--- Epic Season ---
_ If you stroll by their Facebook page, you'll notice Epic Season is incredibly busy in spite of their 'day jobs.' To meet them, you might see just another group of young people having fun, enjoying life, doing what young people do. I missed the multiple sets these gentlemen performed on the side stage while I fought with technology on Day One. I caught only their farewell and invitation to open mic which was upstaged by MercyMe's impromptu acoustic set.
_ As they prepared for the main stage on Day Two I watched them complete their sound check and I could see a bit of the stage jitters young performers sometimes have, but I also noted a peaceful command over what they were about to do. They are no strangers to the stage. They've been accompanied by some rather well known artists and they do this a lot, travelling New England and being in front of people. I started to feel something familiar about watching their preparations unfold, but I would not realize what it was until long after the set when I got to speak with the group away from the stage.
_ With each member slamming a bass drum, they took the stage. It set a tone for the whole set. Warriors on the mountain, but the music is not tribal, just fully animated. They have a growing list of original songs that I honestly cannot pigeon-hole. It reminds me of Christian-oriented, positive alternative rock, a collection of eclectic pop-ballads and a bit of country or folk dipped in for good measure. It feels crunchy, not granola-normal, but down-to-earth, easy to reach, refreshing like being in the woods after living so long in the big city. Their melodies take you by surprise and every instrument and vocal compliments the track they're presenting. There's almost a prodigy factor in some of it, denying the idea that these guys cannot be any older than twenty-two or twenty-three. In fact, I think they're all under twenty, but I'm not good with figuring age any more.
_ As the set continues, I'm drawn to the idea that they remind me of Phish. I don't know why they do, but the thought is there. Perhaps it's the potential I'm seeing. They are multi-talented instrumentalists, switching from drums to bass to guitar or keyboards with ease. The vocals defy me to figure out who is the lead on this stage and while there is certainly a continuity underlying their presentation, it seems that there are facets of this band that appear unexpectedly and offer a completely new sound. I find that I'm way more into this group than I expected to be. This very experience has washed over me before.
_ I am reminded of a day a decade or so ago as I hosted a small event as a DJ. There is a tiny stage with no lights and this young fourteen or fifteen year old girl has joined our event to sing a few songs. I know nothing about her, just that she is doing her thing and with guitar in hand she takes the stage. I introduce her. At my ear, her mother talks about the trip up to New England and how they have a tight schedule over the next few weeks. I cannot hear most of what she says because the nervous young lady I just introduced has started playing and tunnel vision has set in. For a few brief moments, I see only her. I hear only the words she is singing, the sole acoustic guitar, and it becomes apparent that this little girl is talented beyond my imagination.
_ As she leaves the stage, I thank her for joining us and before I know what I am saying, the words come off my lips like a declaration, "Ladies and gentleman, keep your eyes and ears open over the next few months because this young lady is on her way to Nashville where she's just signed a recording contract. You'll be hearing a lot more from her soon. Give it up for Taylor Swift!"
_ The guys from Epic Season are right now setting up a GoFundMe site (gofundme.com/epicseason) to finance their own trip back down to Nashville. The producer on their EP, "Till the Darkness Falls" and their first full-length album, "New Lands" must have seen the potential too and the recordings do justice to the band's natural sound. I'd like to suggest that you head over to iTunes, give their offerings a listen and buy them both before you head over to the GoFundMe page because sales of the current albums will greatly increase their exposure in the recording industry and they deserve to be heard.
_ If you're a producer or an agent, I think you should snatch up this act. In a world where auto-tune and prepackaged acts are thrown together simply for glam effect or to penetrate a market segment, it is rare to find God-given talent in just one of the members of a young group like this. I'm getting older and a bit more biased in the stuff I choose to listen to, but I'm overwhelmed with a sense that there's musical genius times three in Epic Season and many years for them to gather a following the likes of which spend summers or even lifetimes travelling long distances just to take part in their shows. Give them a listen and go see one of their shows. I'm convinced you'll find it a rewarding use of your time.
_Be the story in 2017: http://www.riverrockfestival.com
20162808365210x15JD Plourde IINikonD810River Rock FestivalSunday RiverMaineChristChristianSaviorLordmusicworshippositiveconcertmusiciansperforming artsbandcelebrationThe Lighthouse EventsBethelEpic SeasonTill Darkness Falls To DawnNew LandsLost SoulsNathan WellsSimon WellsMatthew CroryEli StrahanJDPlourdeII, from