Jalopy
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Jalopy

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter

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"Jalopy & Friends - Genghis Cohen - 09/16/09"

Genghis Cohen’s Fairfax 9ish pm – I walked through GCs big wooden door and made a bee line for the bar. After ordering a rum and coke from the smallest bar top on the block, I finally took in the scenery and the crowd. Maybe it just seemed crowded because everyone was trying to get a drink all at once or it was the buzz in the air surrounding Jalopy’s special guest, Samantha Ronson. While there was still enough personal space to go around, the group I was with quickly relocated to the concert room ($7 entry).

A fiery elegance and warm familiarity surrounded me when I walked into the room. The interior spoke volumes about the room. It was like the room said you’ve arrived to a Wednesday night music service and that we should get ready for an acoustic sermon. Jalopy & Friends began setting up instruments and took up nearly every crevice of the soap box sized stage (not the smallest, but close). The audience sipped their drinks ($6 beer on tap, $7 rum & coke, $9 scotch) and waited for the show to start.

Song by Song:

Luke, lead singer and guitarist, took to the mic and opened up the set with “When You Can’t Find Love”. The clear acoustic plucking and humble voice reminded me of Conor Oberst, Elliott Smith, and a little John Mayer.


“Anne Marie” has this masculine vulnerability, but maintains this sense of honesty while being stubborn (circa Ryan Adams “When Will You Come Back Home”).


The song “Cali Hustle” definitely got the Cali stamp of approval. I can’t find it anywhere on YouTube. So, if you’re reading this, members of Jalopy, please post footage of this song.


During "Right Where You Begin” I noticed that there’s this really easy feel to the dynamics of the band. The acoustics of the room set the drums, bass, and guitars off! The audience could hear each layer of music delivered with a down-home crispness.


“All I Need Now”, was dedicated by the lead singer, “for my girl Samantha”. She looked on from inside the hallway and shyly and sincerely smiled.


Samantha was the only one on stage for “Sometimes When You Win You Lose”. What I got from this song was that life and love always have their Catch-22s. And that while there is openness to life and to relationships that sometimes those two don't intersect. They just can't work out in that time and space. I like that Ronson’s voice isn't elaborate and can't be compared to let's say, Mariah Carey’s. She's in a whole other field, like Cyndi Lauper without the higher notes.


“In And Out Of Love” was another audience favorite. Samantha's voice really made me sad, which is good, she was effective! The honesty and secrecy behind the song really made her simple acoustic style shine through. It's refreshing since we tend to associate the Ronson name with everything DJ, analog, and digital.


“Days That Disappear”, was performed with Samantha on background vocals and accompanying guitar and Jordan from The Jury Pool provided the bass lines. Luke jokingly elaborated about what the song meant – “It’s about an uplifting time in my life”.


The closer, Tom Petty’s song “Yer So Bad”, was covered by all of Jalopy & Friends. I had never heard the song before, but I’ve heard of Tom Petty, so this was a great way to really get to hear Jalopy’s influences. What a classic ending to an already flawless set.


Visit the Jalopy Myspace
Follow them on Twitta! @jalopymusic

http://lanightimer.blogspot.com/2009/09/jalopy-friends-genghis-cohen-091609.html?zx=1740d8ab47fd4050


Photo by @kidPEACE from kpeace design


xo - LAnighttimer - http://lanightimer.blogspot.com/


"Jalopy"

Jalopy write songs with a refreshing earnesty about them, coupling generous sincerity and song-writing skill with what feels like a genuine joy to be playing music. Simple, attractive melodies, and clever hooks adorn what, at the heart, is rock music, thrown back to a time when singer-songwriters who knew their way around guitar or two ruled the radios.

But don't let the low-key, shabby-chic style fool you; they're not afraid to turn up the volume every now and then. Their sound suggests an American pastoral set to beaming Cali-fied orchestrations -- a Massachusetts license plate riding on the Pacific Coast Highway. The irresistible signature riff on "Days That Disappear" feels tense and fevered, yet it far from agitates. There's ample composure in those chords which in part prepares you for the more serene breaks. You can even hear echoes of a youthful Jeff Tweedy -- before the Wilco front man tried to break your heart -- on some of these tracks and even more of a, well, still-youthful Ryan Adams.

There's both summer breeze and winter bluster to the band, but whatever the season, you always feel as if you can sink as comfortably into Jalopy's songs as you would your dad's velveteen easy chair, smooth drink in hand, right out on your front porch.

Peter L'Official
the village voice
salon.com - Peter L'Official


Discography

Jalopy EP 2006
Spring EP 2008
Right Where You Begin late 2009

Photos

Bio

Jalopy: The Road So Far...

Luke Sundquist and Sean Woolstenhulme met as fellow guitarists when both were new residents of Los Angeles. After a year of intense playing and practicing, Luke returned to Massachusetts to finish college. “Apparently your first two years aren’t worth anything unless combined with the final two years” dead-pans Sundquist. Conversely, Sean stayed in Los Angeles to pursue guitar-for-income opportunities. Soon Sean was playing in multiple major label bands.

“We both started out with aspirations as guitarists” Sundquist remembers. “But, Sean became the true player. One of the best I’ve ever heard for his age. The pure feel and those subtle nuances in his playing were always natural for him, even when he wasn’t even that good…ha!” While Sean embarked on world tours, national television appearances, and other boring fare, Luke was diligently studying/partying back at Williams College in the Berkshires. “I listened to a lot of Dylan, Counting Crows, Grateful Dead, The Band, Wilco, Phish, Ben Harper and on - it was Adam Duritz and Elliott Smith who inspired me to get serious about music and songwriting. Their songs somehow gave me a fresh open heart. I was back in LA within 3 months of graduation."

In 2007 Sean and Luke began work on their first concentrated collaboration: Jalopy. The 2008 debut EP Spring was recorded in three days. Sundquist's writing is rooted in tradition and lyrically concentrated on the American experience. Fittingly, the music resonates with guarded optimism. It is also notably full of Woolstenhulme’s freshly-hatched guitar lines that subtly pull elements from country, fusion, rock and pop. When pressed Sundquist states, “I don’t really know how to define it genre-wise besides the fact that I don’t think its dated, and I think the themes are personal yet accessible. The playing is strong and its a spontaneous and functional reflection of our lives as musicians and as Americans. We’re proud of it, but we hope we can always do better.”

The first Jalopy full length record is currently being recorded with producer Ethan Allen. It will be released late 2009.

www.myspace.com/jalopymusic