People's Blues of Richmond
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People's Blues of Richmond

Richmond, VA | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Richmond, VA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Heavy Hittin' Moments from Lockn"

“PBR had just come off a ten day tour when they learned of the news that they would be performing at Lockn'. PBR was formed in Richmond, VA in 2009 and consists of Matthew Volkes on bass, Nekoro Williams on drums and Tim Beavers on guitar and vocals. Williams was also lucky enough to perform with Lettuce at the festival on Thursday night. Their set was packed with high-energy, funk rock beats. The Stage design included a mannequin, blown up cutouts of their faces in front of the stage, and an oversized baseball bat. These guys definitely got the audience on their feet despite the blazing sun. At one point, Beavers was playing the guitar with his teeth. The set ended with the smashing of an old television and speaker on stage. Overall, their tight sound reflected the excitement of performing at such a large event.” - - Sarah Bourque & Shane McFarland

"'Unbroken Chains' from The Lockn' Times"

"As fans filtered in on Friday morning, the noticeably larger crowd gathered for an afternoon of new sounds like the blues-meets-Modest-Mouse-inspired crunch of People’s Blues of Richmond..." -

"People's Blues of Richmond Band Interview 2014"

“Good Time Suicide was a swan song for People's Blues' original lineup, before adding drummer Nekoro Williams, a regular on the Virginia music scene and the son of Wailers drummer Drummie Zeb. Now the band is a tight unit of close pals, passing around the telephone and finishing each other's sentences as their 15-seat van cruises through North Carolina.” - Miami New Times - Dave Rolland

"People's Blues of Richmond Likes to Smash Things"

“The first time was an accident: At a show in Knoxville a few years back, guitarist Tim Beavers' Gibson SG crapped out on him halfway through the band's second set, so he took it off and threw it face-down, breaking it in two pieces. The last few times, the destruction was intentional. Just a few weekends ago at a festival in northern Virginia called Pasture Palooza, bassist Matthew Volkes smashed a TV with an axe. In late June at Mebane, N.C.'s The Big What? Festival, Beavers smashed a guitar. Not his SG again — this time a cheapo, $100 Squier Stratocaster, but the effect was no less visceral. Beavers destroyed another dollar-bin guitar at a hometown show in Richmond that weekend, too. Volkes recounts those stories with chest-puffing pride. "It's something new we've been doing," he says. "We're just trying to make it more of an exciting show. At the end of it all, I guess we still have some energy to get out."” - Charleston City Paper - Patrick Wall

"People's Blues of Richmond HotBox Sessions"

“The Hotbox Sessions are recorded in one take, so bands have to bring their A game when they make one of these videos, but if there's one thing we know for sure about People's Blues Of Richmond, it's that they are a well-practiced live act. They prove it 10 times over in this video, nailing this song without any visible miscues while at the same time putting across a fun vibe that separates it from just another studio track. I can imagine that this video will be rather paltry compensation for all the PBR fans out there dying to have a new CD they can blast in their car stereos, but playing this video a couple dozen times in a row should help to take the edge off the anticipation while we wait for Good Time Suicide to drop.” - RVA Mag (article)/Matt Smith (video)


'Good Time Suicide' (2013)
1. Cocaine
2. Hard-On Blues
3. Black Cat
4. Free Will
5. Bad Railroad
6. Murder Ballad
7. Nihilist
8. Leaves Die
9. Motherfucker
*Well Well (Hidden Track)

Hard-On Blues (2011)
1. Well Well
2. Wanna Be Your Man
3. Satisfied
4. Poor Boy
5. Hull Street Blues
6. Time of Need
7. Only Insane
8. Busted
9. Whisky and Gin



    People's Blues of Richmond brings a carnival-like mayhem to their dark, blues-infused psychedelia. Their new album, Good Time Suicide, is a study in excess, brimming with ballads of drugs, vice and murder that sonically recall early Led Zeppelin, only weirder and with a modern sheen. Word is starting to spread about the manic intensity of the band’s live performances as they burn up the road in support of Good Time Suicide, sharing bills with a diverse collection of bands—from Ghostland Observatory and Black Joe Lewis to Galactic and Flogging Molly and also most recently played the Main Stage at Lockn Festival a long side The Allman Brothers, SCI, Tom Petty, Widespread Panic, Gary Clark Jr, Grace Potter, Drive-by Truckers and countless other Headliners. 

People’s Blues co-founders and lifelong friends Tim Beavers (lead guitar/vox) and Matt Volkes (bass, vox) began playing music together in college as a way to grieve the loss of a mutual friend. Those bleak, drug-fueled days pushed the two into a maelstrom of songwriting and camaraderie that led to their debut LP, Hard-On Blues. Recorded in just two days, the record teems with urgency, transcendence and raw, primal emotion. The band wasted no time in hitting the road behind the release, galloping off on a year-and-a-half-long endurance test of live dates. During this tour, original drummer Raphael Katchinoff introduced the band to Tommy Booker, who left behind his more subdued life in NYC to play keys with People’s Blues on the road, and write and record with them back home in Richmond.

The band's sophomore release, Good Time Suicide, came together in a time of flux. Busy with new side projects and tired of the constant touring, Booker and Katchinoff decided to leave People's Blues as soon as the record was finished. Undaunted, Beavers and Volkes pressed on, paring down to a three-piece and bringing on local hotshot Neko Williams (son of Drummie Zeb of legendary reggae band The Wailers) as their new drummer.

“It was a wild time," Volkes says, "because we were simultaneously practicing with Neko and recording with our old drummer, sometimes on the same day.”

Good Time Suicide was recorded and produced by Adrian Olsen (Futurebirds, Steve Wynn) at Montrose Recording in Richmond on the exact same handmade ’68 Flickinger board used to record T. Rex’s Futuristic Dragon.

“There was definitely a vibe to the sessions,” Beavers says. “We had the songs down so well that we could’ve easily nailed them all in one take, but instead we took the time try new things—space-echo on the drums, layering multiple amps to get just the right sound. And if you got frustrated you could just walk out behind the studio and chop some wood.”

Good Time Suicide is a debauched album wrapped in an ecstatic, celebratory delivery, lead track “Cocaine” spilling forth with a raw, rootsy gypsy/klezmer feel. “I'd been off of drugs for six months,” Beavers says, “and I wanted to write a tongue-in-cheek song about being strung out. For percussion we pounded a steel chain on the bass drum and banged on some pottery we found outside.”

“Black Cat” sets pulsing mad-scientist organ to the narrative of two addicts slowly tearing each other apart, while on “Free Will” and “Nihilist,” the band wrestles with the ideas of destiny and futility. “I just screamed at my ceiling with my acoustic guitar while writing ‘Free Will,’” Volkes says, “and in that same vein, ‘Nihilist’ came out like a temper tantrum.”

People’s Blues is currently on the road touring behind Good Time Suicide and has been busy crafting a whole new set of eclectic, blues-infused psychrockers. “It’s working out really well because we all have the same dream,” Neko says. “ We’re hungry for it."

“It’s more than that even,” Volkes adds. “This band—we look out for each other. If I have a sandwich, Tim and Neko get a bite. It’s like we’re brothers.”

“The whole concept behind People’s Blues of Richmond," Beavers says, "is that we all struggle, we all experience pain. Life is full of highs and lows, and we all work hard to survive. So we do the only thing we know how—we get out on the road, and we keep moving forward. We become a part of something bigger than ourselves.”


Band Members