Tecumseh Flyers
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Tecumseh Flyers

Band Americana Folk


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The best kept secret in music


"Soaring in the studio with the Tecumseh Flyers"

Soaring in the studio with the Tecumseh Flyers
Frank Denzler
Rushville Republican

There are a number of musicians who take their craft very seriously. There are others who take the lighter road and merely play for the enjoyment of playing. A third group, however, finds the mix of both taking their music seriously while having fun playing at the same time – such is the group the Tecumseh Flyers. Three of the band members were in the WKWH 94.3-FM studio recently, much to the delight of the studio and radio audience. The lighthearted songs filled the airwaves for all too brief a time.

The group is from Indianapolis and the surrounding area and is fronted by lead singer and songwriter Jason Hathaway. Pulling from both of their CD releases, the trio opened the in-studio acoustic evening with the opening song on their most recent release Fly a Little Higher, “Corn Liquor.” The up-tempo song set the tone for the evening. The uniqueness of the group combines elements from blues, folk, and rockabilly into what they call “bluebilly” music.

“Creole Baby” was a collective-effort song during its writing. According to Hathaway, the songs generally take shape around a set of lyrics, and then the other band members interject their individual talents to complete the effort.

A song from their self-titled mini-EP was next up, “Soap Opera City.” The song took the listeners on a hilarious journey by virtue of the well-written lyrics. “Jesus Is a Harley” was up next, from their latest effort. The song is sure to please even the most hardcore biker. The song is a sure to be crowd favorite when seen and heard live. The tune laments a mode of transportation with three gears, a break that runs on gas.

The members play well together, and the witty banter between songs illustrated the fact that the group is sure to be around for a long time, both by their well-penned tunes and the fact that they enjoy playing together.

A highlight of the evening was offered up next, “Sesame Street Goes Ghetto.” The humorous twist is not for young listeners, as it picks apart the childish aspects of the popular show with lyrics “You might think it absurd / If the gang can’t afford turkey / They’re gonna eat Big Bird.”

“Sunday Night Dominatrix” was played next and again highlighted the great interaction of the group members. The solid vocals and strong lyrics force the listeners undivided attention and the hanging on to each verse.

To this listener, the group draws comparisons to the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies, only with more of a country nature.

The group closed the evening by playing a hard-rock cover song “18 to Life” as only they could play it – with a mandolin and acoustic guitar. Another song sure to be a showstopper, “Derby Car,” was the song the group said goodbye with. The song is about none other than Demolition Derby cars and the people who drive and house them.

The group is a must-see when playing in the area. I guarantee the listener will walk away with a smile and a great appreciation for humorous songs. Their current 11-song CD is a must for your record collection and can be picked up at any live performance or from their Web site, www.tecumsehflyers.com.

- The Rushville Republican

"Tecumseh Flyers Take Off"

NUVO - Jan. 7, 2004
The Tecumseh Flyers take off
Acoustic band mixes a variety of American music
By Steve Hammer

While many bands bring so many musical influences to the table that it’s hard to describe their sound, the Indianapolis-based group The Tecumseh Flyers are even more difficult than most to pigeonhole.
The Tecumseh Flyers, from left: Jason Hathaway, Steve Guichelaar, Jaime Walter. They’re a three-man acoustic group consisting of guitar, upright bass and mandolin, but they don’t just play traditional bluegrass music. They have fast-paced, shouting songs — but they’re not a rockabilly group, either. They have well-crafted, episodic songs — but they’re not a country band.
Instead, they create an unusual blend of all of those genres and add a little of the alt-country movement’s rebelliousness to the mix. Call it American music, inspired by Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe.
On their debut album, Fly A Little Higher With The Tecumseh Flyers, they manage to visit just about every kind of acoustic style in existence. There are some funny songs (“Jesus Is A Harley Davidson,” “Corn Liquor”), some old-time rave-ups (“Cup Of Coffee”) and even some pop-influenced material (“Still in Love With You”).
That’s in keeping with the band’s wishes to never become predictable. “Our music has gone from bluegrass and folk to include a broader range of rockabilly, blues and even some straight-up acoustic rock,” says guitarist/vocalist Jason Hathaway. “And we’ve always managed to get along without a drummer.”
While the band thinks of its music as being steeped in the traditions of country music, they’re shy about saying so. “Sometimes you don’t want to say that you’re country music because there’s still a stigma attached to that in the mainstream world,” Hathaway says. “People think you do Travis Tritt covers if you say that.”
The band started about three years ago in Terre Haute, but Hathaway and mandolinist/vocalist Steve Guichelaar’s musical association began years before that after meeting at a party/jam session.
“He was over in the corner playing Son House, and I was like, ‘Who’s that?’” Guichelaar said.
“We’d see each other hanging out at rockabilly shows and occasionally we’d get together and jam,” Hathaway said. “We started playing more bluegrass-style stuff at first and then gradually changed.”
Their album is produced by Ralph Jeffers of the Punkin Holler Boys, the Indianapolis-based acoustic band whose members have become friends and mentors to the guys in the Flyers.
“Their music is something you might not get at first,” Hathaway says, “but after a while the lyrics start sticking in your head and you really begin to relate to the songs. They’ve been great friends to us and we’ve learned a lot from them.”
The Boys have also taught the band to become more loose. “We get a kick out of taking something from another genre and doing it our way,” Hathaway says. “Kind of like Hayseed Dixie did with the AC/DC stuff. Usually, people respond favorably to that.”
The Flyers’ version of Skid Row’s “18 and Life” is a crowd-pleaser in that vein.
While they try to flout conventional wisdom in their music — both Guichelaar and Hathaway run their acoustic instruments through several effects pedals, for example — they maintain the old-time authenticity by using an upright bass in their music.
Bassist Jamie Walter thinks the instrument gives their music a unique sound. “The upright bass also serves as a percussive instrument,” Walter says. “It’s the drums and the bass and it’s an exciting instrument. To me, it adds to the ambience of the band.”
“It has a different sound when you hit it,” Hathaway says. “An electric bass is loud and tapers off. An upright is soft and the sound comes back at you. Once you get it going in a great rockabilly song, between the clacking of the bass and the sound of the mandolin, it’s like a snare drum.”
The band has a strong fan base in Terre Haute, Hathaway and Guichelaar’s hometown, and has been playing shows at the Story Inn in Brown County, a place that inspired “Jesus Is a Harley Davidson.”
“We were playing there one Sunday afternoon and there were a lot of Harley riders there,” Guichelaar says. “We always joke around and say we’re going to play some gospel numbers for all the people who missed church that day. One day, I said, ‘I’m going to have to write a Harley Davidson gospel song for all of you guys one day.’”
A takeoff of the traditional gospel song “Freight Train,” which compares the force of God to a locomotive, the Flyers’ song instead uses Harley terminology — verified, for accuracy with hardcore Harley riders.
For more information on the Tecumseh Flyers, visit www.tecumsehflyers.com.
- NUVO Newsweekly

"PHB and Tecumseh Flyers offer rockin' night to Tap Room"

By Kiel Majewski
Indiana Statesman
January 27, 2003

Friday night was rockin' at the Tap Room, as patrons got to enjoy two live music acts for free.
The first band to play was the Punkin Holler Boys, a trio of talented musicians who have been playing together since 1998.
The Boys are made up of alleged brothers Spidey Jack, Slim and Ralph Ed Hadley, who hail from "Punkin Holler, U.S.A." When asked where Punkin Holler is, the PHB indicated that it was more or less a "state of mind."
Indeed, the PHB's most recent release is a four-song EP that features "Beer Drinkin' Woman" and "Beer (Opus)."
Some songs performed were instrumental numbers, and others contained George Jones-style lyrics sung by Ralph Ed Hadley with harmony provided by Slim and Spidey Jack.
The second act to come onstage at the Tap Room was the Tecumseh Flyers, a trio that was perhaps half the average age of the PHB. The Flyers are lead guitarist/vocalist Jason Hathaway, mandolinist Steve Guichelaar and upright bassist Adam Moraga. The three have been playing together for only a year or so, but have already released a six-song album titled "Soap Opera City."
The Flyers opened with a rockabilly number that foreshadowed the sound of their two sets, covering Elvis Presley's early classic "That's Alright Mama."
Most songs featured well-done, bluesy vocals by Hathaway and energetically interjected vocals by Guichelaar, although the latter did his fair share of lead vocals as well. The songs usually featured a fine acoustic rockabilly/blues solo from Hathaway against the backdrop of solid and satisfying bassmanship by Moraga.
The Flyers performed numbers from "Soap Opera City" including the title track, "Derby Car" and "Corn Liquor," as well as covering old blues numbers like "Mobile Line." They even did an impromptu cover of "Man of Constant Sorrow," much to the crowd's delight.
Even though the band has been together for a short time, the musicianship and chemistry was apparent from start to finish. The Flyers have much to work with, given Hathaway's knowledge of music and musical ability, Guichelaar's energy and Moraga's very dependable bass.
The Tecumseh Flyers plan on releasing their second album sometime during the summer.
For those who missed Friday night's show, both bands are scheduled to appear again at the Tap Room March 8.
- Indiana Statesman


Fly A Little Higher With the Tecumseh Flyers (2003) LP (streaming audio available at www.tecumsehflyers.com)
Soap Opera City (2002) EP


Feeling a bit camera shy


Coming out of Indianapolis, the Tecumseh Flyers are a new acoustic band with a sound that they, themselves, have a tough time describing.
“A lot of music critics are calling the style of music we play alternative country,” said guitarist/vocalist Jason Hathaway. “It’s the music that’s an alternative to that soul-less country pop they’re pushing in Nashville these days. It’s kind of a broad style, though … It’s hard to get too specific with that kind of labeling.”
“I think of it as roots music updated for today,” added mandolinist/vocalist Steve Guichelaar. “It uses a lot of the same feeling as American roots music.”
You can call it what you like, but 9 out of 10 audience members will likely agree that the music of the Tecumseh Flyers is nothing but fun to listen to. The Flyers give audiences a mix of old blues, folk, rockabilly and country tunes along with their own originals and great songs from some of today’s hottest alt. Country songwriters.
Aside from several old and new favorite numbers, audiences are encouraged to be prepared for anything. These guys have been known to break out anything from an uptempo cowboy ballad version of Skid Row’s “18 and Life” to “Sad Day on Sesame Street,” a hilarious Flyers original about Sesame Street going ghetto.
The Tecumseh Flyers formed in January 2001 in Terre Haute. Hathaway and Guichelaar had met at a friend’s party in 1999 and began talking music. They found out they were both into the same styles of music, and talked about the possibilities of starting a band.
Both young musicians had come into their love for roots music after trying to drown it out with hard rock music at an earlier age. At some point, a curiosity developed, where both young men began exploring the music of artists who inspired their musical heroes. Legends like Bill Monroe, Woody Guthrie, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Johnson and Johnny Cash provided great inspiration. However, that rock and roll influence will never die.
“There’s a whole bunch of influence from all of that old music, but I didn’t get into that until I was about 20 years old,” Guichelaar said. “I was listening to mainly rock and roll. As much as I’d like to play mostly old-time music, that rock and alternative music influence is still pretty strong.”
Add the clickety-clack doghouse bass of rockabilly rebel Jamie Walter and occasional appearances from veteran upright bass player Adam Moraga, guru of all coolness, to the mix and you’ve got an American Roots trio that’s hard to beat. The Tecumseh Flyers: Coming soon to a watering hole near you!