Innocent Man
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Innocent Man

Boise, Idaho, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Boise, Idaho, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""Innocent Man is Guilty of Rocking""

A quiet Garden City wine warehouse seemed like an unlikely location to find musicians rocking out on a frosty Wednesday evening.

Beyond a set of roll-up industrial doors and up a flight of stairs, a small white room held the six musicians who make up Boise band Innocent Man, seven large upright speakers, four microphones with stands, lots of instruments, piles of black cables and a trash bin full of empty beer bottles.

"We rent it for a very, very, very small fee," explained guitarist and vocalist Scott Sprague, who spends his days working for Idaho Wine Merchants.

The warehouse loft acts as a clubhouse for mid-week rehearsals. Crammed inside the space on a recent evening, Innocent Man began cranking through a set list of 25 folk, classic rock and Americana-influenced songs, which were all typed out on a sheet of paper attached to a nearby speaker.

"The whole idea when we first started out, it was like a guys' poker night," said Sprague. "We'd get together a few hours per night, bang on some drums, and then we got to a point, like, 'Shit, this is good.'"

That's because much of the group has played together in bands over the years.

Sprague and guitarist Dan Burns grew up together in McCall, playing in the high-school jazz band and in their parents' garages. Bassist Conlyn McCain and keyboardist Tim Callender were raised in Payette, and though drummer Josh Sears was raised in Cody, Wyo., he may as well be from Idaho at this point. Together, the five men played in bands Classic Ashley, Enormous G and Red House, but they didn't come back together until they all returned to Idaho almost 10 years after Red House broke up.

"We all kind of scattered to the four winds," said Sprague. "And really, around the same time, came back together."

But the guys agree: Innocent Man wasn't a serious project until violinist Lindsey Terrell came along.

"My husband works with Tim's wife, and she said Tim was in a bluegrass band," Terrell explained.

"That's that lie I was telling you about," Callender interrupted.

"... And I said, 'You know, it's time for me to pick that thing up again,'" Terrell said.

Though she hadn't played her violin in eight years, she agreed to meet for a rehearsal with the band.

"It was kind of like being set up on a blind date," she said.

That's when "something kicked off," according to the band. More than two years later, Innocent Man is set to release its first album, the 12-track Home Grown, with a party at Visual Arts Collective Saturday, Feb. 9.

"It's a wide range of different snapshots in songwriting and in band evolution," said Sprague.

The goal for the album was to capture the band's live performances, which blends percussive rock, vocal harmonies, skilled technical work and a dash of guitar solo panache.

"We were playing live a lot; we were practicing every week and we were really tight," said Sprague. "We knew exactly what we wanted to accomplish."

But the band wasn't looking for a heavily produced sound.

"We wanted to make sure the songs played on the album could be replicated live, in person. We didn't want to do 6 trillion overdubs of 14 guitar parts, and 18 organs and X, Y, and Z," said Sprague.

The band finished Home Grown despite busy day jobs and families.

"It's a struggle to balance home life, work life and this life because this is obviously more than a hobby at this point," said Sprague.

During the day, Callender and Sears are both attorneys, inspiring the band's name. Meanwhile, McCain and Burns are engineers and Sprague distributes beer and wine.

"Lindsey is really the only full-time musician in the band," said Callender.

Terrell plays in Boise bands StoneSeed and Ophelia when she isn't playing shows with Innocent Man.

Even though band members spent years apart, music never stopped being a part of their lives.

"The reason I left Red House, which was a really sad day for me, was to go to law school," said Callender. "I've always had these weird tracks in my life; I'm doing this, I'm doing that, but if I'm not playing music, I'm not happy."

But the band said limited time leads to a stronger focus on making music.

"One of the things that forces us to do this the way we want to is we don't have time to do lots of experimental stuff. ... If we don't like it, we're not going to spend a lot of time on it because we have kids and all this other stuff. We always said it was supposed to be just fun," said Sears.

When asked what they would do if the band got bigger, members were torn.

"I think a lot of us sort of daydream about it," said Burns.

Sprague said it would have to feel right.

"I think, yes, it would be amazing to be full-time on the road. But I do, at the same time, want to preserve the musical integrity. ... If it starts becoming for the money, or starts becoming for something else, I think the intent is not that pure," Sprague said. "And that doesn't really interest me."

For now, Innocent Man is focusing on playing shows in Idaho and beyond. As the album's name, Home Grown, implies, the band is proud to represent its Idaho roots.

"I think it does have to do with the fact that it's very down to the roots," said Callender. "It's from a place that we call home." - Boise Weekly

"Innocent Man "Home Grown""

I have to go with my gut on this one and my gut is telling me that these guys were somehow transported through time and dropped on my doorstep because I did something someone liked very, very much. I feel like the fifteen year-old kid sitting on his bed just before turning out the lights, before whom appears a scantily-clad and very hot lady (let us say, a 30 year-old, for mental picture purposes). Like him, I am looking toward the sky and saying “Thank you, God” with a look of amazement and ecstasy on my face and a heart filled with wonder. Such is the power of music.

I almost passed on Innocent Man. A guy named Cody who had something to do with the recording sent me the files with a request to listen and I was reluctant (like every egotistical idiot, I think my time is worth something) but I did. One time through I wasn't impressed but there was something there I couldn't quite put a finger on. I sent Cody a note saying don't expect anything but I want to listen again. That was a good twenty listens ago--- more if you count the multiple hearings of Whistler and 15, two tracks which have wrapped their tentacles around my brain and won't let go. It was almost like they dragged me into a tunnel and it took me that many listens to find my way out. But I made it and I'm none the worse for wear. I think. Maybe better, now that I think about it.

I have no idea what makes each of us like or dislike the music we hear. Through the years I have tired of the same old while that seems to be music to everyone else's ears. While people were listening to Steely Dan and Billy Joel, I was digging through dumpsters for the likes of The Damnation of Adam Blessing (later, just Damnation) and Country Funk and Glass Harp. Something about the stars (soon to be labeled “superstars”) just did not impress me beyond an album or maybe even a song. I wanted the album less traveled, I guess. I still do.

So let me just say that Innocent Man's Home Grown is starting out its life that way--- an album which will have to fight its way through white noise to be heard at all--- and that's a shame. There is good music in those grooves, music deserving to be heard, and it will be a battle. No big thing, though, because Innocent Man isn't new to the game, having been around hometown Boise for a few years at least, and they know the rules. No overnight success for these guys. It's practically written in the contract.

Doesn't matter to me. This band is my latest guilty pleasure. It brings back the seventies like few others do. 15 is one of those songs rooted in the seventies--- the early seventies--- a pit bull of a song--- the 6/8 time signature giving the rhythm section (that's the bass and drums, folks) a chance to drive. Violins and guitars can live off of a song like this for weeks. Speaking of weeks, that's how long I would have Whistler be if I didn't know it would end the life of the band after the first few hours. When I hear it, I'm hearing the music filtered through a few years of inhabiting longhair music venues like The Eagles Auditorium in Seattle and Billy Shears in Eugene. It's a rockin' light show with a beat thanks to the instrumental lineup and that unique and raspy sound of guitar, organ and violin. A killer of a song which should have a longer instrumental break, though maybe it works best as it is. It's length has me listening again and again. I can't seem to get enough.

They work their way through a number of songs on this album, many having ghosts of Steely Dan and early Wilderness Road and Moby Grape and a host of other bands I loved during my “hippie” days. When I close my eyes, I can almost picture them on a flatbed in a field somewhere pickin' and grinnin' between rockin' 'n rollin' because they do, on songs like Break It Down, have gaps in their teeth and a barndance kick in a rock 'n roll kind of way. It is hardly all that but just enough to give you that feeling of deja vu. Like you maybe had heard these guys before. Even if you aren't able to remember the late-sixties and early-seventies.

Does Innocent Man have a chance to make it? I would think so. I have noticed the past couple of years a look to the past--- the early-seventies' past--- and not from the boomers as you might think, but from the kids--- the ones who are tiring of the pablum being offered up by the major labels. They seem to appreciate the in-your-face quality of the music back then--- the feel of it, if you will. I almost laugh out loud every time I talk with a young person who is blown away that I know the music of those bands. I mean, how many older people can they find with whom they can talk about Cat Mother and Trapeze and Potliquor? Not too damn many if only because there ain't that many of us left. What's that, you say? You dig those guys? Well, guess what, kids. You're going to love these guys, too!

For the older folks, I think it will take something drastic to get them to listen. Like a live concert. Listening to the album, I got a tremendous urge to hear the band live. I mean, an urge! And I would back that up with an analogy but the only urge I can think of at the moment is age-inappropriate. That's okay. Use your head. You'll think of one.

While you're thinking, you might want to head to their website (click here) to read about the band. Never hurts to know about the musicians, you know. Then head to their ReverbNation page to listen (click here). Start with Whistler and work your way through all of the songs a few times. The ones that grab you right off will make you listen further and with each listen, the album gets better and better.

The album is scheduled to drop February 9th. Did I mention they were from Boise? Not too many places I think are better to be from. Maybe Moose Jaw or Whitehorse or, if you really want to be from somewhere cool, Spillamachine. For this band, though, Boise will do. As far as Innocent Man? They will do nicely, too. Very nicely.

Frank O. Gutch Jr. - Rock and Reprise


Home Grown (2013)



Innocent Man plays honest Rock & Roll, fostered with Americana, while pursuing the unending development of the bands musical abilities. By using deep heartfelt lyrics that reflect shared life experiences, tasteful guitar, premier fiddle, driving rhythms, and graceful melodies, Innocent Man comes through as a breath of fresh air that dabbles with acoustic echoes of the past. With a hunger to constantly create great compositions, the members of Innocent Man continue to push the conceptual limitations of music.

With an original sound that is hard to define, Innocent Man brings elements of genuine Americana or Outlaw Country, reminiscent of acts like Wilco, The Wood Brothers & Jonny Cash, along with glimmers of Classic-Rock such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top & The Band, combined with Jam-Band grooves resembling those of Phish, The Grateful Dead & Assembly Of Dust.

Innocent Mans first album, Home Grown was released February 9th 2013. The album release included a notable Sold-Out party at The Visual Arts Collective located in Boise, Idaho. The Album is a brilliant assortment of new and seasoned original cross-genre songs. Fans that have followed the band for years will delight in the new life the band has breathed into many of its familiar songs as they continue to progress their sound and push their musical boundaries.

This Boise based 6 piece was cultivated by childhood friends sharing their love of music. In all, Scott Sprague & Dan Burns & Kristen Burns (no relation) grew up in McCall, Idaho and graduated from the same small high school. Likewise, Tim Callender & Conlyn McCain grew up in the small town of Payette, Idaho. While in college the core members of the band became friends and started to jam.. Scott, Dan, Tim, Conlyn, and Josh Sears played together for more than a decade in various lineups and great bands around Idahos Treasure Valley such as Red House, Classic Ashley, the3hundred and Enormous G. In 2008 the guys switched up instruments and song arrangements and founded a new band.

The guys decided to call the new band Innocent Man as a play on the fact that two of the members have studied law. Each member of the band has their own specific tastes in music, which helps make for a unique and special sound that touches many different genres all within a single song. This special sound reverberates through all ages, and creates a common connection that sparks new friendships everywhere its heard.

Some notable events and festivals Innocent Man has performed around the Northwest are; The Idaho-Down (2012 & 2013), Juniper Jam (2013), Hyde Park Street Fair (2013), The McCall Winter Carnival (2012), The Summer Music Festival at Roseberry (2011,2012 & 2013), Council Mountain Music Festival (2013), Valley Country Fair & Rodeo (2013), Boise Heart Walk (2011 & 2012), Blues, Brews & BBQs Event (2012), Idaho Wing-Off Contest (2011 & 2012), Barley Bros. Winter Ale Festival (2012 & 2013) and McCalls OKTOBERFEST (2012).

Plus Innocent Man has played many other venues around the Northwest and shared stages with acts such as; Equaleyes, Down North, Jimmy Bivens, Riviera, Low-Bones, Shook Twins, Shaken Not Stirred, Jeff Crosby & the Refugees, Whiskey Creek & SO many more!

Band Members