Blank Range is worth checking out

by Woody on April 2, 2015


For the second year, I scrapped my Wednesday day schedule at SXSW to go see a band at Lambert’s at noon. Both times it was based on one track. Last year, it was Spanish Gold. For 2015, it was Blank Range. I got an email comparing them to Wilco and Big Star. I heard the track below and my interest was piqued.

It took no time at all to realize I had made another savvy decision. Blank Range put a fantastic set. They have an EP up on their Bandcamp page and are hitting the road with Two Gallants and The Mountain Goats. For full list click here. For now, they’ve got me as a fan and I am excited to see where they go with things. Here’s a little back-story on the band from their PR firm.

The members of Blank Range grew up in the Mid-West, mostly in and around the Chicago suburbs and more rural stretches of Illinois. For different reasons, including one member’s lofty pursuit of a PhD, they found themselves in Nashville a few short years ago. Blank Range’s members were originally in two separate bands with only the chief songwriters as differing members. For both practical purposes and mutual respect, they decided to merge the two projects into one band with two songwriters and a unique catalog of inspiration starting with Big Star and Wilco and ranging all the way to jazz music and training.

With no money to get going, the four members recorded a scrappy 6 song EP, Phase II, in a tiny basement and copied it onto cassette for sale. The throwback format inspired a business of sorts – making cassette copies of projects by other Nashville bands to sell at their shows. With a tape-to-tape recorder, a lot of time on their hands, and a small mark-up eventually the band was able to save enough to record a proper 7 inch – honest-to goodness lacquer, with a real engineer, Eric McConnell at his famed home studio. The same studio that Loretta Lynn and Jack White recorded Van Lear Rose.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Blank Range is here

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