Judas Feet has come a long way since their humble beginnings of recording in a backyard cinderblock building, affectionately called “The Warehouse”. In fact, “Not Alone”, their first CD released in early 2007, was almost entirely self-recorded there. Frontman Tommy Read, twisted and tweaked all the dials and plinked and plucked almost every instrument in his senior year of high school on that generous 14 song debut. He’d set out to prove that a teenager could inexpensively produce a thought-provoking, quality, themed album that holds its own against other professionally produced offerings in the high dollar music world. Based on Judas Feet’s quickly growing fans’ responses and reviews, he succeeded. Reviews can be read on our Sonicbids EPK. See our links.
But he didn’t do it alone (pun totally intended!). Two years Tommy’s elder, his now 21 year old sister Diana added her angelic pipes on vox while baby sister Hannah, now a high school junior, finished the polish with bass, cello, background vocals, and even some sax. Judas Feet was truly a family affair and continues to be today, although the “family” has grown to include Cody Green on cello, Tron Carter on drums and Paul Mitchell on guitars and pump organ.
They’ve also grown into their niche of being more of a Folk Rock band. Fast forward from their humble beginnings and follow this growing family on a trip to Lockhart, TX in May 2008 to Troubadour Studios with Steven Collins (Deadman) behind the helm, where in one week’s time “Behind the Evening” was born. Well, the songs had been incubating for many months, and the whittling down from 50 or so new songs that Tommy had written in the last year – many on the back porch, in the shadows of the evening - took some time as well. But, the recording process…that week was almost like magic. Visit the Judas Feet myspace to see a sample of that magic on the “Mockingbirds” video. See our links.
The resulting sound from that wonderful week in Lockhart is generating a nice little buzz. Folks from all over the state of Texas are perking up their ears and taking note of this sound we call gooniewocky. You can start by classifying this music as folk, because almost every song speaks of real life as seen through Tommy’s uniquely passionate viewpoint. But then you have to add Rock to the genre, because it does just that. And although you can hear the many influences from Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton, you also take note that this familiar sound is taking you on a ride to places previously unexplored.
Track 1, entitled “The Family Missionary”, puts you immediately in a folk mood with its stark simplicity - a fresh finger picking style on the acoustic guitar, sad harmonica, and no vocal reverb. The opening line strikes you, “For all of you stuck in your rut, I’d like to say some words…”. Music and lyric combine as if to say the complications of life can easily weigh down your soul, but give this a listen and see if you don’t find some comfort – community, even – from and with us who present to you this little album. A pump organ, background vocal and melancholy cello emerge as more than sonic fill, they let you know that no matter how hard a tragedy (in this song’s case, the death of a father) may beat you down, the healing process comes quietly, almost unnoticed, as the gathering of loved ones occurs. The closing lyric encourages:
we don’t need our grief
to say we believe,
and we no longer need the pain
to run free in the rain,
step off the porch into the summer rain,
let our shirts soak in the rain,
find our way to the lake in the rain,
like when we, we were his children
like when we, we were his children.
You’re not even dry from your own mental run in the comforting and refreshing rain when suddenly Track 2, “Dear Julie”, perks you up with a driving bass line that tells you something fun is about to happen. And from that point on, you’re taken on a ride that is unpredictable, yet sonic and soulfully thrilling. You find yourself caught up everywhere from Dear Julie’s Mississippi River banks with its love gone bad to the Austrian Alps and a WWII love fling in “17th Century Spanish Doors”. You take a few other rides on the rockers, “Dew on the Moon” and “Misery” as well as a trip to some blues roots in “Rhyme”. “David” takes you on a spiritual journey as the singer compares himself to the king known as “a man after God’s own heart”.
The album reaches the peak of the entire trip with “When You’re Tired”, a song that musically is perhaps the best representation of what Judas Feet is all about – soul wrenching, melodic, yet electric driving at the appropriate times – much like “Blue Lie” also does. And the lyric, full of sorrow turned to hope, also represents a consistent theme that underscores what is becoming the Judas Feet sound. You’re treated to a lullaby of sorts on the finale, “Southern Lullaby”…a pleasant good-bye, fair well, but hope-to-see-you-again-soon.
In ten minutes, I must leave
But don’t you know this is the way it should be
I’ve held on tightly to that one dollar bill
That said “I love you” and I think it’s real
Thru many cities, I must go
But please remember all the songs I wrote
And how I made you sit and turn in the chair
So as I played you’d watch the rain like you cared,
mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm
The 12 tracks of “Behind the Evening” will take you deep into many emotions as it lifts your mood from melancholy and tickles your side with hope and stirs your heart with a masterful blend of mellow and driving folk music that can and will rock at any given moment. One thing is certain - You are sure to enjoy this ride.
Musically, you immediately sense the heavy influences of Bob Dylan, Sam Beam, Nickel Creek, James Taylor, Wilco, Rich Mullins, Sufjan Stevens, Patti Griffin, Allison Krause, not to mention Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer.
In a live setting, their personalities, stage presence, and performance abilities pull an audience right into the songs. And the musicianship is not all - Tommy and Hannah have both become first-rate lyricists, despite their young age. With a depth and perception not expected from teens, they make you laugh and cry as they weave stories of life's common joys and struggles into just about every song.
Diana Read - vocals
Tommy Read - vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, harmonica, piano, banjo
Hannah Read - bass, saxophone, guitars, vocals
Tron Carter - drums
Cody Green - cello, guitar
Paul Mitchell - guitars, pump organ
*Behind the Evening - scheduled for release 9/1/08. Hear samples on our audio files tab here on sonicbids.
*B.R.A.N. (Baylor Rising Artist Network) Compilation CD Vol. 2 - 2 songs on this CD.
*Not Alone - Debut CD released 2/13/07
2 minute samples of ALL the songs can be heard on our website: www.judasfeet.com
*Receiving airplay on multiple internet radio stations.
*FoxRox appearance on Houston's KRIV Fox 26 Morning Show. TO VIEW VIDEO, copy and paste the link to our performance at http://www.myfoxhouston.com/myfox/pages/ContentDetail?contentId=4029276
And The Winner Is...
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Waco, TX. Friday night, all eyes and ears were on the stage at the seventh annual Baylor Unive... Waco, TX. Friday night, all eyes and ears were on the stage at the seventh annual Baylor University's Battle of the Bands, sponsored by Kappa Delta. 5 top-notch bands had made it to the finals, including Faith Dies Last, who opened up for Switchfoot last Spring in Waco.
All the bands performed well, but the final contestant, Judas Feet completely wowwed the crowd wth their original style and musicianship. From the best harmonies of the night to the ripping electric guitar solo on the finale, "Rhyme", Judas Feet had us eating out of the palms of their hands. At the end of their four songs, they received a standing ovation - the only standing "o" of the night.
With the win, Judas Feet earned the opportunity to record for the upcoming CD compilation for B.R.A.N. to be released Spring '08. They'll record with Baylor-ex, Steve Collins at Troubadour Studios in Austin.
Band of the Month
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April 2007 - Chosen by Hear/Say College Music Mag as Sonicbids band of the month as potential rising...April 2007 - Chosen by Hear/Say College Music Mag as Sonicbids band of the month as potential rising star in college music market.
Consensus reviews "In a Picture" by Judas Feet
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Ahhh..Judas Feet. What a wonderful goup of young musicians. Siblings actually - which in itself is r...Ahhh..Judas Feet. What a wonderful goup of young musicians. Siblings actually - which in itself is rare enough in a world where most people don't get along very well with themselves, much less anyone else. But these fine young folks certainly do - at least when they are making music, and making it -they are - in a most "Golden" way. You might detect that Mongo really digs this group. Tommy, Hana and Diana.. are so comfortable in this tune "In A Picture". Their voices are smooth - at peace with the song, as natural as breathing. After three listens - Mongo says this is a keeper. A gentle guitar picks a melody as Tommy's voice begins the story. Banjo, cello and keys, join this gently rising river. Perfect poetry of words, insterments and song. Almost something Simon and Garfunkle would have stumbled across back in the day. But this is here for today. And Mongo think we will be hearing more from these fine musicians. Just perfect. Out of 9 Bonez - Mongo givez 144
Scoring: Songcraft: 9, Recording: 9, Freshness: 9.5, Vocals: 10, XFactor: 10
Terri D. reviews "NOT ALONE"
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"Not Alone" is definitely an uplifting collection of new music from Judas Feet. Like an overflowing ..."Not Alone" is definitely an uplifting collection of new music from Judas Feet. Like an overflowing of fantastic poetry, the sounds of Judas Feet overflow the senses. Instrumentally this trio deserves an A+, for they are talented way beyond their years. Vocally the CD features a nice blend of sibling harmonies and terrific female and male lead vocals. "Song of Relief" comes across with excellent acoustic guitar and superb vocal presentation featuring a memorable chorus with beautiful 2-part harmonies. Terrific soulful harmonica intro sets the tone for "This Is For You", as the story unfolds to a heart-wrenching ballad of desperation as melancholy love is explored. Of the fourteen generous tracks on this debut CD from Judas Feet, our pick is the smooth and sensuous "The Marriage Song," which is filled with God's Grace. Rush to pick up this CD, as you will be blessed to hear these songs over and over.
-Terri D. and RadioIndy.com
Chris K's assessment of Judas Feet
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I hit the website and I'm transported ... my ears pick straight up and I'm grabbed and pulled into a...I hit the website and I'm transported ... my ears pick straight up and I'm grabbed and pulled into an honest purity of emotion and brushes on snares and country-folk guitar styling and I want more .. more ... more ... and I haven't even gotten to the song submitted for review. This is an awfully audacious first outting for these KIDS (literally -- teenagers! -- babies!!) Such maturity is not found in recordings by established professionals many years older and more "accomplished." Screw that .. these kids are good; in the way the Decemberists or Jackie Greene or Patty Griffin may have been good at this age. "In A Picture" takes me inside the picture with them, and although there's some imperfection in the vocals, it's so pure and honest that I strain to hear more, immerse myself more in the story, in the picture. Bravo! Standing ovation from the Goat. This so seriously reminds me of the first time I heard the Cowboy Junkies on "Trinity Sessions," it has that power on me. The song, the presentation, the skill, the production ... wow! ... Did I say I like it?? BTW, this is Americana/country-folk music.
Chosen by Narrative Music as Featured Storytelling Songwriters!
Our live, acoustic set consists of all originals - mostly with Tommy on acoustic or electric guitar, Hannah on electric bass, Cody on cello, Tron on drums and Diana doing her vox thing. They do some instrument switching, but those are their primary instruments. We'll do as little as one song (which we did for Houston's FoxRox on the KRIV 26 morning show - copy and paste the link under Discography) or as much as 2 hours worth (again, all originals)....whatever you're looking for. We can rock it (see the live video of "Rhyme" in the video folder) or we can lighten it up acoustic. Most folks like a combination.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.