Pine and Battery
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Pine and Battery

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"Song "Southern": Review"

"The song 'Southern' combines an acoustic ballad with a hard rock edge that is demonstrative of the band's smooth, yet vibrant and solid sound"
-Delaware County Daily Times, Philadelphia, PA

- Delaware County Daily Times, Philadelphia, PA


"Your Daily Lick: Pine and Battery"

Solid pop-rock never goes out of style, and San Francisco's Pine and Battery plays it with panache. This 2006 debut was recently picked up for digital re-release, while its song "Southern" is in frequent rotation at KFOG and featured on the station's new Local Scene compilation. Some records go stale after two years, but this one sounds as good as ever. - East Bay Express-Nate Seltenrich


"KFOG Artist of the Month"

Pine and Battery's album has been receiving praise from press all over the bay area. The single "Southern" is in regular rotation on KFOG.

- KFOG


"Rising Sons"


Rising Sons
Pop appeal gives San Francisco's Pine & Battery a leg up.

By Joel Tomfohr

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March 18, 2009

Something tells you upon first listening to Pine & Battery that the San Francisco band has a good shot at a meteoric rise. They have a sureness of foot and level of musicianship that other bands at similar stages in the game just don't. Not to mention that they also write incredibly catchy and potentially marketable pop tunes.
Rosalyn Lee
Pine & Battery.

Show Details
Pine & Battery play at Dan's Irish Bar (1524 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek) on March 21. 10 p.m. DansBar.com
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Pine & Battery's hit song "Southern," from its 2006 self-titled release, enjoyed heavy rotation on KFOG last summer, and still gets requests today. Critics have compared the band to Jeff Buckley, among others. Indeed, there are moments when it's hard to miss the nods to Buckley's signature sound most popularized by "Last Goodbye." If this is intentional, the band has certainly set the bar high.

Their name is a play on words: the streets Pine and Battery intersect in San Francisco's financial district, where singer-songwriter Jeff Campbell works his day job. However, Campbell emphasizes different interpretations of their name, citing the dictionary definitions on their web site: Pine: to yearn intensely and persistently. Bat·tery: a group of two or more cells connected together to furnish electric current. Campbell doesn't seem concerned with whether or not one sees this as a clever play on words or a contrived afterthought. Even if it is coincidental, the name reflects the subject matter of a lot of their songs as well as the energy level generated when they play. In the studio the band forms a tight circle, each member holding his own ground while Campbell rocks back and forth, belting out his lyrics in inimitable fashion.

In 2005 Campbell moved to San Francisco from Philadelphia, drawn by the invigorating music scene. He frequented Marin County's Sweetwater Saloon, which he describes as "a staple for singers and songwriters" in the Bay Area. "They had a killer open mic," he says. He was introduced to guitarist Andy Weller, who studied music at UC Irvine. Weller and Campbell came together and produced Pine & Battery's 2006 self-titled release.

Hanging out with Pine & Battery, it's clear that the band is like a small tribe with a language all its own. At their twice-weekly practice at Soundwave Studios in West Oakland, members trickle in and set up their gear on top of crimson Persian rugs that overlap one another across the floor, as banter fills the room. Topics range from the musical legacy of the Bay Area to the innocuous jousting about the minutiae of each member's day-to-day life. Hanging over the collective is an overwhelming (at least to an outsider) cloud of musical knowledge that seems to keep them grounded, perhaps even humbled by what they are trying to accomplish.

When asked what groups they admire or like, a barrage of names come up: Rush, the Carpenters, 38 Special, and bands that came out of the Seattle music scene in the '90s. Despite the eclectic voices in the room, everything comes together in a sound that is distinctively Pine & Battery's own. They're careful not to become too specific about their direct influences. The music should, and indeed does, speak for itself.

If Pine & Battery's first album was a collaborative project between Weller and Campbell, then their next album will be a decidedly different enterprise. Campbell says of their newer material: "In every song I can hear something from someone in the band" and "everything's collaborative." "I Know You Are," from their forthcoming 2009 release, reflects a movement away from the traditional verse-chorus-verse format toward songs that have a series of parts or movements where "all the parts are memorable," as drummer Rick Munoz says. "Each of the members brings his own unique musical tastes to the table," says bassist A.J. Leighton. "There's some arcane knowledge coming out of this group."

The band (wisely) avoids drawing parallels between its sound and other bands' and holds fast to a community of musicians in the Bay Area. They're members of the San Francisco Songwriter's Coalition, started by Jeff Symonds and Jerry Becker two years ago as a support network for local musicians and which has turned into something of a local brand name. Pine & Battery has certainly embedded itself in the local music scene and, at the very least, recognizes the entire pantheon of rock 'n' roll. It might be safe to say that any band that can accomplish this much probably can carve out a lasting name for itself.
- East Bay Express, Oakland, CA


Discography

Pine and Battery/Pine and Battery
Released 2006

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Bio

Pine: to yearn intensely and persistently. Bat·tery: a group of two or more cells connected together to furnish electric current.

San Francisco is a hotbed for live music these days. For the first time since the 60s, musicians are coming together to form bands that revolutionize sounds that have San Francisco citizens coming out in droves to hear live music once again. Certainly no scene is stronger than the Rock n’ Roll scene, and the new band on the block creating quite a buzz is Pine and Battery. Consisting of Rick Munoz (drums), AJ Leighton (bass), Andy Weller (guitar) and Jeff Campbell ( lead vocals and guitar), Pine and Battery combines years of experience with stellar talent to give Rock n’ Roll the fresh makeover it’s been needing. The four members come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds but share the common roots of rock and draw from their past band experiences to collaborate in a way that San Francisco hasn’t seen since it’s heyday. Jeff Campbell, the front man for the band, penned the bands first single “Southern” – currently on heavy rotation in the Bay Area - is a song about getting ahead and not letting your fears hold you back from what you want. The song combines an acoustic ballad with a rock hard edge that is demonstrative of the band’s smooth yet vibrant and solid sound. A Philadelphia native, Campbell moved to San Francisco specifically for the Rock scene he had heard was developing: "This town is full of so much culture and rock n' roll is the center of it." Campbell does a good deal of the band’s songwriting but asserts that when they come together in the studio or for rehearsals, it is always a collaborative effort with all four contributing equally. The band formed in 2005 when Campbell and Weller met at a gig in San Francisco one night. Shortly after they started collaborating on some of the music that Campbell had been writing; low and behold it was a solid match. Later added to the mix were Munoz and Leighton making up the rhythm section, bringing their current project into full fruition in late 2006. When asked who they sound most like, the answers vary from Jeff Buckley to U2 to Foo Fighters. The common thread amongst the four members though is their strong allegiance to the classic rock of the 70s and then it’s resurgence again in the 90s. Currently, Pine and Battery is the artist of the month on KFOG, garnering huge hits on their myspace page where you can hear new live tracks soon to come out on their forthcoming EPK. And what can listeners expect from their new album due out in ’09? Campbell promises it to be “more raw and a bit more edgy”, with the same electrical current and persistence to make great music that originally drew the four members together to form: Pine and Battery.