Although you may not realize, as it has not been portrayed as such (unlike Austin or Brooklyn), Baltimore has a very strong and active local music scene. Not only have numerous artists risen through the ranks to become a part of music history, but Baltimore continues to be a hub of artistic expression in all formats. Local artists that have recently been at the forefront of the industry include J Roddy Walston & The Business, Animal Collective, All Time Low and Beach House. Over the course of this year I have spent time highlighting artists and acts from across the country (and throughout the world), but I believe it is time to shine a light on some local talent worth listening to. I will introduce you to two talented acts with vastly different make-ups and musical styles.
The first group I want to spotlight is The Country Devils. The group, originally founded in 2001, has gone through a number of lineup changes since its inception, but in 2008 seemed to figure out its true structure and sound. I was first introduced to this group earlier this year at the annual Hot August Blues Festival which takes place at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD. The group, led by Michael Beresh, recently released a new album in 2013 titled The Quick And the Don’t Get Any.
The album, a mix of Honky Tonk, Americana and Southern Rock music, is a lighthearted and fun album full of sunny songs you can dance along with. The band has built a repertoire of tracks with clever and fun lyrics and have some real catchy tracks on the new album as well. I do want to pay particular attention to tracks Emily’s Tattoo, Indian Head, Lenny & Honey, and comedic track Mentally Ill.
It is tracks like Mentally Ill that have become familiar with the group’s persona. The group has songs such as Keith Richards Is Your Daddy and Ghost Of John Belushi which are lighthearted tracks that are lyrically comical. The band has also been highlighted in the Baltimore City Paper for their track HammerJacks
The group have shared the stage with numerous local and national acts over the years, including the likes of the Hackensaw Boys, Del McCoury, Greensky BlueGrass, Antibalas, Afrobeat, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Keller Williams, Will Johnson, Sons of Bill, Drag The River, Little Country Giants, Slobberbone, Scott H. Biram, Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons, Kevin Seconds, among others.Website: http://www.michaelberesh.com/ Twitter: @CountryDevils Facebook: The Country Devils
If you’d like to catch them live, the group is headlining a show at the 8×10 in Baltimore next month on January 25th. You can find information on the show here: The 8×10.
Another local act is a band that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since back in my Warner Music days, the Eureka Birds. This Baltimore group have been playing together since 2006 and released their third album in October this year titled Strangers. Their sound is a keyboard/piano-centric one focused on melodic music and creative lyrics.
The new album offers a bit of a different sound for the group as opposed to previous albums, but the core remains the same. The group is built around lead singer and keyboardist Justin Levy, who writes the lyrics for all of the band’s music. The group’s newest album has received a lot of attention from media including spotlights in Baltimore’s City Paper, Washington DC’s Deli Magazine, blog site Beats Per Minute, and one of my personal music discovery avenues AllMusic, featured the album on its site the week of its release. Apart from the free publicity, the group also embarked on creating a music video for the single Fastest. The group partnered with Dreambear Productions to create an excellent piece of work and can be seen below. The video’s creative animation and direction also propelled the video to be listed as a ‘staff pick’ on the home page of the video hosting site Vimeo.
Please be sure to check out the band’s entire discography when giving them a listen, especially tracks like That Mountain Is a Volcano, Cactus Man, Oh! My Dear and Goodbye Space And Time that show off the bands ability to change tempo and tone.SoundCloud: eurekabirds Twitter: @Eurekabirds Facebook: Eureka Birds
If you’d like to catch an upcoming live show, you can see them at The Windup Space in Baltimore on January 10th. More details here: The Windup Space.
Be sure to be on the lookout for more local talent from this area, as Baltimore offers a rich and diverse environment for creative expression.
Now Playing: Eureka Birds – Fastest