"They've been here since 4:30 doing sound check," says the slightly amazed Bunkhouse bartender on Friday night. It's now 10:30 p.m.
The dedicated band is America Yeah, the latest local outfit to host its CD release party at the Downtown venue. Apparently its six members spent close to an hour meticulously fine-tuning each instrument. And there are a lot of them filling the stage, everything from the traditional drum kit and guitar to the more exotic marimba and bassoon. They even brought their own sound engineers.
- Beyond the Weekly
- America Yeah on MySpace
That's not the only sign these guys mean business. Although they've played just three shows with the latest lineup — America Yeah has been around for three years but has seen changing faces and styles — the tally at the door shows that approximately 100 people showed up to see them.
So what's the fuss all about? The band brings a unique sound to the local scene: tropical, feel-good harmonies reminiscent of the Beach Boys, with a worldbeat flair and romantic vocal styling courtesy of singer Logan Lanning.
And some big-name connections can't hurt. Former Panic! at the Disco member Ryan Ross, a friend of Lanning's, played a part in getting America Yeah access to the Palm's studio, where it was able to record the new album, No Tenderness, with chief audio engineer Mark Gray. Free of charge.
"[Ross, Gray and I] went out ... we got to talking and one thing led to another. [Gray] was looking for a local act to work with — something new and fresh. Two days later he came over and listened to some of the demos and said he was really interested and wanted to commit to the project," explains Lanning.
While the recordings may be high quality, that's not what's getting the crowd at the Bunkhouse so enthused tonight. It's the swoon of the saxophone and pounding of the standing drum that gets them moving. Lanning's sweat-dripping sincerity as he clutches the mic or beats the conga isn't making the girls complain either.