New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yester-year, 1976-1982, when the horrors of late 70s disco, and the ravages of early punk rock, had left hard-core music fans stranded. When long-haired freaky people still roamed the earth, an endangered species. At a time when country music's traditional forms had grown stale, and rock had lost its roll, country rockers stepped into the void. Some were outlaws, some were hippies, but all were keepers of the flame of authenticity, and when they came together, the heavens opened up. Look, up in the sky, it's not Elton, it's not Travolta... It's The North Star Band.
Fast forward to 2022: bringing blazing guitars, searing pedal steel, a pounding beat of thunder, and three-part soulful southern harmonies to drive hearts into a 200bpm ecstasy of fun, these guys have kept the fire burning.
Five accomplished songwriters in one band. Led by rhythm guitarist Al Johnson, a wayward vagabond of Georgetown Law, and two-time Grammy Award winner (nine nominations), bassist Jim Robeson, along with east coast guitar phenom Gantt Mann Kushner, the wizardry of Jay Jessup's sweet pedal steel (plus mandolin, electric guitar, and banjo), Lou Hager's soulful honky tonk piano, and David
Watt Besley's thumping bass riffs, their music is driven home by the insane poundings of Paul Goldstein's flawless beat. The North Star Band returns our hearts and souls to the epicenter of a place that was once known as Kick-Ass Country.
THEN: Four decades ago, NSB fans piled into dance halls and honky-tonks across the country to hear them play their original music. In venues long faded to dust - Desperados, The Lone Star Café, The Carolina Opry House, County Line, Exit Inn, 117 South Main, to name a few, they played more than 300 nights a year. Lou with his soulful ballads of love and loss, Jimmy with his velvety voice, Dave with his rich vocals and incredible story-songs, Al with his offbeat look at rednecks, hippies and Wild Turkey, and Paul with his soul-searching laments, the boys offered fans a band of many colors. Records were vinyl and spun at 45 and 33 rpm. Back in the days of analog, the NSB recorded their 3rd album in the summer of 1982, but it was never released. A recession, hard times, and life's imperatives intervened. "THEN" is here, remastered and ready to be heard for the first time.
NOW: Fast-forward 40 years. A reunion show to a packed house at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, gave birth to "NOW," a collection of newly recorded material. Surprising even themselves, the band came together in the studio to record 10 new songs that not only capture the sound & soul they delivered back in the day, but offer a fresh bold look at the country rock genre they left behind. The playing is sharp and crisp, and the vocals retain that 'round the campfire' feel. Their music is timeless, and the quality of the songwriting and performance seems effortless. These guys are the real deal.
A tip of the hat is due to other players who passed through this band, legends in and of themselves: Danny
Gatton, Steuart Smith, Bruce Bouton, Mike Melchione, Dave Elliot, Bobby
Spates, Jim (Ratso) Silman, Chad Bruce, Johnny Castle, and more.
"Yes, the earth has turned since those days, and yes, times have changed, but with the release of 'THEN & NOW,' you'll hear a rebirth of the roadhouse groove. These recordings, old and new, capture the excitement of years spent on the road, telling stories about life and love with a troubadour's voice and an authentic sound. 'THEN & NOW,' the feeling is the same, and perhaps that alone can help restore our faith in the way things ought to be. I know, I was there. And we're still here. - Jimmy Patterson, President, Baker Street, LTD
The North Star Band CD Release Show will be held at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA on Friday May 6th. For more information: www.birchmere.com
3701 Mount Vernon Avenue,
Alexandria VA 2230
To purchase The North Star Band "THEN & NOW":
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/the-north-star-band/1612277410
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/originalnorthstarband
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/thenorthstarband/
Website - https://www.thenorthstarband.com/