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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble

Let's Get The Band Back Together

"Let's Get The Band Back Together" was not supposed to be on the new album. It wasn't even finished until the morning it was recorded, but we were getting to the end of tracking drums and bass with our friends Chris Leonard and Mike Shannon and we were having too much fun. We've gone through our musical histories before in other blogs, all about our rock n' roll days and sad bastard nights, but by way of reminder, we have a long history with these two. Often referred to as the Statler and Waldorf of rhythm sections, Chris and Mike played in Mallory's first band, mallory graham and her invisible friends, and played on Scott's solo EP, Those Phantom Towns. Chris, or Nard as he's called in the wild, produced both those records as well as the first two EP's by The Rough & Tumble (We Made Ourselves a Home When We Didn't Know...we even ordered pizza, and We Don't Believe in Monsters, Anymore...but would you please check under our beds) as well as various songs on The Rough & Tumble's Holiday Awareness Campaign and the entirety of the soundtrack, Pieces and Pieces. We lived with Mike for a few years in Nashville before we hit the road. Mike was also part of that artist colony we were in, The Electric Ghost Collective, when we lived in Black Mountain, NC all those years ago.

Mike Shannon, 2009

There's history there with those two. And that's something special in music. It felt so good to be playing with old friends who've been through a lot of life changes with you. There are empty whiskey bottles on the shelf, put there after a weekend making a record together. There are tired jokes and remember whens, and a musical shorthand that comes from time invested working on songs together.

And so we wrapped up our recording with them and later that very evening sent a rough, unfinished iPhone recording of "Let's Get The Band Back Together," with a plea to get them back into the studio. We dangled the promise of a little rock 'n' roll and a bottle of whiskey in front of their noses and I think that helped.

Scott, 2009, The Beatles

We have to mention that ripping guitar solo at the end of the song. That's our pal and recent Nashville transplant, Marc Herring, who blazed his way through a guitar solo that both Scott and Dave wanted to play. He also sang those killer background harmonies.

I guess when you boil the meaning out of the song, it's all about gentrification, all about missing the old days, all about growing up with and without your friends. To make it sound dramatic, we were kicked out of Nashville. To make it sound less dramatic, it just got too expensive and living there wasn't worth it for us anymore. We thought, we'll go out on the road for a few years and see what happens. Maybe we'll come back. But now each time we swing through town, the places that were part of our neighborhood have been torn down and replaced with slick, cool loft apartments and restaurants we can't afford to eat at. It doesn't feel like our city anymore. It's not our city anymore, and that's fine. Some things last a long time and others are just there to help you figure out the next thing and that's what Nashville did for us. It is, however, good to know that we still have great friends there who will play their asses off when we ask them to sit in on a song.

And here's a playlist for you, full of songs about bands, songs about friends, songs about good old days. It's called, Let's Get The Band Back Together.

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