Posts Tagged ‘One Eleven Heavy’

Nick Mitchell Maiato

There’s joy and sadness in the new solo LP from Nick Mitchell Maiato. The joy is always inherent in his works — it’s a feeling that bubbles under his songwriting these days and one that explodes into waves of color when he lets fly guitar parts that shift and shimmer as much as they burn incandescently. The sadness comes, as most seems to of late, with the knowledge of what could have been had we all not been set adrift due to disease. The songs on this album were to be the beginning sketches of the lineup for a third One Eleven Heavy album that, at least in this form, will likely never be. The band was set to convene and combine these with works by Toth and Chew that would have carved themselves into their latest love letter to classic rock cyphers and cosmic choogle. That third album will come, but not as it was originally conceived.

Still, the feelings of joy should win out in this struggle of the senses and sentiments, as we cannot lament forever what might have been and instead have to embrace what Pino Carrasco has become. Those sketches were worked into full flight songs that embrace Nick’s half of the Heavies — the buoyant tangle of guitar that’s rooted in Crazy Horse’s grit, Canned Heat’s heartbeat boogie, and Satana’s playful willingness to experiment with rhythm. That Nick’s able to channel the push/pull feeling of testing one another that a full band can attain is impressive to say the least, for an artist alone. While the Heavies have an ecstatic dynamic, Maiato’s able to create his own imaginary ensemble in the studio, adopting amiably the instruments of his peers and creating a whiskey-rubbed Brill Building of one with cosmic ambitions. The dynamic comes to a head on the album’s anchor pieces “Show Yourself” and “Ode To What,” the latter an impressive feat of time-change gymnastics that tumbles the listener through more than a few hairpin highs. Don’t lament the loss, just let Pino Carrasco lift up your heart during the dour months. Its a sunshine-scrubbed delight that keeps the listener on their toes.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE (UK) or HERE. (US)

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Nick Mitchell Maiato – “Show Yourself”

Global pandemic has caused no shortage of disappointments — between cancelled tours, loss of revenue stream for musicians, and shaky ground for venues across the world — but hearing that it’s derailed a third One Eleven Heavy that was on its way to being recorded in Nashville this year definitely lands with a certain pang in the heart. The band’s Nick Mitchel Maiato had a full crop of songs written that he’d been passing between himself and band members in the run up, but rather than sit on them and stew Nick’s decided to swerve from this being a 111H record into a solo jaunt that retains the same spirit that’s blossomed in the band over the past few years. It’s always a bold move to lead with a 9+ minute single but those who’ve seen the band live and in their element know that this is just the kind of deep vibe dive that exemplifies what Nick, James, Dan, and Hans have been brewing when they stretch out.

“Show Yourself” pounces on the classic jam aesthetic that Nick’s been gnawing at with the Heavies, corralling New Riders and Mighty Baby into a sunshine-swathed tangle that’s pushing Crazy Horse into the creek to cool off. The song works through time changes so easily they barely register, not neck snapping into new gears but subtly mutating into grooves that grow in all directions. The accompanying video is a delightful barrage of imagery that’s just as malleable and kaleidoscopic in its own sepia soaked way. While I’m wistful thinking how these songs might have had a few three part harmonies and the plunk of Chew’s piano threaded through them, I’m happy to see Nick get his due on the solo slate. Plus, I know that a third album is still on the horizon, making this kind of a bonus Heavy in its own way. Those chasing the tail of Cosmic Americana would do well to pick this up when it lands on Was Its Das? October 2nd.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Hans Chew – “I Don’t Know Maybe”

I haven’t given any official space to the great comp from Aquarium Drunkard, The Drop Bear’s Song. The come benefits Australian Wildfire Relief — which almost seem like a distant dream only 5 months into 2020. The site has assembled a huge collection of great songs including this heavy number from Hans Chew. His last set for Black Dirt Studios alongside Garcia Peoples was an essential pickup and this one seems like an extension of the same vibe. Heavy piano blues that beg to be blasted, “I Don’t Know Maybe” is prime Chew and a reason that the man is a secret weapon among psych and folk players (see: Arboruetum, Chuck Johnson, Steve Gunn, Hiss Golden Messenger). Chew’s been holding down time on the piano in RSTB faves One Eleven Heavy and notably two of his bandmates, Nick Mitchell Maito and James Toth both contribute a track (two in Toth’s case). The comp nabs a whole host of other faves from Dire Wolves, MV & EE, Elkhorn, Mary Lattimore, and Prana Crafter, to Starbirithed, The Reds Pinks and Purples and Trummors. If you’ve let it linger in the want list for now, Friday’s a Bandcamp bonus day so more love to the cause here.

Support the benefit. Buy it HERE.

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One Eleven Heavy – “Hot Potato Soup (live at Jam Castle)”

There have been a rash of insanely good live recordings getting the official treatment lately (see also: Chris Forsyth, Garcia Peoples, Howling Rain, Walker/Gunn/Jewell), making it a bit of a renaissance for the ‘official’ bootleg. The latest to join the fray are RSTB faves One Eleven Heavy, who stunned over the past two years with back to back heavy hitters. Their ensuing US tour from last year was one not to be missed and anyone who was in the room could attest to the band’s ability to spin a jam out into cosmic heights on the stage. If you missed it, now you don’t have to imagine, or even take to the Archive(.org) for proof as the band’s set from Plymouth, WI house party hotspot Jam Castle.

The band wasn’t sure about what to expect from the invite-only private spot, but were pleasantly surprised at the “high-end, above-garage, home studio set-up with Rhodes piano and soundboard recording facilities, truck parked in the driveway giving away free hog roast, and a crowd of mellow suburban Wisconsinites” in attendance. Thankfully the spot also came equipped with recording capabilities and the set was laid down to tape. The band’s gnarled stretcher “Hot Potato Soup” gets some room to take root here, sprawling out to about nineteen minutes of cosmic interplay. It’s a definite highlight of the set, as it has been at most shows recently. The album is headed out May 1st on Phoenix label Was Ist Das? and its one you should grab and alternate in the ol’ Walkman with that Garcia Peeps tape that just landed.

Lucky you, the band’s also headed back out on the road for another short US stint, this time favoring the West Coast. Let this be an inspiration to get out and catch the show. Dates below and you can see video of the Jam Castle set here as well. If anyone in SF misses that date at The Chapel with Howlin’ Rain, I’ll by a plane ticket to come slap some sense into you myself.

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RSTB Best of 2019

2019’s drawing to a close, so I suppose this is the place to tie it all up. I’ve mentioned in years past that ‘best’ is a hard line to draw around the music from the year. From a blog perspective ‘favorite’ seems more appropriate, but then for all intents and purposes my choices are qualitatively the best to me, if not necessarily quantitatively best in the sense of the zeitgeist. The drive to figure out what’s best seems to just consolidate consensus and we’re all treated to dozens of lists that cross over with each other, especially in the top spots. I’ve long been a proponent of niche. I say long live finding your voice and letting others find theirs – we can all compare notes and discover new music in the process. I don’t need anyone to sand the edges and offer up a list that’s all inclusive. I like the edges. These are my favorites from a great year, edges and all.

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One Eleven Heavy

No time was lost between One Eleven Heavy’s debut, which landed about a year ago and their latest platter this month. That debut found the band winding their way through deep seated loves and musical roots that were etched in their formative years only to be embraced in the face of critical naysayers as the new dawn rose over 2018. They came together to exhume something cosmic buried in the delta soil and let it fly once again, finding themselves lost in the segue symbols on setlists until they emerged infused with Little Feat, late ‘70s Neil Young, New Riders, The Dead, The Burritos and other choogle-chapped visions of Southern and Western rock that refused not to ramble. Jam might be a barbed word in some mouths, but not these. They pick those handles right back up and expand on the depth of the dive into that push-pull between the cosmic and the concrete.

The dark furrows are more ingrained on Desire Path. “Hot Potato Soup,” seethes, never turning sour, but boiling to the point that the riffs scald the soul. “Chickenshit” has some bite, and a defensiveness thats rubs against the chill, but that’s just their Trux ties showing through. Not all the skies are blue, but that doesn’t dim the party here. Not all trips are serene either, and that’s reflected in the new album as much as their continued sense of the sublime. The Heavies find a home in harmony this time around as well, citing some Allman’s inspiration, and that’s on the mark. Maiato/Toth/Chew form a backbone that melds three distinct voices into a wave of twang that rolls off the guitar gnarls with a touch of ash and bourbon burn. The twined croons add a new dimension to their ‘70s streak, pulling them out of the Stars and Bars they’d been haunting and into a more verdant valley.

Hans Chew makes his first writing contributions (“House of Cards,” “Fickle Wind”) and as a whole the record embraces his keys with fuller-bodied enthusiasm than before. He’s layering down Nicky Hopkins sparkle that glints off of the songs, adding a few stepping stones into the clouds they perch on once the stringed solos get going. The peak of that cosmic float winds up the closer. On “Three Poisions” the band lifts off into the kind of glow that they perennially seek to embody. The ‘in the room and on the tape’ sound that’s always been at their core finds it’s lift into the atmosphere as the album comes to a close and Maiato’s guitar is playing somewhere between the notes here. They’re still playing against the grain of what’s cool, but they’re making it sound like a fight already won. This isn’t an album for revivalists (but I’m sure they’ll find a foothold if need be.) This is an album for those seeking to extend the groove forever into the horizon and melt right back into the wet soil, wood and concrete that vibrates under us all.






Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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One Eleven Heavy – “Mardi Gras”

Following up on Nick Mitchell Maiato’s Gems contribution from earlier in the week, the first single from One Eleven Heavy’s sophomore LP, Desire Path, arrives and it leaves a jagged rut on the lawn as it pulls away on rented wheels. “Mardi Gras” is steeped in the ‘70s lawless looseness that rock cribbed from its country kin just about the time Parsons caught the train outta here. The song knocks some well needed honkey-tonk into the tepid tea of 2019, feeding on the grass n’ gas vibes of Muscle Shoals bound Stones. It’s hinged on a Hans Chew piano pound that feels like he might tip over with every note, a third-degree rub of guitar that makes good on the band’s live reputation, and a soaring chorus that begs the listener to join in. Just a touch harder and hotter than they ran on the last album, the song’s still filled with their effortless ethos led by a Toth tale of a hapless gambler who can’t face his truth.

“‘Mardi Gras’ is part of a tradition of songs about delusional luckless losers,” elaborates the band’s James Toth. “I don’t believe for a second that this character’s ship will ever come in; his destiny is in many ways preordained. And yet he is sincere in his belief that his luck will turn around if only he could get that one lucky break. In some ways it’s an allegory but I prefer the literal take: this guy is almost certainly going to let you down.” “It is also one of several of my songs to wedge in an obscure reference to the television program The Honeymooners,” adds Toth. “Spot the others!”

The album lands September 20th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond and I’d wholeheartedly recommend tucking into it in its entirety.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Nick Mitchell Maiato on Rusty Kershaw – Rusty…Cajun in the Blues Country

The new wave of Cosmic Americana brought in a lot of quality cuts last year, but one of my favorites had to be the debut from One Eleven Heavy —the softly choogled psych outfit that brought together members of Wooden Wand, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Royal Trux, and Hans Chew. The band’s record shelves, undoubtedly stuffed with RSTB bait, seem like the perfect fodder to riffle through for the Hidden Gems feature. In fact, James from the band contributed a pick a little while back, long before things had solidified with the Heavy. So with their sophomore LP on the horizon I figured it was time to ask co-founder Nick Mitchell Maiato to dig into his collection and pick out a record that hasn’t cast nearly enough shadow on the majority of the listening public. He picked out a country classic, that, despite being a key Neil Young influence, hasn’t always been elevated to its proper due. Check out how the record came into Nick’s life and the impact its had on his songwriting.

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RSTB Best of 2018

So, it seems that 2018 is finally coming to an end. It’s been a hell of a year by most standards, but musically its been damn entertaining. Perhaps its fair that there’s some bright spot in all the chaos. Not to diminish the chaos, but when the negativity is at an all-pervasive fever pitch, its feels good to have something to hold onto. I’ll choose to remember 2018 as a banner year for music and for the birth of my second daughter rather than the year that page refresh politics threatened to give me an ulcer any day. Below are my favorite albums of the year, taking care to highlight some that might otherwise get forgotten. They’re in (quasi) alphabetical order with no other particular weight on the list. Keep your eyes out for a few more year-end features this week before I reset for the new year. As always, thanks for sticking with RSTB for these 12-odd years or so.

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One Eleven Heavy

As I’ve certainly mentioned previously, One Eleven Heavy comes stacked with a considerable cache of talent – roping in members of Wooden Wand, Endless Boogie, Royal Trux, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, and Ryley Walker’s touring band. While the players personal geographies run the span on the Hubeadian Map, drawing in both Coasts and dipping into the UK with Nick Mitchell Maiato, the band shares a unmistakable thread of Cosmic Americana between them. That particular strain of jam-seeded classic rock seems to have sprung up from the ground again in thick ripples over the last few years, reaching full maturity in this year of our lord 2018 and One Eleven Heavy arrive baptized in its blood and spreading the gospel well.

Like the crews of their cosmic brethren (Howlin’ Rain, Garcia Peoples, Wet Tuna), they’re hitting full stride with heady jams that hearken back to the years occupying the comedown close of the Summer of Love, with the ideals of the psychedelic era already starting to fade in the rearview and the amphetamine sweat of ’72 just starting to coalesce. The band strips back the stigma of extended time stamps while they work their way through a set that feeds on Levon’s legacy and elevates Little Feat from the sidelines of drive time radio. They channel the Burritos in their unjustly ignored post-Parsons years, while scraping just a touch of Gene Clark’s breakdown brilliance from No Other.

The record tangles the subtle twang of those raised on a diet of jukebox country crooners with the salt scrub of Western air, laying songs back into a pocket that exists somewhere between chooglin’ and juggin’ depending on how deep you want to dive into your own psychedelic pockets. For a debut, the record feels remarkably lived in. Fresh out of the shrink it already assumes frays and stains that belie its vintage, as if it can’t help but come from the plant with ring wear and a hint of basement musk. The band taps the telepathy of players that have shared stages far longer than their brief tenure – a testament to the individuals assembled – and one can only assume that each of the album’s songs is given a new life on the stage. On record, though, it shines bright as Orange Sunshine, an instant classic that should hook the heads who walked the lot and open up a new era for those who only soaked in the sun through Dick’s picks and regret.

While the record’s up on Bandcamp as of last Friday, and you damn well should have bought it already, its highly likely the rest of you are hitting the three spin cap, leaving you ostensibly out of luck until the record hits Spotify this upcoming weekend. However, for the next week, before the record hits streaming proper, you can get the full view from Soundcloud below. Don’t say we never did anything for ya.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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