One Aisle Over
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One Aisle Over

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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"One Aisle Over: Not so in the mainstream"

Standing behind a piano with the lights of Juneau shining through the window behind her, Naomi Hooley pounded out a progression of bluesy chords that brought the talking crowd at The Island Pub on March 1 to a near-silent standstill.
As the rest of the band accompanying her moved to the rhythms she played, Hooley opened her mouth and let out a sound that only can be compared to crystal.
"It's a very pure, clean voice," said Josh Lockhart, who fronts the band with Hooley. "She has a very strong and powerful lead voice, but she's also gifted in singing harmony and matching the cadence of how you sing a word. She's as talented a singer as anyone, mainstream or not."
The band is One Aisle Over. It features Hooley on keyboards, Lockhart on guitar, Rod Crist on mandolin and Chris Fannin on bass. Lockhart and Hooley bring most of the original material to the group, but all members sing and contribute songs. They describe their music as acoustic-rock.
"(The name) is a play on the fact that our music is not mainstream, not something people are going to be familiar with. It wouldn't be in the main section of the store, but would be one aisle over," Lockhart said.
The band began as a duo originally formed by Lockhart and Crist. They played at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar's open mike and at the Alaska Folk Festival before bringing in Hooley.
"I heard her play and sing and of course was really drawn to her stuff," Lockhart said.
Hooley said the fact she and Lockhart were friends helped.
"We were friends, and we just happened to have this great thing in common," Hooley said. "If that friendship element wasn't there (the music) probably wouldn't be as dynamic or as magical as it is right now."
Lockhart recently completed a CD of original songs called, "After All This," available online and at their live shows. Hooley, Crist and Fannin provided back up intrumentation and vocal harmonies for the project.
Lockhart's songs are often biographical and sometimes used as a way to record his life.
"If I was going through something, you know, relationships, that kind of thing, I ended up just writing songs about it," he said. "It just kind of becomes my journal."
Hooley writes songs with universal themes, she said.
"Love and life, forgiveness and redemption, and those kinds of things. Sometimes I think of my songs as fables. They kind of have a point to them," she said.
The band, which practices twice a week and hangs out together socially, has found success in the collaborative process.
"You really have to trust who you are playing with, and you have to trust each others' heart and have the same vision," Hooley said.
Both Lockhart and Hooley enjoy bringing their songs to the group.
"When you've just been playing your song with an acoustic guitar and singing by yourself, and someone else comes in, it very quickly changes the sound of the song. And that's pretty exciting," Lockhart said.
Hooley agreed.
"All of a sudden that song has a whole new life to it and has a whole new energy to it," she said. "It's almost like it's not even your song anymore, but it's exactly what you wanted it to be."
Since Lockhart's CD release party on Jan. 4, the band has been booking more public performances, including The Island Pub show, a slot at this year's folk festival and other venues around town. The band also is developing songs for Hooley's CD, which is expected to be released in a year.
"We've been trying to hit it real hard right now," Hooley said. "(Performing in public) gets the music shaped up and makes it really easy to go into the studio and record," she said.
As one CD project finishes and another one picks up, and as the band plays out more in the community, one of its goals is to make a difference.
"Music doesn't come to life until you've shared it with somebody," Hooley said. "At some point you take it to the people, and you share your heart and you make yourself vulnerable. You hope at the end of the day that someone experienced something or picked up something that made them think, or inspired them in some way." - Juneau Empire

"They're Not Just Playing Around"

One Aisle Over: They're not just playing around
By Amy Fletcher | juneau empire
A well-timed question was the impetus behind One Aisle Over's recent decision to get serious about their music. Last New Year's Eve, drummer Daniel Hays approached lead vocalists Naomi Hooley and Josh Lockhart to talk about where they were headed.
"He said, 'Are we playing music, or are we playing music?'" Hooley recalls. "So we really started thinking about it."
After some serious discussion, the local band came up with a long-term plan that includes hitting the road to perform more shows and recording their first studio CD, both of which involve more practicing and polishing of the band's extensive catalog of original songs.
Both Lockhart, 31, and Hooley, 29, are self-employed - Lockhart is a carpenter and Hooley operates a housekeeping and landscaping business - so making more time for music presents a challenge. But both said they are determined to make a go of it.
The CD project is now in the works; the band has carved out time in October to head down to a recording studio, 8 Ball, in Portland, Ore., to finish the album. Once they have that product in hand, it will be easier for them to secure performances down South.
"It's really the only way to be taken seriously when you're promoting yourself," Lockhart said.
The band, who has described their sound as acoustic-rock, performs this Friday at Chapel by the Lake, with proceeds from ticket sales going toward the CD's production. The next night they'll be at the Viking. And from there they head north, playing 10 gigs in 12 days with stops in Wasilla, Homer, Palmer, Anchorage and Seward.
Hooley has booked a wide range of venues, and said the band is equally comfortable creating a big sound in front of a crowd or toning it down for an acoustic show in a cafe.
"I think that's something that's unique about our band - we're able to have both those sounds," she said.
The band's makeup fluctuates but core members Lockhart (vocals and guitar), Hooley (vocals and keyboards) and Hays (percussion) remain constants. Those three, as well as saxophone player Brian Van Kirk, will be recording the CD in October, most likely with a couple other musicians as yet to be determined. A different configuration, made up of Lockhart, Hooley and Hays as well as Chris Fannin on bass and Sarah Gothold on violin (minus Van Kirk, whose wife recently had a baby) will be heading north for the tour. That group also will perform together in Juneau.
Hooley and Lockhart were close friends for years before they started playing music together, and that base of friendship still serves them well, Lockhart said. Hooley contributed to Lockhart's solo CD, produced in 2007. After that project was finished, the decision was made to form a band. The two share songwriting and lead vocalist responsibilities in One Aisle Over.
Both songwriters have been particularly prolific recently.
"We've been writing songs faster than we can learn them," Lockhart said.
The increased output may be due in part to a broader focus. Hooley said she used to tap into only her darker emotions when writing music, creating one sad song after another. But as she's matured and come to a more healthy place in her life, she's found ways to include more positive energy as well.
"I think I've learned to write all of my emotions," she said.
Lockhart agreed that both of them have branched out in their songwriting, adding that he can see some crossover between them
"I think we we've influenced each other," he said. "I've certainly been inspired."
He said he is particularly impressed with Hooley's lyrical abilities and the ideas she is able to convey in her songs. On the flip side, he said he has seen her incorporate more playful rhythm-based elements in her songs, partly due to his influence.
"It's been neat to see how we've rubbed off on each other," he said.
Once a song has been composed by either Hooley or Lockhart, it is brought before the other band members for input. Opening a song up for sharing is an experience both songwriters said they enjoy, in spite of the vulnerability inherent in the process. From there, the song begins to take on energy from other band members and transform into a whole piece.
"There is something very inspiring when another person gets behind what you're doing and adds their own creativity to it," Hooley said.
The band's other members often create their own parts as they go.
"Both of us allow the other musicians in the band to have their own creative flow," she said. "We kind of let them feel it out for themselves."
She also said that the band has been lucky to have musicians who are comfortable playing together and proficient enough with their instruments to handle this kind of creative freedom.
The band's drummer, Hays, has expanded his percussive duties into something broader.
"Daniel Hays is really like the glue," Hooley said.
Lockhart agreed.
"He has quite a bit of creative input and has really good ideas so between the three of us, that's where a lot of the structure of the songs comes from," Lockhart said.
The songs often change as the band works through them, a process that can be hard to call off.
"I think (the songs) always have the potential to be different, and they always have the potential to get better," Hooley said. "I don't know if I'd get to the point where I'd say 'This song will never change.'"
Hooley and Lockhart have a combined library of originals consisting of about 50 or 60 songs, according to Hooley, something that makes selecting tracks for their CD rather tricky.
"It's a good problem to have but it will present a challenge," Lockhart said.
Once the CD is completed, possibly by December, the band hopes to set up tours in the Lower 48 next summer. And even if their decision to go for it doesn't work out the way they want it to, Hooley said the process will have been worth it.
"At the end of the day, we'll have played original stuff with friends we love and enjoy, and done the thing we love the most," she said.
- Juneau Empire


Live @ UAS - Ep from live performance 2-28-2009.

New studio album coming soon!



Forged in friendship and a common passion for music with meaning, One Aisle Over is the culmination of much hard work and patience. Unwilling to settle for just any band, the members of One Aisle Over spent many years using their musical gifts in any way possible, always seeking that "special something" that they knew had to be out there. Seemingly by accident, they were brought together as friends first, only to discover that they were all seeking the very same thing. With the union of their individual talents, something much larger was created in One Aisle Over.

Since their initial musical collaboration in October of 2007, the members of One Aisle Over have added at least one new song to their repertoire for nearly every show, resulting in their current ability to easily put together uninterrupted 3-hour sets of music, the vast majority of which is original music written by Josh Lockhart and Naomi Hooley. This impressive volume of original music gives One Aisle Over the rare ability to custom-tailor their set lists to fit drastically different venues and audiences. Able to perform powerfully well in large outdoor spaces, intimate art galleries, and crowded bars, One Aisle Over strives to make a strong impression with each performance. From bouncy dance riffs to jazzy jam beats to soul-stirring ballads, their versatility reaches out to fans of many genres and unites all in one cohesive, sonically stunning package.

With numerous live performances throughout Alaska (including performances at the Alaska State Fair and the Southeast Alaska State Fair) in 2008 and the release of a live EP (Live @ UAS) in May of 2009, One Aisle Over has plans to finish their summer tour and shift their energies towards recording a full-length studio-album in 2009.