Old Union
Gig Seeker Pro

Old Union

Band Rock Jam

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
31
Old Union @ 527 Mainstreet

Mufreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Mufreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Sep
06
Old Union @ Funky Blues Shack

Baytown Wharf, Florida, USA

Baytown Wharf, Florida, USA

Sep
05
Old Union @ Funky Blues Shack

Baytown Wharf, Florida, USA

Baytown Wharf, Florida, USA

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

Music

Press


With a sound that is undeniably rooted in the deep southern rock tradition, Nashville’s Old Union proudly waves their soul flag high on their new album, Motels & Highways. Recalling the best of bands that preceded them (Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Delaney and Bonnie), Old Union trot out the twin guitars of Steve Swertfeger and John Zvolensky, and keep alive the long tradition of dueling leads. An appearance by Charlie Daniels on “One for the Family” only serves to deepen the connection between Old Union and its forefathers.

Old Union has rightly become known for their intense live sets and adventurous, risk-taking jams, but they are not a one-dimensional band only capable of bringing the heat on stage. “We want to stress that we are primarily a lyric orientated band, whose strength is our live chemistry and energy to deliver the tune”, says Zvolensky. Their latest album is proof of this.

Motels & Highways has the gritty feel of a band on the road, with each song describing the life and experiences of a touring band. It is an open look into the heart of Old Union. Guitarist Zvolensky explains, “We want to stress that everything we do is from the soul, with us always striving to offer an honest tune.” Keyboardist Chuck Foster’s distinct voice, a gut-wrenching howl reminiscent of early Gregg Allman, provides pure emotion giving life to each song.

Motels & Highways is the sound of the open road, of driving with the windows down through yet another nameless town with the wind in your face. When Foster sings, “Well the road keeps coming and there ain’t no belt to fasten/ Spend our lifetime runnin’, makin’ this here music happen/ I wanna die in the saddle with my boots on/ I wanna hear the drums rattle, wanna hear that highway moan” from the title track, you can close your eyes and feel that wind.
Motels & Highways is out now.
- An Honest Tune - by Tim Newby


There is a group of five men who live in Nashville and go collectively by the name Old Union. They are musicians - good ones, too. But they are also students of music; they know where it came from, they know who helped make it happen, and they have learned some valuable lessons along the way. Not only that, but they are starting to make some noise in other parts of the country, and they have been befriended by a legendary singer, Miss Bonnie Bramlett, who has helped them along their journey. Come along with us as Hittin’ the Note takes you inside Old Union and what they have been up to, and where they might be heading down the tracks.

Old Union is a relatively recent phenomenon, having been together as a band for a little over three years. They, as most all musicians do, go back several years, back to when all of them were teenagers and trying to form that right combination of players. Folks, they have found it here. Chuck Foster on keyboards, Ben Bridges on bass, John Zvolensky on guitar, David Brendyl on drums, and Steve “Spotty Dog” Swertfeger on guitar comprise Old Union, and these guys know their stuff. The oldest member of the group, Steve Swertfeger, just turned 30, and the youngest member is Chuck Foster, at the ripe old age of 25. All of them are students of old rock and roll, so their rock roots run deep and fertile. They have a unique sound, which, considering the instrumentation, is a compliment in itself. It is blues-based, but it rocks hard, too. A recent bit of good timing (let’s refrain from calling it luck) took them on a small tour this past summer, one that surely did wonders for their career, as well as for their confidence.

Chuck Foster reflects on Old Union’s recent tour of the Northeast U.S., where they played several gigs as part of what in older days would have been called a revue. On their first night out in Syracuse, quite suddenly and very much by surprise, Old Union was asked if they would open the show in place of Long John Baldry, who had been detained at Customs. “They came to us like 45 minutes before the show was to start, so we didn’t have time to do much of anything but say ‘yes’ and hit the stage. We got a great time slot, and, when it was over, we had done a 45-minute set that was really good. We found out later that the announced crowd was like 15,000 people. Even though we had to sit around for about 30 minutes while this storm passed by, we didn’t really have time to get nervous, and it was a great way to kick off the tour.” The tour consisted of Johnny Winter, Baldry, and Bonnie Bramlett, and they played six nights to wildly enthusiastic crowds at each stop. “Each night, we all felt like we got better. Bonnie came out with us and, man, she never ceased to amaze me at how she kept nailing it, night after night. She had been doing ‘Oncoming Traffic,’ which was written by Gregg Allman, and that was just spectacular. The band had been listening to and learning some old Delaney & Bonnie songs, so, when the call came for this tour, we were pretty much ready to do it with her.”
Old Union has also backed up Bonnie at such varied places as a recent folk festival in Canada, and they have ventured out to play at such events as the 2003 High Sierra Festival, and lots of gigs in Nashville. This past summer, Old Union and Bonnie Bramlett opened the show for a reunion of Wet Willie, and Wet Willie vocalist Jimmy Hall joined them on stage for a couple of songs. In addition, the band was a big hit at the first Down on the Farm Festival in North Florida this past fall, and at a recent co-billing at Cannery Row in their hometown with the Jack Pearson Band. If a band is judged by the company it keeps, then Old Union is bound to make it big!

Chuck met Bonnie at church when she had first moved to Nashville and he was a teenager. Bonnie recalls: “I think Chuck had written a paper on Duane Allman for school, so he knew who I was and he knew all about Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, so that was pretty cool. I found out he was a musician, and, between that and our faith, we just connected from the beginning. One night, I was sitting in with them when one of the guys suggested that we do an old D& B song. I hadn’t sung most of those songs in years, and had never sung them without Delaney. My daughters both told me I should sing them again, and I had honestly never thought I would sing them again without Delaney. So between that kind of encouragement, and the guys in the band knowing the music and the songs, I decided to give it a try. They had studied the music, knew the songs, and it just seemed OK to do it. I had faith in them!” Thus, a real bond was formed between the wily veteran and the rising stars, a bond that runs deep and strong to this very day.

Chuck is the band’s principal songwriter, although John Zvolensky has started to contribute to that mix. Spotty has also had input on the songs. “Right now, it is probably ab - Hittin the Note by Bill Ector


There is a group of five men who live in Nashville and go collectively by the name Old Union. They are musicians - good ones, too. But they are also students of music; they know where it came from, they know who helped make it happen, and they have learned some valuable lessons along the way. Not only that, but they are starting to make some noise in other parts of the country, and they have been befriended by a legendary singer, Miss Bonnie Bramlett, who has helped them along their journey. Come along with us as Hittin’ the Note takes you inside Old Union and what they have been up to, and where they might be heading down the tracks.

Old Union is a relatively recent phenomenon, having been together as a band for a little over three years. They, as most all musicians do, go back several years, back to when all of them were teenagers and trying to form that right combination of players. Folks, they have found it here. Chuck Foster on keyboards, Ben Bridges on bass, John Zvolensky on guitar, David Brendyl on drums, and Steve “Spotty Dog” Swertfeger on guitar comprise Old Union, and these guys know their stuff. The oldest member of the group, Steve Swertfeger, just turned 30, and the youngest member is Chuck Foster, at the ripe old age of 25. All of them are students of old rock and roll, so their rock roots run deep and fertile. They have a unique sound, which, considering the instrumentation, is a compliment in itself. It is blues-based, but it rocks hard, too. A recent bit of good timing (let’s refrain from calling it luck) took them on a small tour this past summer, one that surely did wonders for their career, as well as for their confidence.

Chuck Foster reflects on Old Union’s recent tour of the Northeast U.S., where they played several gigs as part of what in older days would have been called a revue. On their first night out in Syracuse, quite suddenly and very much by surprise, Old Union was asked if they would open the show in place of Long John Baldry, who had been detained at Customs. “They came to us like 45 minutes before the show was to start, so we didn’t have time to do much of anything but say ‘yes’ and hit the stage. We got a great time slot, and, when it was over, we had done a 45-minute set that was really good. We found out later that the announced crowd was like 15,000 people. Even though we had to sit around for about 30 minutes while this storm passed by, we didn’t really have time to get nervous, and it was a great way to kick off the tour.” The tour consisted of Johnny Winter, Baldry, and Bonnie Bramlett, and they played six nights to wildly enthusiastic crowds at each stop. “Each night, we all felt like we got better. Bonnie came out with us and, man, she never ceased to amaze me at how she kept nailing it, night after night. She had been doing ‘Oncoming Traffic,’ which was written by Gregg Allman, and that was just spectacular. The band had been listening to and learning some old Delaney & Bonnie songs, so, when the call came for this tour, we were pretty much ready to do it with her.”
Old Union has also backed up Bonnie at such varied places as a recent folk festival in Canada, and they have ventured out to play at such events as the 2003 High Sierra Festival, and lots of gigs in Nashville. This past summer, Old Union and Bonnie Bramlett opened the show for a reunion of Wet Willie, and Wet Willie vocalist Jimmy Hall joined them on stage for a couple of songs. In addition, the band was a big hit at the first Down on the Farm Festival in North Florida this past fall, and at a recent co-billing at Cannery Row in their hometown with the Jack Pearson Band. If a band is judged by the company it keeps, then Old Union is bound to make it big!

Chuck met Bonnie at church when she had first moved to Nashville and he was a teenager. Bonnie recalls: “I think Chuck had written a paper on Duane Allman for school, so he knew who I was and he knew all about Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, so that was pretty cool. I found out he was a musician, and, between that and our faith, we just connected from the beginning. One night, I was sitting in with them when one of the guys suggested that we do an old D& B song. I hadn’t sung most of those songs in years, and had never sung them without Delaney. My daughters both told me I should sing them again, and I had honestly never thought I would sing them again without Delaney. So between that kind of encouragement, and the guys in the band knowing the music and the songs, I decided to give it a try. They had studied the music, knew the songs, and it just seemed OK to do it. I had faith in them!” Thus, a real bond was formed between the wily veteran and the rising stars, a bond that runs deep and strong to this very day.

Chuck is the band’s principal songwriter, although John Zvolensky has started to contribute to that mix. Spotty has also had input on the songs. “Right now, it is probably ab - Hittin the Note by Bill Ector


Discography

Old Union/ Stonewall Records CD release- "Forgiveness or Permission"
Old Union/ Mile 8 DVD release- "Live from Exit In"
Old Union release- "Motels & Highways"

Photos

Bio

"Well now I'm committed to my decision for what I must prepare for,
I might wind up in the streets or in the mission, might never be heard from no more
I've been busy working on a building, building one piece at a time,
I'm gonna make a living here if it kills me, putting my soul on the line
And I refuse to be denied,tomorrow or today,
there's been a song down in my life every step of the way
Inspiration don't fail me now,
Sweet Freedom come find me somehow"

Embarks the Chuck Foster penned, “Sweet Freedom”. Poignant lyrics mixed with righteous guitar, monstrous backbone and Foster’s rollicking keys make up the ingredients of OLD UNION’s rock and roll formula. Foster, who began playing the keys because “everybody plays guitar”, melds an eclectic jukebox of influence alongside his boogie style piano. Ranging from Waylon Jennings to Muddy Waters and all points in between, Old Union defies the boundaries of genre music. They are parts old country, funk, gospel, rock and roll and Americana.

The heartfelt lyrics of the band accent their ability as musicians. Johnny Zvolensky and Steve Swertfeger channel an early era Allman Brothers Band vibe; capable of the same flawless teamwork and interplay. Effortlessly the two guitarists trade off lead roles backing the other with flawless rhythm. They both offer songwriting capabilities, and Swertfeger mixes things up with uncanny lap steel and slide guitar.

All of that astonishing guitar and piano needs a vehicle to ride with. David “Freight Train” Bryndal and Jason Williams provide ample backbone to hold it all together. Bryndal provides break neck beats from behind the kit, and Williams’s depth on bass has yet to fully be utilized. He is as comfortable on upright doghouse bass as he is laying down monstrous bombs from his electric Fender.

Road tested and ready, Old Union has been coast-to-coast delivering their coal-fired rock and roll. They have made appearances at music festivals like Bonnaroo, High Sierra Music Festival, Down on the Farm and many others. They also offered their talents as Bonnie Bramlett's backing band for several tours that took them across the country and to Canada. They love working hard and playing music. Some friends they have shared the stage with include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Steve Cropper, Charlie Daniels, Jack Pearson, Johnny Neel, Bonnie Bramlett, the Drive By Truckers and Outformation. They have also opened shows for Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the North Mississippi Allstars, Shooter Jennings, Widespread Panic’s JoJo Hermann and many others.

Self-released "Motels & Highways" in 2007, recorded in Nashville and features guest appearances from Charlie Daniels, Johnny Neel, and many others.