VIDEO: Truth and Salvage Co. in the studio

truthandSalvageCotitleThe coolest band in my world.  I’ve heard some of the new records’ songs on a demo.  Great hang backstage at the Avett Brothers show in Indy.  Always good dudes.  And they rock like I want a band to rock, with some country, some gospel and some Memphis soul.

Check out this video.  Best part?  As they are listening  to Joe South’s original take on “Games People Play” – great tune.


I saw Mellencamp do a Joe South medley for his encore at Cobo Arena in Detroit during the Scarecrow tour.  It killed.  Georgia Satellites did decent cover on 1989’s Land of Salvation and Sin album.

Oh, and at the 1:55 mark, the camera goes 90 degrees sideways, and we hear people singing “for he’s a jolly good fellow” and see a dog barking.  Surreal and kinda beautiful.

Indy Show Preview: Truth and Salvage Co. move to Nashville, add Hoosier bass player

While they may credit Los Angeles as the place that spawned roots-rockers Truth and Salvage, Co., the band has clung to a sound that is more Midwest and Southern-influenced than the clean sound of LA.  So the band’s April move to Nashville,TN makes a lot of sense.

The band members hail from places like North Carolina and Ohio and Indiana.  Their core fans are in the heartland and in the south.  The tours have been playing Indianapolis multiple times each year for the past two years. Nowthe band is living closer to their musical roots.    

They have also added a Hoosier to the band in the process, to go along with Tim Jones, one the band’s frontmen and guitarists. 

Jones was back in his hometown of Indianapolis last week before joining his bandmates for a few dates this spring as they finish recording their sophomore album.  One of those dates is at the Deluxe nightclub at the Old National Centre on May 4 (with/ Pravada and Bonesetters), debuting some songs off the new record for the Hoosier faithful.

ROB:  Have you guys missed being on the road?  What have you done to stay busy?
Tim Jones: We haven’t had time to miss being on the road.  We toured right up until Christmas and  then started pre-production on the new record and literally have been working on it right up until we moved to Nashville last week.  And we’re still going to be finishing the record in between these May/June dates.

ROB:  How’s the new album coming along?  How will this be different than debut?
TJ: Well I’d say we’re about half way done.  We spent most of February and March recording with Rob Schnapf, an amazing producer, engineer, mixer and all-around great human being.  The release date will all depend on when we turn it in; probably the end of August or September.  

We’re not trying to do anything drastically different.  Hopefully we’ve matured as songwriters and become a better band over the last two years.  A lot of people talked about our first record as a “greatest hits” so hopefully this will be a “greatest hits part two”

ROB:  How’s the band?  Any changes? Anyone learn any new chords?
TJ: The band is great.  We have a rehearsal space set up in our house that some of us are sharing inHendersonville.  

We have a new bass player, Dean Moore, who Indy readers will be happy to know is a fellow Hoosier and IU grad that I have known for years and happened to be moving out to Nashville at the same time as we were.  Our last bass player, Frank, couldn’t do the move.  

Walker’s been playing some harmonica lately, and we’ve learned a ton of new chords from our producer.

ROB: Touring plans?   What is in the pipeline?
TJ: We’re doing weekends all based off of a Wednesday night residency in Nashville that we’re doing at the Basement, a great club underneath our friend Grimey’s New and Pre-loved Music.  We’ll be headlining clubs all around.  Once the record comes out we’ll be doing a nationwide tour in the fall.

ROB: How did the new songs come together?  
TJ:  With a lot of love and patience – same as always.  Somebody will bring in a part of a verse and a chorus or even a whole finished song and we’ll try and make it the best it can be.  Sometimes that means a lot of changes.  Sometimes that means doing nothing.

ROB: How did the band’s move to Nashville that come about?
TJ: We had been talking about it for years.  Walker’s (singer/keyboards) from Atlanta, (guitarist) Scotty’s from New Orleans, (organ player) Adam’s from Tupelo, MS.  (Drummer) Smitty is from Southern Ohio, so this is closer to home for all of us.  Los Angeles will always have a piece of our heart and hopefully we left a decent mark on it as well.

 To be able to play more where our fans are and not have to crisscross the country so often is a big bonus.  And rent is a helluva lot cheaper here.


MOKB Present: Truth & Salvage Co. w/ Pravada, Bonesetters Friday May 4, 2012. Deluxe at Old National Centre … Doors 7 PM / Show 8 PM $12 Advance / $15 dos

Review: Avett Brothers at Lawn at White River in Indy

Avett Brothers rock Indy

As the Avett Brothers powered through what will be remembered as one of the best shows to hit Indianapolis in 2011, the band put on display an all-too-rare ability to take the recorded version of songs to a higher musical level on stage.

Seth and Scott Avett’s North Carolina voices — ringing and true, forceful and elegant — cut through the 40-degree night air, hitting hard before a 7,500-person audience. The crowd knew the words to the songs, roaring and singing to a set evenly paced with rockers and ballads.

The Avett’s opening salvo — “Go to Sleep” and “The Fall” — saw band members bouncing, swaying and stomping the stage, taking the audience into their music and drinking in crowd’s energy. “Shame” turned into an anthem — many of their best songs sound anthemic — with a twist on the recorded arrangement.

The Avett Brothers have mastered the art of tension and release. Think Arcade Fire. Or Springsteen. “Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise” was one of the early highlights, powered by radio familiarity and a band that just killed it.

Known for mixing up the setlist each night, Indianapolis heard a show that was equal parts arena and living room. The relative rarity “I Would Be Sad” lyrics hit painfully and perfectly. The neo-bluegrass of “Laundry Room”, a joyful and guttural “Kick Drum Heart”, a breathtaking “Colorshow” and the deserved hit “I and Love and You” closed the regular set.

A three-song encore included a true-but-different cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Angie” and “Talk on Indolence,” which charged forward with flat-out punk energy, concluding the 105-minute show with Ramones-ish pizazz.

Truth & Salvage Co. opened with a 45-minute set of roots rock, sparked by the lush and ragged harmonies of “Hail, Hail,” the Midwest mid-tempo gem “Heart Like a Wheel” (by Indiana’s Tim Jones) and the deceptively-melancholic “Old Piano.” “Call Me” connected with the early crowd, and “Pure Mountain Angel” let the boys show of their five-part harmonies.

A band that thrives in the sweaty clubs, Truth & Salvage Co. nicely brought a good bit of that rebel energy to the more cavernous setting. They return to Indy to open for JJ Grey and Mofro at The Vogue Nov. 4.

Truth and Salvage Co. back to Indy this weekend with Avett’s Bros.

While it is the Avett Brothers who will sell the tickets and most will come to see Saturday night The  Lawn at White River State Park, openers Truth & Salvage Co. continue to forge forward with their neo-americana rock, getting set to jump into a tour that finds them opening for th Avett’s in Chicago and Indy before launching their own club tour. It will stretch into November, and is a road dog special, including an early run of 11 shows in 12 days.

I’m an unabashed fan; what they do is what I love about music. It is American rock and roll, much like The Band (yeah, mostly Canadiens) made in their day. Back porch-with-amps rock and roll.

Hear their session

***When I talked to Tim Jones, one of T&S’s main singers and songwriters, before one of his Indy gigs last year, the former Old Pike frontman talked of what the Avett Brothers and his group have in common.

“We’re definitely a rock and roll band, but we all love country music,” Jones said. “It’s the same with the Avett Brothers. They’re crossing over to a huge amount of country people. There’s part of the Nashville community that is resistant to it. I’d love to be the band that people who love Dave Matthews and who love Vampire Weekend love us too.”

Truth and Salvage has been hitting Indy with regularity: four shows in less than two years, including a recent set at Rib America over Labor Day weekend. They return to Indy again on November 4 for a show at the Vogue.

Jones, the Indiana boy in the band, ensures the California band will continue to make the trek.

“I was playing Indianapolis bars when I was 16 years old. I am still living this life. And it just feels good,” he said.

So get to White River State Park early , and see the openers.

Even after the shorter set, they are a hidden little musical gem of a band that you won’t forget.

“When everything lines up right and you feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to do and what you want to do, all at the same time,” Jones said,”That’s a pretty good moment.”

Review from 2011 Radio Radio show