Chalk and the Beige Americans
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Chalk and the Beige Americans

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Hip Hop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
15
Chalk and the Beige Americans @ Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Nov
07
Chalk and the Beige Americans @ The Barbary

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Oct
29
Chalk and the Beige Americans @ The Fire

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Music

Press


"Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jessica Lea Mayfield at Johnny Brenda’s, Cayetana at The Fire, Chalk and the Beige Americans at Kung Fu Necktie"

Grassroots soul-hop trio Chalk and the Beige Americans play Kung Fu Necktie tonight. With a name that plays on the ludicrousness of skin color and race, Chalk and the Beige Americans style of music is just as varying. With quasi-funk grooves, bass lines, guitar and folk meets gospel styles all intersecting, the Fishtown three-piece incorporates all of the best styles of Philly music. - The Key 88.5 WXPN


"Chalk & The Beige Americans: The Fisher-Price Version of The Roots."

Chalk & The Beige Americans were originally just named Chalk. But then lead vocalist David “Chalk” Mayers Jr. had a revelation.

“We are all variations on beige,” Mayers explains. “White people aren’t white. Black people aren’t black. We are all variations of the shade. The name is just funny. There really was no reason.”

The three-man group prides themselves on comical variations of their band’s name, including BeigeHeart, Beige Matthews Band, Beigetastic, Beige Jovi, and The Beige Mayers Trio, to name a few.

Mayers jokes about calling their first full-length album, which is due to be released in the fall, The Beige Album.

The two-year old bands’ laid-back style features smooth grooves and avant-garde lyrics.

“If you took a whole bunch of A Tribe Called Quest grooves, with some ‘50s fucking bass styling over that, with guitar over top, where the acoustics are very folksy and gospel,” begins bassist Dave Kasper, “that’s how we play. How do you really explain that to people?”

“We have been struggling with trying to find a phrase or a compound word for this genre,” says Mayers. “People have been calling us ‘soul hop.’ It’s just hard because I feel like we touch on a lot of genres. It’s overdone but I think our music is just a melting pot of genres. If I had to anchor it down, it would be more like funk.”

“Not funk,” says drummer Rich Breazzano. “It’s a groove. It’s so simple that you could drive a truck through it. It’s like a grilled cheese sandwich. You know, it’s all the cheese and bread and then you just eat it.”

However you classify them, Chalk & The Beige Americans figure they are doing something right if they can judge by the response to their music. Their live performances showoff their eclectic freestyling and jazz-like improvisations, assuring that you’ll never see the same show twice.

On a recent summer night at The Legendary Dobbs on South Street, the doors of the bar were wide open and the band could be heard from several blocks away. Passersby stopped to listen. Cops leaned on streetlights, bobbed their heads and tapped their feet.

“We are the Fisher-Price version of The Roots in a way,” says Mayers. “We connect with hip hop heads and people who are into pocket grooves, as well as the most tattooed, angsty punks. Even the responses from 40-plus-year-olds is unbelievable because I wasn’t around for their musical heyday. If they get down with it, it says a lot too.” - Jump Philly


"CHALK AND THE BEIGE AMERICANS ARE LOOKING TO TURN THE PHILLY MUSIC SCENE UP A NOTCH"

Travel to just about any block in the Fishtown area and you’ll run into a bar showcasing live music. Each venue has their own unique atmosphere and personality. Whether it’s The Fire on Girard Ave, Kung-Fu Necktie under the El, or Johnny Brenda’s one thing is for certain they are all Philly. Displaying the best up-and-coming talent that this city has to offer, Fishtown is a hotbed for the bubbling independent music scene.

One band in particular that calls this area home is Chalk and The Beige Americans. This four-man group is comprised of a half black-half white lead singer and guitarist, David “Chalk” Mayers Jr, white bassist Dave Kasper, whites sax player Ceilidh Madigan, and white drummer Rich Breazanzo. However, playing off the racial make-up of the group, the white guys became “beige” while their mulatto lead singer became Chalk. “It’s a joke play on the fact that I am half black and half white,” explains Chalk. “The guys I play with are white dudes ‘The Beige Americans’ are the band they’re white and I am ‘Chalk’ because chalk is traditionally white. Just kind of a flop play on the idea.”

Although the race friendly philosophy of the band may seem like a marketing ploy, this band is all substance. With a plethora of bands out here to listen to, these guys are the real deal when it comes to a true Philly sound and energy. Heavily influenced by Motown, add in some funk, a dose of De La Soul, and a dash of Philly’s own G-Love, Chalk and The Beige Americans are a recipe of everything there is to love about music. Their latest project which is self-titled showcases their talents and diversity. Just released on special edition vinyl as well as iTunes you’ll hear slow melodic heartfelt tracks such “Lost at Sea” as well us uptempo catchy trucks such as “Capal.”

The entire EP is easy to listen to with hints of just about every main genre in music. However in order to hone their sound and create their identity Chalk and The Beige Americans have gone the past 5 years playing for the always tough and unyielding Philly music fans. In a town that is quick to give you their raw opinion, this band has pretty much flourished in the underground band scene. As Chalk would describe it, “If you really want to get your rocks off and juice your ego Philly is not the city. It’s a very humbling city. You’re going to play to four people a lot, like more than you’re going to play to 400.”

One thing Chalk has witnessed while paying his dues, is the growth Philly has experienced in not only producing talent but drawing new and fresh talent to the city. However, Chalk still feels Philly has a lot more to prove to the music world which he feels views Philly as more of a step-child than a full blooded sibling. “We’ve been ice skating uphill for so many decades but I feel we can never get a grip with being the big guy on the block,” as Chalk puts it.

Armed with their new EP, Chalk and The Beige Americans are not only looking to carve out a place for themselves in the industry, they are also looking to shed more light on Philly’s emerging talent. “I think our message is to have fun, totally have fun but I want Philly to be a bigger thing like boom we’re here.” - Wooder Ice


"On The Scene: Chalk and The Beige Americans"

The upstairs of Kung Fu Necktie is a smokey space with the feel of someones college living room. It's loud. There's couches, and on those couches are PBR drinking 20 somethings, looking to experience the latest bands to pass through trendy Fishtown. Did I mention some of the best bands around fly in right under the radar here. This is where I first saw Chalk and The Beige Americans.

Chalk and The Beige Americans are a four piece band from Fishtown. The members are David "Chalk" Mayers Jr. (vocals/guitar) Dave Kasper (bass) Richard Breazzano (drums) and Ceilidh Madigan (sax). They fall into the melting pot genre. "We have a reggae song, we have an almost heavy metal song...," says Breazzano. "There's no rhyme or reason which makes it fucking awesome." There's elements of jazz, folk and hip hop...Then there's just some real head bobbing foot stomping funk that's often set off with Madigan laying it down hard on the sax. Chalk's vocals are powerful, and flow in a percussive manner. His rhythmic lyrics create the perfect syncopation over Kasper and Breazzano.

I learned something interesting when I spoke with Chalk. He only writes down the choruses to his songs, and essentially makes up the lyrics depending on the show. I was very surprised by this, and would have never guessed this was the case. Now you're adding elements of avant garde into this boiling pot of music."Every gig we play, the lyrics are made up for every song, for every verse," says Chalk.

CTBA is a culmination of many years of solo gigs and playing music all over Philadelphia. Chalk and Kasper originally met at one of Chalks solo gigs, and the two began playing together."He asked if I had a band. I said no, and we started to play together at his house," says Chalk. The pair rotated in and out several drummers before Breazzano took the role.

They've got a six song EP on their bandcamp page, and they've been steadily promoting their new self titled full length album. Songs like "Disclaimed," "All I Owe" and the super funky "Have Habit" found their way onto the full length. "It's the same songs. They just come out differently depending on where we're recording and who we're recording with," says Chalk. You can find their album on Itunes and Spotify.

The album is released on the newly formed Jawn Deli records, and the guys are literally running a grass roots marketing campaign to get their album out there. If you buy one, you just might get it hand delivered by Chalk himself. You can also pick up a copy at their album release show at The Fire on February 13. I recommend checking these guys out. They are very talented and have much respect for the homegrown music and arts scene in Fishtown. "It's good for the comradery of the neighborhood to have local bands that are in the neighborhood," says Kasper. "Every neighborhood in every city has a lot of pride," says Chalk. "I think music is huge because we have a lot of really reputable people that live, play and work in the neighborhood. It's our fingerprint." - philadown


Discography

2015 - Self Titled "Chalk and the Beige Americans" Vinyl 

Photos

Bio

Sidewalk chalk is an impermanent creative output.  It is at the same time straightforward, grassroots, and Jazz.  That's the credo behind one of Philly's most unique acts: Chalk and the Beige Americans

Their name a play on words that pays homage to both their raw-meets-refined musical philosophy and 'it's complicated' cultural identity, Chalk and the Beige Americans live up to their old-school hip-hop influences (A Tribe Called Quest, G-Love) and contemporary genre-hopping inspirations (Cake, Cage the Elephant) while offering a distinct tip-of-the-hat to pop cultural iconography and post-modern urban-bohemian politics.  

Raw, abstract, catchy, and genuine, this band aspires to bring you to new places while making you feel right at home -- and to be your new drinking buddies.

Chalk (vocals, guitar) has a unique lyric style that is as much Rap as it is Folk and Jazz, which paired with his bad (ass) habit of creating on-the-spot lyrical content yields a mad-lib that is as evocative as it is narrative. The Beige Americans (drums, bass, and saxophone) compose nuanced drum and bass beats and an improvised saxophonic voice that sets Chalk's wordplay on fire. 

Every show is as familiar as is it new.  You'll experience memorable hooks, dance-able riffs, genre left-turns, and soul-touching melodies over a successive stream-of-consciousness word painting that erupts often into a bar-room singalong, dance-party, and (usually) a round whiskey shots.

Band Members