Achilles Wheel celebrates their new album at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City
KNOW & GO
WHO: Achilles Wheel CD Release Party for “Sanctuary,” plus special guests Acoustically Speaking, featuring Kat Walkerson and Mik Bondy from the Garcia Project, and a short presentation by Grateful Dead photographer Susana Millman and writer Dennis McNally.
WHEN: Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City
TICKETS: $22/advance, $27/door, tickets are available online at www.minersfoundry.org, by phone 530-265-5040, or in person at the Miners Foundry and BriarPatch, or at the door. Standing/dancing show with limited seating available. Ticketing fees may apply.
From their win as 101.5 KTKE Tahoe Truckee’s 2016 Band of the Year to stellar live shows at festivals such as High Sierra, California WorldFest and Railroad Earth’s Hangtown Halloween, Achilles Wheel has firmly secured their place among Northern California’s acclaimed rock bands.
On Friday, they will celebrate the release of their fourth album, “Sanctuary,” with an all-night extravaganza at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center that also includes a live performance from Acoustically Speaking, featuring Kat Walkerson and Mik Bondy from the Garcia Project, and a multi-media presentation from photographer Susana Millman and writer/historian/long time Grateful Dead publicist Dennis McNally.
Achilles Wheel’s sound is a vibrant blend of roots, world music and rock ‘n’ roll. Achilles Wheel’s infectious grooves come from the funky driving beats of drummers Gary Campus and Mark McCartney and bassist Shelby Snow. But at the core of the group are a handful of songwriters and songwriting partnerships that write and produce songs that fit the natural talents and musical tendencies of all the band members.
“There is something magical that happens when we play and write together,” said drummer McCartney.
Guitarist Paul Kamm said, “The songwriting partnerships of Jonny “Mojo” Flores and George Lloyd, myself and Chris Kamm, the additional songwriting of Shelby, as well as the band’s willingness to cover songs from their previous groups and any number of gems from the boundless landscape of the world’s songbook, gives this band a voice that is ready for any party.”
Recorded at Ancient Wave Studios in Nevada City, with Grammy award winning sound engineer Oz Fritz, the 13 original songs on “Sanctuary” span from tunes that members have had for some time, waiting for the perfect moment, to new songs from new collaborations.
“Deciding to go with a real professional engineer in a high grade studio was all about improving the overall sound over the previous releases,” said Snow. “We knew we’d get more of a cohesive compilation by doing the whole project in one place. Saul and Elena Rayo (owners of Ancient Wave) are good friends and we love the energy there, so Ancient Wave was an easy choice.”
Fritz, who has worked with musicians such as Tom Waits, Bill Laswell, Wanda Jackson, Iggy Pop and The Ramones, was given technical carte blanche with the recording and took full advantage of that. He was involved with the recording from the very beginning of the studio process until the very end when the master was turned into the CD manufacturer and put out for digital distribution.
“Recording at Ancient Wave was great mainly because everyone felt comfortable there. It has a relaxed and aesthetically pleasant environment conducive to creativity,” said Fritz. “Ancient Wave was technically a step up for the band. The combination of vintage analog and contemporary digital gear at the studio brought a noticeably broader dimension to their sound than the previously home-recorded albums.”
“Sanctuary” was recorded over three months this winter and during that time period Fritz had a front row seat to the group’s unique synergy that resulted in what he calls “genuinely heartfelt music” that “people will feel in their bones and be moved by.”
Keyboardist Ben Jacobs reflects the sentiment and said, “Together we all exist in such a unique, intimate and wonderful place — at least for a few hours — I’m in a state of constant amazement. I hope this recording can be just as personal for our listeners.”
Opening the show is Acoustically Speaking, featuring Kat Walkerson and Mik Bondy of The Garcia Project, performing soulful, acoustic folk, rock, Motown and other classic songs from Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, and The Grateful Dead.
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