Let’s hand it to Shirk for taking a great picture of Fourth of July. Our picture-taking prowess is less than stellar on HearYa, but isn’t it all about the music anyway? He captured Fourth of July outside his studio with the Chi-town skyline in the background. What’s remarkable is that the sun is shining and the sky is blue…in the dead of winter. He might as well have caught a bird of paradise on film.
I’ve been listening to Fourth of July’s debut album, Fourth of July on the Plains for over a year and it’s great to hear two of my favorites, “Purple Heart” and “Surfer Dude,” performed live in Shirk’s studio. The band hails from Lawrence, Kansas and grew up in Overland Park, the town where I did a stint in elementary school and my family now resides. I’ve spent many a summer days hanging out at watering holes in Lawrence and it’s nice to see bands emerging from the small college town in the prairie. It’s also great to exchange emails with the band and end each communication with “Rock Chalk Jayhawk.”
Fourth of July was hard for me to classify at first, but I settled on folk-punk. They are a six-piece band, three of which are family members, and you’ll hear plenty of slide guitar, keys, and trumpet filling out their sound. Due to a scheduling mishap (by me), Shirk was the only one in attendance at the session, but I’ll do my best to catch them on their home-turf around Allen Fieldhouse next time I’m in town.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk.
Buy Fourth of July On the Plains at Amazon
Upcoming Sessions: Port O’Brien, Howlin’ Rain, and Justin Townes Earle
Browse Past Sessions Here