Columbia Fields
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Columbia Fields

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"The Hartford Advocate"

http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=1694

By Dan Barry Thursday, July 05, 2007
Local Motion: Enter the Fields
Rock with keys may be Connecticut's next big thing; and Magnesium Jake rehash the hashed-over grunge sound. I
didn't really think of piano rock as an entity unto itself until I started writing Local Motion and realized, "damn — Connecticut is good at this!" There's no scene for it, per se — probably because there aren't really fans who say "yeah, I like alternative, but it's a thousand times more awesome when there's a keyboard." Still, there's an unusual concentration of talent around these parts, and it's worth your attention, because at this rate it might just coalesce into something bigger.

So, to the corps that already includes André Balazs, Rachel Zamsteen, Quark, and Welcome, I'd like to introduce Columbia Fields. They played Farmington's Zen Bar this past Thursday night, and they kicked ass right out of the gates. Contrary to the typical bass-drums anchor, keyboardist Eric Heath glues the songs together alongside drummer Chris Bowes. Heath has a fluid, accessible style that doesn't over-rely on chunky block chords to make its point. He prefers extended melodies, and strikes a fine balance between the unexpected and the necessary.

Meanwhile, vocalist and guitarist Grayson Minney bears more than a passing resemblance to Jordan Catalano of My So-Called Life fame. The layered haircut, the eye-rolls during songs, the jumping up and down between verses to get psyched & The dude is 100 percent frontman. The overall effect is that Heath and Bowes demarcate the boundaries of the songs; Minney then comes in and frays the ends, burns the edges a little, creating a dynamic tension between the two simultaneous MOs. This also leaves a lot of room for bassist Jon Coates, whose monolithic six-stringer is matched by his assertive lead.

As far as Columbia Fields' songs, I had a hard time coming up with similar bands to compare them to. The boys actually sound that original. There was an occasional chord progression that smacked of Crash-era Dave Matthews, and at other moments there were glimmers of Counting Crows. But these influences were always filtered through a much younger sensibility that owes a bit to contemporary emo. They just released their debut disc, When The Night Falls; you can pick up a copy when they play The Space on July 12th.
- Dan Barry


Discography

When The Night Falls: 2007
Live at the Capitol Theater EP: 2008
Live at the Capitol Theater (DVD): 2008
Bridging the Gap: 2009

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Bio

Columbia Fields is an “Indie Rock Ass-Kicking Machine!” said the Hartford Advocate. Having played for thousands of fans in the northeast it is no doubt this band is headed for a long career of rock hits in the music industry. Their unique, powerfully emotional rock has garnered thousands of fans, consistent booking, and increased radio play.


The band was formed in 2002 by lead singer Grayson Minney and keyboardist Eric Heath. The sound could be described as a cross between Coldplay and Dave Matthews with a hint of a Tori Amos modern sounding twist and a very big feel. The Hartford Courant has said the band has “an irrepressible melding of rhythmic drums, classical piano styling and heartfelt lyrics, Columbia Fields is a burgeoning star in the New England music scene.”


For three years in a row, (2008, 2009 and 2010) the band has won the award for the Best Indie Band in Connecticut. In a recent competition out of hundreds of local bands, Columbia Fields took first place and won the the chance to open for Bon Jovi, where their music was introduced to over 6,000+ fans. The crowd reaction was so positive, the band was able to distribute the remaining 1000 copies of their latest album. To date the band has moved over 3,500 copies of their first 2 albums via shows, online sales, and downloads. After finishing up the last leg of shows for 2010, Columbia Fields will take a break from touring to concentrate on their third album for 2011.


Media reviews have been nothing but positive. “As far as Columbia Fields' songs, I had a hard time coming up with similar bands to compare them to. The boys actually sound that original. There was an occasional chord progression that smacked of Crash-era Dave Matthews, and at other moments there were glimmers of Counting Crows. But these influences were always filtered through a much younger sensibility that owes a bit to contemporary emo.” Hartford Advocate (July 2008)

“Columbia Fields gives you the best of every world with the catchy melodies of mainstream pop, the straight forward feel and songwriting of a singer/songwriter and the musicianship/complexity of a jam band. The group finds themselves somewhere between folk, pop and rock, evident in the driving acoustic guitars and intricate piano chord voicings.” - Ourstage.com (July 2010)

Shows: Columbia Fields has performed at most of the top tier venues in the northeast. Some performances of note include: Mohegan Sun Arena, Mohegan Sun Wolf Den, The Hardrock Cafe at Foxwoods Casino, Toads Place, The Webster Theater, The Cutting Room, The Blender Theater at Gramercy, and Church.

The band has shared the stage with national acts: Bon Jovi, The Backstreet Boys, Ed Roland of Collective Soul, Pete Francis of Dispatch, Hinder, Keith Kane of Vertical Horizon, Edwin Mccain, Ryan Montbleau, Nine Days, Pras from the Fugees, Dicky Betts of the Allman Brothers, The Script, and The Fray.