Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Exciting news!

Hi friends, 
So many exciting things are happening for us this season! 
We've been working like mad to get ready to bring you our new album, and we're so incredibly proud of it! We spent three very long days in the studio in early January, joined by incredible musicians, and dear friends, Ruth Ella Trochim on drums, and Cathrine Conner on mandolin. Their artistry adds so much to our music, and you can bet you'll hear a lot more about both of them! The album's producer, Aaron Ramsey, was absolutely brilliant in the studio. His ideas and unique musical sensibility elevated the whole project to a level we never imagined. As a bonus, Aaron joins us on several of the album's tracks and has pulled in fellow Mountain Heart player Josh Shilling to add a few more musical touches! We feel like we're playing on the all-star team! Mark Hodges, the owner of the Mountain Fever record label, is creating a new Americana label, Traviana Records, on which we will be a flagship artist. He's working hard to give this album all the boost it can get. With all the exciting promotion happening, it's really amazing to have a core group of supporters, (you!), who have seen this through with us from the beginning. Thanks for believing in us! 
"Echo" is the title of the album, a notion that describes the influences of people and place on this collection of songs. Our songwriting for the record combines stories to be shared and experiences that can only be lived. It's also an invitation, to you, and others who will encounter it, to share those moments with us. Our music is as diverse as ever, encompassing the full range of roots and Americana influences. One song on the record was written by one of our very first "band friends," an incredible Pennsylvania singer/songwriter by the name of David Mantz. He was at our first show, and it's an incredible honor to record his song. (Like we said, this is the all-star team!) We've also added a couple of our favorite classics to the record, which bring it home right where we want to be, in the music of our collective roots. 
We're busy now proofing artwork, which is an incredible set of drawings by one of our favorite people, Darrell Scott, complemented by gorgeous photos by Fallon Kreye, and creating all of your goodies. The record is in the final stage of production this week, and will be sent off to the distributor this month in anticipation of our April release! For those who want to help spread the word, we'll let you know when itunes pre-orders are available. We're also working on lots of tour dates, with a quick swing to the northeast US in May and a long tour to Colorado in June already in the works. We'll keep you posted, and hope to be coming closer to your hometowns this year! 
The big news of the hour is our CD release party! We'll be at the Sun Music Hall in Floyd,VA on April 19th, joined by some amazing musicians!  Here's the party description: 
"You've been anxiously waiting...and the time has come! Join After Jack as they take over the Sun Music Hall for a night filled with music, friendship and fun to celebrate the release of their first full-length, studio album. The ladies are thrilled to share the stage with Yankee Dixie, a trio from Charlottesville, VA who will kick the night off in style. Yankee Dixie combines the soulful Folk & Bluegrass roots of Tara Mills, the driving Punk & Country style of John Howard, and the rock and roll edge of Turtle Zwadlo to create a truly unique and original sound mixing modern day Americana, Folk & Bluegrass. Don't forget your dancing shoes! Kerosene Willy will keep the party rockin'! Born out of the St. Louis Blues and Jam Rock scene, Kerosene Willy is now in its 20th year of finding a groove and sailing away. The lineup features former members of local/regional/national favorites Dark Star Orchestra, Cimarron, Blue Dixie, and Bum Ride. Now the Southwest Virginia influence has crept into the sound to form an eclectic blend rock/blues/country/bluegrass/ and jazz. Get Silly with the Willy and enjoy an evening of Feelgood Freestyle Roots Music. Bring your appetite for good music, good friends and good food!"
To purchase tickets, or help spread the word, they'll be available at Brown Paper Tickets online, and at a few local merchants. (More on that to come as we work out the details). We're hoping to have a big turnout of friends and music lovers, and we can't wait to celebrate with you! 
Tickets are available here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/577715
Thanks for everything you do to support us. It really is incredible.
Lots of love, 
Emily, Rachel & Mary

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanks.

Hi friends, 

Happy November! We have so much to be thankful for this year, and although we hope you hear us say it often, we'd like to send out a huge thank you for all of your love and support. Your encouragement keeps us positive and working hard to give lots more music and love in return. You've supported us financially, helping us to fund our album (updates coming VERY soon on that!!!), buying our ep and sporting those fancy After Jack t-shirts. You've supported us with your energy and excitement, coming out to our shows, dancing and hollering and bringing friends. Last week, you helped us get enough votes to be eligible for a grant that would be a tremendous boost, and you didn't "un-friend" us on facebook even though we posted about it relentlessly. You write us with pictures and notes and ideas, and, best of all, you've done so much to spread the word about our music! 

After Jack is definitely more than three girls onstage. It's a collective expression of the energy and excitement that a WHOLE lot of people are sending out and spreading around. It takes a village. Thanks for being ours. 












Thursday, October 11, 2012

The First Cold

This past Sunday it was - as Mary pointed out - the first cold, which meant it was extra unpleasant to drive through the drizzle and fog to get to our show. Rachel and I were pushing the Subaru to the last drop of gas, and when we finally accepted that we were going to have to stop and stand out in the wind, it seemed possible that we could run out of gas before finding a station to fill up. As we wound around the mountain, we kept remarking that it must be beautiful when the sun shines. When we finally got to Eggleston, we turned off the main road to proceed several miles toward nowhere, finally stopping at a tiny town - and our venue, The Palisades Restaurant. There was no traffic, no big restaurant sign - not that we were complaining - we're very familiar with the middle of nowhere. But as I said, it was cold, and I wondered if people even bothered to drive out on nights like that.

And then, as we were loading into this beautiful restaurant in an old store with a stage in the front display window and a bar behind the counter, people started to show up. In fact, big groups of people came in for dinner who didn't seem to notice that it was freezing on that mountain. It was warm inside, and friendly, the kind of venue where you feel like you get to know the people listening and learn what's on their minds and what they like just by watching what turns their heads.

We had a great time, and by the time we loaded out it seemed warmer outside, and the ride home seemed shorter. We'll definitely be back to the Palisades! Thanks for listening!
 - Emily

Thursday, October 20, 2011

upDATE

Wow.  It's been awhile since we've posted anything.  My apologies to any of you sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting with bated breath for the latest After Jack news :)  We've had an extremely busy couple of months.  Really astoundingly busy considering we've only been together as a band for about two months.  I sometimes remember that fact and am just shocked at what we have accomplished (and are accomplishing) so far.  It seems like we've been at this for a lot longer...(in all the best ways).  In less than two months we have:

~Played at least one show a weekend (although sometimes up to 4!)
~Been featured on TV, Radio and in the Newspaper
~Released an EP CD
~Been selected as finalists in a national video competition (by the way, if you haven't voted for us you simply must. Hayloft Gang Contest . Follow the link and vote for our video, "My Horses Ain't Hungry".  You can vote once a day every day through Oct 24, 2011)
~We are in the process of expanding our merchandise to include stickers and shirts (look for them online or at a live show in the next week or so!)


Whew!  I'm wearing myself out all over again just remembering it all :)  Of course, none of this would have been possible without the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from our amazing friends, family and fans.  We are so thankful for each and every one of you.  Thank you for taking this journey with us and we look forward to the amazing things coming in the next two months...and beyond...


~M

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Right Time, Right Place


You know when something is just right?  All the pieces fall into place; everything clicks; you are where you are meant to be doing what you are meant to be doing.  I think I’m in that place right now.  I have wanted to be a part of a band for about as long as I can remember.  But something always seemed to get in the way:  I was too focused on something else, there weren’t other people around with the same interests or commitment, or there just wasn’t time…until now.  We’ve been at this band thing going on two weeks and it has been nothing short of incredible.  From the beginning of this process, when we asked friends and family to help us decide on a name for the band, we have had an unbelievable amount of response.  And the excitement only grew as we added more information and photos and sound clips.  We’ve had a busy couple of weeks between rehearsing every night, setting up websites, making flyers, looking for more gigs and recording songs (who knew being a rock star was such hard work!) but it has also been one of the most enjoyable processes in my life. 

Going into this weekend and our first show, I didn’t know exactly what to expect.  I was excited about our first gig and the festival in general.   I think we, the band, knew we had a good thing going, but we didn’t know how everyone else would react.  And then they did and it was beyond anything I could have hoped for.  We were offered the chance to play a second set at the festival (which we excitedly accepted).  Other musicians and fans were overwhelmingly positive in their feedback.  We listened to, met and networked with some phenomenal musicians and bands.  The organizers, staff and volunteers at the festival took excellent care of us all weekend long.  All-around it was an amazing experience and I could not imagine a better opportunity for our band to get our feet wet in the music scene. 

Coming away from the weekend, I feel even more excited about music and our band and, even better, I feel that, given the response we've received, I know this is something that we can actually do.  And we will.

-M

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What does your name mean?


We’ve had an official band name for an entire weekend, and we’ve looked at it in so many fonts that the words don’t make sense anymore. Since our idea of decisiveness includes flipping a coin, we naturally depended on our facebook friends to “vote,” thus allowing us to make progress as a band without ever, in fact, having to make a choice.  We did come up with a lot of ideas: The Whethaus Rounders and the Ferrum Mountain Roadshow were in the top three, and once we got people talking and writing about these names, the hardest part wasn’t deciding what to pick, it was deciding what to give up. And of course, there were a couple of names that we loved that seemed somehow…. well, not for the public. In the end, the “official voting window” closed, After Jack had clearly led the final vote, and we three avoided the topic, promised to think about it in the morning, and went to bed.     
I think now that we have pictures and a website and 82 facebook “likes,” it feels like a reality, and we are happy with our choice. We gave a sneak preview on Friday night for Lana Whited and Katherine Grimes, who can’t be at our first show, but promised to bring pizza to a rehearsal (thanks!). Katherine said: “When it’s right, you’ll know. If you had to put it to a vote, it probably isn’t right.” At first, only hours into our new identity, we were relieved. It was like we were just given permission to be wrong and start again and keep going. But, as we allowed ourselves to think and talk in temporary terms, we all realized that we are most excited about having given ourselves permission to commit to this new project. So, we are After Jack.
And now you same people who selected our name for us want to know what it means… a question to which I don’t have a good answer. As we brainstormed, we wanted to come up with a name that meant something to the three of us, something about what ties us together, and ties us to the music that inspires us. We wanted a name that felt like it belonged here, in Ferrum, VA, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We talked about our house, “The Whethaus,” whetstones, iron, (Ferrum), trains, mountains, kudzu, paradise trees... you get the idea. We wouldn’t even know each other, however, if it hadn’t been for the theatre, and it’s probably that experience of playing and working together that has given us enough confidence to try to make this dream a reality.
“And then there’s my boy Jack,” the narrator says in “Quar Jack,” one of our favorite Jack Tales. When we tried to narrow down what has been most special in our Ferrum experience, the Jack Tales had to top the list. Most of our friends are already very familiar with the Jack Tales, but if you don’t know what we’re talking about, look us up or come see us. Anyway, it was certainly a reference to the Jack Tales, and our work in the Jack Tale players that put Jack on the list of band name themes. Ashlee Heyward said: “Jack has been a huge part of your lives for a WHILE and now you’re moving forward. I think it’s perfect.”
So maybe the name is about what’s next for the three of us, I don’t think, as Tina Hanlon suggested, that we are trying to place Jack or any other elements of Appalachian culture or music in the past, but we do like the idea that we are trying to create something new that is inspired by tradition. I personally like the ambiguity, also, of a name without a clear meaning. Lana offered: "After Jack" can obviously mean "we are after Jack," as in "we're a' chasing that fellar." I like that, too. So I guess if you would like to know the definitive meaning of After Jack, we can put it to a vote on facebook. Thanks for all the love and support so far!

Emily 

First Entry


Welcome to After Jack’s blog! This is an exciting adventure for us and we are especially grateful to our friends for supporting us in many ways as we begin. The idea behind this blog is that we can use it as a personal forum to document our experiences or share news. We want our friends to join the journey with us and we look forward to making new friends along the way. We’ll use this blog like a journal. We hope you enjoy it.

-The Girls