Here’s your chance to become a recording star.
All you have to do is go to the Mayfield Four show tonight at Outback Jack’s and cheer really, really loud.
There will be a mobile recording truck on hand. There will be a real live producer, as well (a famous guy, in fact). And, of course, there will be the band - a swell group of our own Spokane guys who just happen to be first-rate rock musicians to boot.
Now, if you cheer loud enough during the show, your enthusiasm will be captured by the aforementioned recording truck.
Jerry Harrison, the aforementioned producer and former keyboard player for the Talking Heads, will then tinker over it with the band. And, come December or so, your applause, along with four or so of The Mayfield Four’s finest tunes will be transformed into a CD and delivered to West Coast stores everywhere.
It will be the first CD put out by The Mayfield Four, who earlier this summer signed a multi-album deal with major label Epic Records - home of Rage Against the Machine and Pearl Jam, among others.
It is also a chance to support a truly talented band who hasn’t forgotten its roots.
“The idea of recording a live album here seemed appealing to us because this is our home town,” says singer/ guitarist Myles Kennedy. “We just thought it would be somewhat unique. No one’s really done that here.”
The Mayfield Four formed in July 1996 with guitarist Craig Johnson, drummer Zia Uddin and bassist Marty Meisner joining Kennedy.
They toured the West Coast earlier this summer, meeting Harrison in San Francisco when he took in one of their shows.
Soon, the band decided Harrison was just the man to lead them through the recording process.
“There was something about the guy; we just felt safe with him,” Kennedy says. “It was like he understood our vision.”
In addition to playing with both the Talking Heads and the Modern Lovers, Harrison has produced albums for the Violent Femmes, Rusted Root and Crash Test Dummies. He produced Live’s “Throwing Copper” album which has now sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. alone.
“He seems to be able to tap into how to get the best out of the bands he works with and not make them sound like everything else he’s worked with,” Kennedy says.
The Mayfield Four members hope tonight’s recording will help them establish a grass-roots following as they head out on tour at the first of the year.
But beyond tonight’s show, Harrison’s main job will be to guide The Mayfield Four through recording their first full-length album.
This weekend the guys head to Seattle and into the studio for two months of work on an LP that’s expected out in March.
In addition to Harrison, music guru Brendan O’Brien has signed on to mix the band’s CD. He has previously worked with Sound Garden, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.
Tonight’s show starts at 9:30 p.m. Flourish and 13 open. Cover is $5.
The motherload of hillbilly punk
When asked what he’s been doing since the breakup of Motherload, bassist Geof Templeton is quick with his answer.
Then he laughs.
Who knew that penance involved pounding nails in Alaska.
But sure enough, the last two-and-a-half years of this former Spokanite’s life have been spent working construction in the hinterlands.
“I actually had it in my mind that I was going to retire from music and just build houses,” Templeton says. “But then after getting away from it you really miss it, you know?”
Now, Templeton has returned to the Northwest. Only this time he’s on bass with Portland’s hillbilly punk band Elmer. He joins Motherload guitarist Scott Kellogg who jumped aboard the Elmer train last year.
Tonight, the new Elmer lineup makes Spokane the first stop on a tour that will take them from New Orleans to Tijuana, Chicago to Boise - and most places in between.
Templeton says the guys in Elmer wooed him back into the music life with an offer in February.
“I didn’t really feel like spending another winter in Alaska, so I said yes.”
And besides, “I’ve always liked country music,” Templeton says, explaining he was raised on a diet of Jerry Jeff Walker, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. “I think it’s deeply imbedded in my music history. Although, Elmer is like a nitro-powered version thereof.”
Elmer is country music hepped up on goofballs. It’s twang with a drunk punk twist. And it’s boot-kick-in-the-behind kinda fun.
Now on his second week of practicing with the Elmer guys, Templeton says the band’s sound is turning out a bit more power packed.
“Me and Scotty have always had a good chemistry playing together. There was just a lot of fire between us.”
Singer/guitarist Jim McLean and drummer Job Scott round out the foursome.
When Elmer arrives tonight, they come bearing a little gift for fans. Tapes of their 1996 release “Hillbilly Punk” have been packaged inside kooky mock cereal boxes that read: “Elmer, Breakfast of Champeens!
Ingredients: 100 percent pure punk rock (may or may not contain traces of artificial hillbilly flavoring, insect parts, reconstituted country extract, dirt, dog hair, bluegrass from concentrate, cigarette butts and/or stale beer odor).”
Mmmm mmm good.
The Lizards from Sacramento and a killer Spokane band called Some Assembly Required join Elmer tonight. Cover is $4. Show starts at 9:30 p.m.
Mark your calendars for Oct. 2 when Elmer makes a return appearance at Ichabod’s.
Fun for all the ages
Here’s your chance to get a dose of rock and roll and help out a good cause at the same time.
Gil and Indy 977 play an all-ages show at the Coeur d’Alene Cultural Arts Center Saturday evening. Folks are encouraged to bring canned food with them. (No, you don’t throw it at the bands.) Those who arrive bearing the goods get a free soft drink and help out the Post Falls Food Bank.
Cover is $3. Show runs 7 to 10 p.m. The center is located at 414-1/2 Mullan in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Catch Spokane’s Sweet Fancy Moses at all-ages club Area 51 in Spokane Saturday. Kaysee Carl opens. Show starts at 9 p.m. Cover is $6.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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