Achilles Wheel to perform Friday at the Miners Foundry, part of their live recording series
Special to Prospector
KNOW & GO
Who: Achilles Wheel
What: Live recording with the folk, soul, and blues sound of “Wolf Jett” opening
Where: The Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street Nevada City
When: Friday, show 8 p.m., doors 7 p.m.
How: Tickets: $22 adv, $27 door, minersfoundry.org or call 530-265-5040
Be part of music history Friday night at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City, as local favorite Achilles Wheel record the performance which will be part of a live CD to be edited and released in 2020. Since June of this year, the band has been working with Grammy award-winning music engineer Oz Fritz, recording concerts at The Crazy Horse (twice), and the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, 19 Broadway in Fairfax, and culminating with tomorrow night’s performance at the Miners Foundry, to compile a live music experience.
Original member, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Paul Kamm said while they have recorded four studio albums over the decade the band has been together, the live experience is really what their fans want to hear. “We are really proud of our studio records, but our audience tends to like the live experience and they have been asking for more live recordings for a while now so we decided since we aren’t doing a studio record this year, that the thing to do would be to go to places we like to play and record them and see what we get.” He said the second show at the Crazy Horse was especially “off the chart.”
The venues are all a little different which will be heard in the recording. Kamm said the band has grown exponentially throughout the process. Achilles Wheel has worked to break away from their past link to music of The Grateful Dead and started pushing their original music — which is not to say they won’t cover other bands.
“The Grateful Dead is like fly paper. Once you play one Grateful Dead song everyone thinks that is what you are,” Kamm said. “We cover the Grateful Dead the way the Grateful Dead covered other bands.”
In addition to original music you might hear some Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and others. They have worked hard to create their own identity which is reflected in the live shows. It seems to be working as the band is the recipient of a 2019 Sacramento News & Review “Sammie” Award for Best World Music.
Achilles Wheel booking agent and manager John Taber said, “This will be at least one CD, perhaps two, perhaps a double CD, the possibilities are endless.”
For those who are not familiar with the band, Taber said, “I think that anyone who loves music wants to broaden their repertoire. It’s very easy, if you have never seen an Achilles Wheel show, to come and make them your new favorite band, because that is how they affect people.”
Kamm added, “All along Achilles Wheel has been a sincere bunch of guys with a real happiness involved in this project. It was never about being too cool. We have always been pretty easy to work with and we take that philosophy into the live setting to create a happy environment that has a social awareness — that likes to talk about upholding and supporting the human cause.”
In addition to Kamm, the band is made up of songwriters Jonny “Mojo” Flores (no relation) on guitar and vocals; Shelby Snow on bass and vocals; and Mark McCartney on drums and percussion, with Ben Jacobs on keyboards and accordion rounding out the group. While a couple of the members “dabble in day jobs” their focus in on creating music. Kamm said, “I started wearing my Achilles Wheel hat to my day job to remind me what I like doing. When I get up in the morning, I still consider myself a musician and then I go off and do what I need to do to put food on the table and look forward to when I get to play.”
The real joy comes from playing music, which is what comes across on stage. “Chemistry in a group of musicians is hard to create if it’s not there and it can’t be messed with once it is there,” Kamm said. “It is a guiding light when deciding what we are going to do next because if you trust the people you are working with, then even if you have differing ideas it doesn’t stop you from moving forward. Someone who has never seen our band wants to come and see us at the Miners Foundry, because that is what they will experience.”
The concert this Friday is a great place to bring friends and family visiting from out of town, Taber said, “The brotherhood and camaraderie that they enjoy on stage is an easy bleed into the audience. You can’t stand there and watch it and not become engrossed and involved in it. The songwriting is exceptional, and the magic appears when the band comes together.”
It’s a great thing to do on Black Friday after shopping or after walking around Cornish Christmas. Kamm said, “We look forward to having our good friends and fans come and support us, but I would appeal to the curious. If you have heard of Achilles Wheel and want to have a nice fun night of dancing at the Miners Foundry, Achilles Wheel is a really fun band and I would just say come! It should be a really great night.”
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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