The Jason Spooner Band hails from the booming harbor city of Portland, Maine – a small but bustling sea port gaining significant national recognition for world-class food, art and a celebrated music scene. As the band approached the recording of their fourth album chemical, they decided to leave the comforts and conveniences of the city behind and retreat “down east” to the quiet Midcoast region of Maine for the particularly long and brutal winter of 2014.
Jason Spooner, principal songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for The Jason Spooner Band explains, “Life on the coast in the winter is about introspection and woodstoves. The days are simpler and they breed clarity and focus… it’s a place where you can be left alone with your thoughts, something that is becoming harder and harder to make time for”, Jason opines. “This solitude was crucial to the recording process of this album.”
The opening of one of New England’s newest and most advanced recording studios, HEARSTUDIOS in Camden, Maine (modestly disguised within the walls of a renovated barn) played a large part in the band’s decision to record in the region. Spooner, Chambers, Frederick and Mcpherson agreed that a primarily live recording experience was imperative for the new album.
Spooner explains, “As a band, we’d always talked about how great it would be to hole up at a studio in the Berkshires or in Woodstock, NY and do the ‘full-immersion’ record where you live and breathe the creative process for weeks at a time and are free from the day- to-day minutia. I looked into that scenario here and there but it was just never really a pragmatic choice for a variety of reasons. Timing, schedules, cost, what have you. As soon as we walked into HEARSTUDIOS, we knew we’d found the room… we knew we could make a live performance-based record there.”
What ensued was the band’s most fruitful and creative recording experience to date with the core tracks for the album recorded live on the floor. The energy created in the space permeates their newest album, chemical, set for release on September 16th.
chemical is the band’s first effort as a quartet… the addition of Warren Mcpherson (keyboards, organ, piano) to the trio consisting of Spooner, Reed Chambers (drums, percussion) and Adam Frederick (bass, vocals) was inevitable says Spooner, “the bare-bones trio formation was fun for a while but we all knew that 4 was the magic number so to speak. When keyboards and piano are the addition, your sound changes exponentially. The possibilities and capabilities grow.”
chemical reflects the band’s trajectory as a whole and breathes with an organic, natural quality; it’s the sound of four individuals discovering a new formation, a new approach to recording and, ultimately, new musical horizons.When asked about the title, “chemical”, Spooner explains, “I’ve always been fascinated with psychology…and the concept of micro ultimately controlling macro. I was always especially interested in the fact that the majority of what humans tend to hold sacred as the most profound emotions (love, hatred, happiness, jealously - even the feeling of Déjà vu) can all be tied to neurochemicals roaming around in our heads.”
chemical’s first single, “Fireflies”, overflows with youthful memories and descriptive imagery that transports the listener to a much simpler, and desirable, time. Legendary Nashville pedal steel axe-man Bucky Baxter’s well-known talents (Bob Dylan, R.E.M., Ryan Adams, Steve Earle) shine throughout the track. The track’s popularity has prompted a fan-driven promotion; download the free single (see below for link to details) and provide the band with one of your favorite (personally shot) summer photos. Fans have submitted landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, coastlines, lakes – images of summer and of what listening to this beautiful song means to them. At the end of August, The Jason Spooner Band will compile the fan-submitted photos into a video made by, and for, their fans. Various national businesses have also joined in the support for “Fireflies” with Taylor Guitars, Fishman Transducers, LL Bean, Maine Magazine, Cape Cod Life, Baxter Brewing, Allagash Brewing, Gritty McDuff’s Brewing and Shipyard Brewing actively helping to spread the word.
With the release of their third album, Sea Monster, in 2010, the band found success when the album was featured heavily on Sirius/XM's “The Loft” channel, on NPR's “All Things Considered” and at over 11,000 Starbucks retail locations nationwide. At its peak, the album reached the #18 on the national BDS Indicator chart for all of Triple A Radio, making it the only independent album on the chart at the time. In addition to glowing recent press in USA Today and High Times Magazine, the band was named one of Relix Magazine's coveted "On The Verge - Bands you should know." In addition, Wood & Steel Magazine has said about Jason, "Spooner's songs belie a sharp-tooled craftsmanship on the writing side, yet wash over the listener with fluid finesse... The great thing, beyond the wonderfully contoured, lived-in sound, is the way Spooner reminds us that, even as listeners, we’re all a part of the story, too."
Over the last few years The Jason Spooner Band has performed with acts as varied as B.B. King, John Mayer, Jackson Browne, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ray LaMontagne, Susan Tedeschi, Jackie Greene, G. Love, Guster, Blues Traveler, Peter Rowan and Sara Bareilles. Within the last few summers alone, they have performed at Targhee Fest in Jackson Hole, WY - The Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, CT - The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT - FloydFest in Floyd, Va - The Festival at Sandpoint - Sandpoint, ID - The Naukabout Festival on Cape Cod, the River City Roots Festival in Missoula, MT - The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, CO and have been perennial favorites at The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.
To download the free single, “Fireflies” and upload your own favorite summer image, visit: http://www.fireflies2014.com