have four lead singers in the group — is their ability to put their egos aside. “You know, it’s really not changing the way we approach things or what we do. Maybe it should, but it’s not. At least not yet it hasn’t,” he laughed.
:: Truth & Salvage Co. ::
:; Fox Theatre :: October 14 ::
:: Bluebird Theatre :: October 15 and 16 ::