The Midatlantic
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The Midatlantic

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Americana Folk




"Q and A with The Midatlantic’s Jason Andre, part 2"

Making the album must be humbling at times when it comes to working in a group.

The production process of creating something for the first time between five very unique, at times very opinionated, and strong creative personalities brought out the best and worst in all of us, but taught us a lot. We all at one point or another had to take a deep breath, or surrender some thing that we

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thought had to be an absolute.

We worked through every part of it though like any good team through positive encouragement and discussion, mutual respect for each other’s opinions, and taking moments to step outside of ourselves. We vote on each step so that no one person is more important than the others. We are really proud of this little collection of songs.

Is the band still in its honeymoon period? Are songs still taking evolving as you perform?

Yes and no. We are a very new band. Although it’s been four years in the making, we’ve only been performing out and about for a few months. We’ve played out of town a couple of times, but we’ve never toured. We’ve only played here in town a few times, so no one really knows that we exist, except for some very supportive friends and family.

Listening to the YouTube videos I think I hear your solo style some in new songs.

Up until now it’s still mostly songs I’ve written. We’re even playing a few of the same songs from my old material during live shows, but everyone in the band has contributed and collaborated so even the old songs don’t really sound the same in their current format. I don’t think I’ll be rerecording them, but they set the stage for a similar drive and energy.

Did you aim to retreat from that period of music?

There are aspects of that period of music that I’d like to retreat from, but there are others I’d love to expand on. For instance, “Down the River” has always been one of my favorite songs to perform live. It has a bluegrass/punk rock feel to me that I would love to replicate. Performing standing up instead of sitting down is a fun change that creates a completely different energy from before. I love the didgeridoo, but I’ve tried to bringing it into this format and it feels forced so that’s out for now.

What did you embrace or think about expanding on?

Attending and playing out at Bluegrass nights has definitely had its share of influence on our instrumentation and arrangements. It’s really fun though sharing something I’ve been noodling with for a few weeks with the guys hearing it one way in my head and then having them hear it differently or say, “Hey, try this…” Listening to all the elements fall into place to make something that’s fun to play and hopefully fun to listen to.

As far as expanding goes, everyone’s starting to write. Ben actually created the melody for “Constant” and has a few more up his sleeve that we’re working on, as do Steve and Jesse. I never wanted this to be just me or “me and the so and so’s”. I’ve really enjoyed listening to each person bring material to the table and create their own parts through the songwriting process and then really lock it in during the recording process. I’ve never had that before.

Would you say there’s more emphasis on a variety of styles with this band?

I don’t think so. It’s definitely not the same style as what I was going for back then. I was trying to combine all of the acoustic world folk sounds that I had learned and accumulated over the years and put my own spiritual journey twist on them. That’s’ where I am coming from, but Steve comes from a very bluesy, country, Americana style. He knows and could play classic

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and modern Americana bar covers for five hours straight if you let him and never repeat the same song.

Jesse worships Ben Folds 5 and has more keyboards and synthesizers than Bob Moog. Ben’s been a Jazz and Rock drummer through high school and college, but loves Dispatch and knows practically every Iron & Wine song on the guitar. Allan had a surf rock band called Singlefin for awhile but can also play funk and stand up bass. So although there is some diversity there are also some cool places where paths cross and the ability to grow and expand is endless. It’s landed us currently in the realm of Americana/folk rock/progressive bluegrass, which is all arguably the same thing.

Have life experiences or interests shaped the new material as found in your solo work?

I feel like life’s experiences are pivotal for my writing. Translating relational, emotional, and spiritual experiences I’ve had with places I’ve been or physical experiences I’ve had transcends nearly everything I’ve ever written. It usually works one of two ways. Sometimes I’ll hear a good beat, be in a really inspiring place, and the pen hits the paper. I’ll lose them and discover them weeks, months, or years later.

If they seem to fit a new melody I’ve been noodling with I’ll start editing it, typing it out, rewriting it, and it eventually gains some structure. Other times I’ll have a little melody I’m working on and if I’m not distracted I’ll start writing to whatever emotion that melody is invoking in me. If it feels right or has a decent framework, I’ll bring it to the guys. - Brian Tucker

"Q and A with The Midatlantic’s Jason Andre, part 1"

The Midatlantic is a relatively new band in the area whose five musicians have been playing and honing their sound for about two years. At the center is Jason Andre, a surfer and former local solo musician whose plays a soulful mix of acoustic and world flavors. That sound gets a larger palette with the band as they bring together the traditional sounds of Americana, folk and bluegrass.

The band has a new album out this week and is performing at the Satellite Bar & Lounge on Friday and The Calico Room on Saturday. Below is additional interview material from my article about the band.

I’ve mostly known you as a solo

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performer in the area since the mid 2000’s.

Andre: The band came together by accident through a long journey. After “The Phoenix & the Fish” in 2009 I digitally released a soundtrack for a friend’s documentary called “Redfish Can’t Jump.” I played a few premiere shows where I brought in other musicians to fill in sounds that I could hear or recorded originally, but could never replicate live. Hank Carter filled in on stand up bass a few times and got me plugged into Bluegrass nights at Satellite.

My Surf Camp job started at about the same time and became full time so all of those other ideas and opportunities kind of fizzled as I put all of my energy into the more stable, full time job that kept me in the ocean all day. I would still perform once in awhile, but I wasn’t actively pursuing music like I had been. Then there was a pretty tough period where I just stopped.

You’ve done so much on your own musically, was it difficult at first being in a band?

It was a welcomed relief actually. Previous to this, it’s always just been me adding layer upon layer, wondering if it’s good or not. Putting my patient wife up to the task of telling me if something worked or not, as well as a handful of friends to offer their critiques towards the end. (The band has) contributed time and energy musically, artistically, and really focused on a professional approach to everything. We’ve played a bunch of shows and saved up enough money to afford to do this.

Each person also brought brutally honest constructive

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critique on their own respective parts as well as on my parts. They all put a lot of trust in me at one point or another during their sessions and the production process as a whole. For the most part, during writing and recording everyone develops their part and we all critique each other.

It sounds like there’s healthy communication.

Regardless of whether or not something works or doesn’t work with a song, we’ve created a safe and honest atmosphere where we can talk about it, so that the song and sound of our group is the priority. So even though I guess I acted as a production manager, everything was always done democratically and we produced it as a group.

What has surprised you in working and playing with a band now?

This will sound like a Bible or Yogi Tea quote, but putting one’s self last, putting others before yourself, and not thinking too highly of one’s self is the way to love and enlightenment and good music. In order to not become selfish or greedy or just come off as being a jerk, I have to constantly remind myself of these things. This has been a tremendous growth period for me personally, as a musician, a producer, and for us as a band.

The best surprise is how much better each song becomes with everyone’s contributions. I’ve always been able to control everything in regards to writing and recording, which most human beings crave in the most rudimentary ways, but it limits you and it limits the music. The best music has always come out of collaborations. Each individual is an amazing artist/musician, but together they are phenomenal.

Working with others also means challenges and difficulties too.

I admit it’s still challenging but awesome to let go and let others in, make music together, and be more creative. I think it makes the music more original, malleable, and in the end more approachable. I don’t think we’re close to phenomenal yet, but you have to start somewhere. We’re only just now really delving into writing together from the ground up, giving everyone a microphone, and making the most out of what we have.

The most difficult part for me has been the letting go and letting others into the creative process, because I’ve been doing it one way for so long. The most difficult part for the band, any band I think, has been and always will be scheduling around life priorities and learning each others weaknesses, strengths, and communication styles. I’m super excited though to be able to make and share music with these guys! It’s a huge blessing. - Brian Tucker

"Concert and EP review: The Midatlantic"

Last Friday night, folk rock and Americana band The Midatlantic played a CD release show with Stray Local that packed out Satellite Bar & Lounge. Front to back, people were everywhere, making for a lively crowd. Before going inside, a guy walked past saying, “hope you’re not in a hurry to get a beer.” The guy was right; it was loud and happy, a large crowd waiting for music to start and a bar swarmed with people wearing winter coats.

Outside, some stood in the cold not far from the large side doors. My friends and I did, standing on a bench with a view into where the band was surrounded by a mass of people, no room to move. The Midatlantic were backed into a corner in such a way that I can’t recall such a crowd before at Satellite — maybe that Gray Young show a few years back, where the band had little room to move and play.

Lead singer and mandolin payer Jason Andre stood face to face with the crowd, separated only by a microphone and a box of CD’s below him for five bucks each. Wearing a bowtie, he occasionally careened his head out the doorway to address people outside. Bathed in soft fluorescent light bouncing off wooden walls, people inside appeared to have early tans as they surrounded the band in a half moon shape, patiently watching and waiting for them to start.

The band launched with the energetic first song off its self-titled EP, “Nothing’s Wrong,” a fun, shoot-from-the-hip number. Bursting with mandolin, guitar and free flowing lyrics, the song is a grand beginning to the EP. Rollicking and

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roaring, the song see-saws between brief lyrics and a lovely, drawn out chorus awash in foot stomping energy. It’s this song that sort of defines the band’s sound – reflective, rural, energetic, heartfelt, warm. Andre sings about life’s constant movement: “There goes happiness, here comes loneliness, both making the turnaround.”

Bleeding into the next tune without a break, “Nothing’s Wrong” becomes “Breath Deep & Sigh,” a punchy number with soft moments that make the larger ones stronger. By song’s end Andre raised his fist in the air, seemingly a mix of happiness and release.

As an EP, “The Midatlantic” is folk music for fans of bands like Mumford & Sons will embrace. Fans of Andre will too, as the music is in part an expansion of what he’s known for as a local solo musician and as a new sound born of these five friends and musicians. The songs are meaningful, reflective of life experiences and lived with emotional and physical passion.

“Run Love Run” is a about people taking chances, about the joy of a couple breaking free of the norm, from safe choices in life to do something adventurous. Its severe sound recalls material on “Led Zeppelin III,” again, emanating from the striking personality of the mandolin and the soft yet guttural singing.

“Constant” and “Sing ‘Round the Storm” round out the album, the former a plaintive, gentle song and the latter a mini-epic born of acoustic harmonies and a theme about humanity facing something large on the horizon. Andre sings, “Sway to the change in the wind, Dig your toes in the ground, As together we sing around the storm.”

In it the guitar bends notes with an echoing quality as the song rocks back and forth. The music constantly feels like it’s moving, even on slower numbers. “Sing ‘Round the Storm” is a great closer to the EP, smartly leaving the ear wanting a few more songs.

The album can be found online at Bandcamp and physical copies are available at Gravity Records on Castle Street and The Annex, South End Surf Shop and Surf City Surf Shop on Wrightsville Beach. - Brian Tucker


The Midatlantic EP 2014
1. Nothing's Wrong
2. Breath Deep & Sigh
3. Constant
4. Run Love Run
5. Sing Round The Storm



The Midatlantic is a crew of eclectic musicians hailing from the Cape Fear coast of North Carolina. Setting sail with a crew of five, The Midatlantic is an exciting and refreshing brand of folk rock that often surprises audiences, leaving them wanting more. The music can be described as a unique blend of progressive folk, americana, and bluegrass, with a hint of Celtic, rock, and jazz. The variety of instruments one can expect to hear are a mandolin, acoustic guitar, violin, upright bass, and drums. This is the foundation of the unique sound produced by The Midatlantic, but don't be fooled by the montage of acoustic instruments. This band always delivers a wide range of dynamics and energy through songs that are sincere to real life experiences. In addition, The Midatlantic takes great pride in energetic performances that are tasteful and suitable for all age groups. 

The Midatlantic independently released their first self titled EP in 2013 and their first full length album in November of 2015 titled "Sound Over Water".They tour regionally and have opened for bands such as Steep Canyon Rangers, Chatham County Line, and Apache Relay. They have performed the last 2 years at Shakori Hills and Floydfest including main stage performance this year., 

Band Members