The Ends of the Earth
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The Ends of the Earth

Shavertown, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Shavertown, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
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"Ends Of The Earth Pulls Together"

by Alan K. Stout
Music Columnist
For the local band Ends of The Earth, its new self-titled album serves not as an end, but a beginning. Though it is the group’s second release, band founder Charles Davis says it offers much more input from all of the group’s members, and thus in some ways almost feels like a debut.

“It’s more cohesive, as a band,” says Davis. “There’s a lot more influences than just my own. The first album was really me telling my musician friends what I wanted, and them kind of feeding back off that. Even though the majority of lyrics, melodies and chord structures are mine, I don’t credit myself with individually writing any song on the album. It’s more expansive, as the band is concerned, and quite frankly, it’s faster and has more energy.”

Ends of the Earth got its start in 2008 when Davis entered the recording studio to work on a solo EP. At the time, he had no idea the CD would result in the formation of a band, but that’s exactly what happened. The guest musicians on the record became a group that now features Davis on guitar, vocals and piano; Max Hosey on drums, harmonica, saw, percussion, vocals and didgeridoo; Vince Insalaco on bass, guitar, banjo, mandolin and piano; Justin “Roadside” Parry on guitar; Adam Malak on bass; and Paul Hosey on bongos.

The band’s sound is anchored by classic blues and an early Pink Floyd influence. Davis says he also listens to hip-hop, yet names everyone from Elliott Smith to blues great Skip James and reggae legend Yabby You among his influences. Other band members also bring a love for classical music, punk and classic rock to the Ends of The Earth sound.

The new CD was recorded and engineered by Adam Malak at Malak Studios in Shavertown. It is available at Gallery of Sound, Wayne’s World and Embassy Vinyl. Ends of The Earth is also on iTunes and Sonicbids, and you can check the band out on YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.

Davis says that though it’s a much more cohesive record than its predecessor and he has tremendous praise for the musicianship of his bandmates says fans of the group that enjoyed the first album will still find some things familiar. The biggest change is the band’s attempt to reign in and harness the songs.

“It’s the same basic elements,” he says. “It’s still very expansive and very aesthetically pleasing. It’s hitting a lot of senses. It’s exploratory in the same sense but probably a little bit more sensible in the pop scheme of things. There’s a little bit less exploration for the sake of exploration and a little bit more exploration for the sake of progression. It bridges a lot more gaps, and again, I think that’s everybody’s elements coming together a little bit better. It’s a full band, and it’s really moving along quite well.”

Club owners might agree. Ends of the Earth has built a loyal following, some of whom travel great distances to see it play.

“We just went to Boston, then Burlington, Vt., then Syracuse, N.Y., and we had people from back home at every one of our shows. We take it on the road, and we’re getting a really, really, really good reception, especially in the cities. Our live shows are very, very, very energetic. And it’s very soulful. Everybody puts everything they have into the performance.”

Davis says the band appreciates of the support it has received and hopes to see its fans this Saturday night for its CD-release party at the River Street Jazz Caf?.

“It feels really good, because I’ve always kind of labeled myself as obscure, or maybe crazy at times, so it makes you feel like maybe you’re not so crazy after all,” he says. “Sometimes you do things a little bit different, and you’re not quite sure how people are going to react, but it’s been nothing but positive. It makes you feel like you’re doing something of some sort of significance. It’s sort of like The Velvet Underground. Even if this ends up just being a flash-in-the-pan, I think it’s inspired a lot of good things so far and brought together a lot of artistic people in and around the community.” - The Weekender


"Something To Hear"


Ear Full
Ends of the Earth’s new CD worthy of a spin
By Eric Scicchitano

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A homecoming brought together The Ends of the Earth — a Wilkes-Barre-area band with a serious bent for the blues — but it may have been the departure that shaped its sound.

Each and every member of the quintet is a local, but at least three of them found themselves living outside the 570 for a spell. Charles Davis, guitarist/vocalist, was living in North Carolina in 2008 where the first incarnation of the group recorded an album. Davis returned home in 2009 and found he wasn’t alone. The rest of the group — brothers Max and Paul Hosey, Justin “Roadside” Parry and Vince Insalaco — were all home, too.

Davis wasn’t sure exactly how his experience down South affected his band’s sound, but he seemed sure of one thing: It was good to get away for at least a little while.

“Wilkes-Barre sometimes is a tough crowd, let’s just say, and it can build a little bit of a chip on your shoulder. I think (moving south) allowed me to realize you can open up and do your own thing and somebody out there will probably respond to you,” Davis said.

The Ends of the Earth get their name from their collective travels and the home countries of some of their friends with whom they crossed paths over time, which seems as varied and eclectic as the instruments featured on their brand new self-titled CD.

Insalaco, a classically trained guitarist and adjunct music professor at Wilkes University, plays bass and guitar on the album, as well as mandolin, banjo and piano. “Anything with a fretboard and a string, he can play,” said Davis, who himself also took a turn playing piano on the album. Max Hosey is the band’s drummer and percussionist, but he’s also featured on harmonica, didgeridoo and saw. His brother Paul plays the bongos. Parry plays guitar, too, and the album’s engineer, Adam Malak, is credited with playing bass.

The result is a raw and soulful album recorded over the course of six months in Malak’s studio apartment and is the first album recorded there. You could probably pick any number of established artists whose elements can be heard in the album: M. Ward, Muddy Waters, Tom Waits or the Black Keys, to name a few.

“Babylon” is a groovy and rough blues ballad along the lines of the Waits-penned and The Blind Boys from Alabama-performed “Way Down in the Hole.” Insalaco’s mandolin stands out as the driving force behind the song, a replacement of the guitar work normally reserved for Parry, who Davis said wasn’t in studio when the track was recorded.

“500” is a slow yet forceful track with haunting vocals and lyrics provided by Davis matched equally in emotion by Parry’s moving guitar solo, all of which is appropriately accompanied by sounds that emote a feeling of loss and desperation. “And I’m one bad decision/From the one that I love. ... So I’m 500 miles from/oh from my home sweet home,” Davis sings. Max Hosey steps from behind the kit to play harmonica and saw on the track.

Other standout tracks include “Drown the Ocean” and “Well Well Well.”

The Ends of the Earth will hold a CD release party for their self-titled album this Saturday, March 6, at the River Street Jazz Cafe. Music starts at 10 p.m. Jamie Anzalone opens. For more information on the band, visit www.attheendsoftheearth.com.
-escicchitano@timesshamrock.com - Diamond City


"An Expansive, Exploratory Sound"

by Alan K. Stout
Music Columnist

When local musician Charles Davis entered the recording studio last year to work on a solo EP, he had no idea it would result in the formation of a band. But today, nearly a year after the release of the EP, titled “And The Ends of The Earth,” he says his solo days are long gone. And, fittingly, the group that now plays with him at area clubs is called … The Ends of The Earth.

It’s not your typical story. In fact, when a young artist from NEPA says he often listens to hip-hip — yet names everyone from Elliott Smith to blues great Skip James and reggae legend Yabby You among his influences — well, that’s far from typical. And the band’s music? Davis describes the sound as pre-“Dark Side of the Moon” Pink Floyd. Again, not your typical NEPA band.

“It’s just a culmination of a longtime appreciation of music,” says Davis. “I try to be expansive and include as many things as possible.”

The “And The Ends of The Earth” EP was recorded in North Carolina and was released in late 2008. Davis, a native of the Wyoming Valley, was living in North Carolina at the time and playing solo shows. After finding a good deal at a recording studio, he decided to lay down some tracks with a few friends. This later led to the formation of a band. When it came time to name for the group, the choice was easy: The Ends of The Earth.

In addition to Davis on guitars, vocals and keyboards, the band features Max Hosey on percussion and Vince Insalaco on bass, banjo and mandolin. The group has played shows at the River Street Jazz Caf�, The Bog, Liam’s and Bart & Urby’s. Davis also describes the music as “blues and experimental” with a wide array of influences.

“I mostly listen to hip-hop and reggae and just try to apply that to having grown up on classic rock and old blues music,” he says. “Elliott Smith would probably be one of my bigger influences as far as modern pop music, but I listen to mostly old blues music — Tommy Johnson, Skip James and Yabby You, an older reggae guy. He’s fantastic. He’s crippled, and he worked with King Tubby — the guy who pretty much invented dub reggae — but in his pre-dub days. If he wasn’t crippled, he probably would have been Bob Marley, because he’s one of, if not the best.”

Davis freely admits some of the music found on the EP is a bit trippy. At one point, a lengthy radio broadcast can be heard in the background throughout almost two entire songs.

“There happened to be an old transistor radio in studio,” he says. “We picked up on this broadcast of this old Southern preacher talking about UFOs, and that was actually a jam that we split up into two songs. It was all freestyle.”

Still, Davis says such choices in the studio were made with a clear purpose.

“A lot of times you listen to things and they sound pretty thin, especially a lot of modern-day music,” he says. “It’s almost more of background noise than anything else. Even some of the best music that’s happening nowadays, it’s almost as if it’s being created just to be something to exist behind whatever is actually occurring. By including something like that, it’s almost like background noise for the actual music, which is supposed to be in the forefront.”

Davis says that as the band played along to the radio broadcast live in the studio, it started to have an impact on the music. An example of this type of recording in music history came from Pink Floyd, who in 1969, played live to TV images of the moon landing.

“You hear a Southern preacher talking about UFOs, it’s going to affect you in one way or another,” he says with a chuckle.

Davis says the CD is available only through the band, and that a new album is now in the works.

“The other album was recorded in a day and a half,” he says. “This one, we’re taking our time with.”

Davis adds that playing with the band has only helped in expanding the exploratory sounds found on the CD.

“It’s wild show,” he says. “Max plays everything from a harmonica to a saw with a violin bow to a didgeridoo, and he does this while he drums. He’s a true percussionist. He’s got a whole setup of things back there — little clickers and shakers and bells …

“It’s pre-‘Dark Side of The Moon’ Pink Floyd. Like Moby Grape, or Frank Zappa,” he adds. “Vince is a classical guitarist, and he brings that aspect to the band, and it goes interesting places. I was torn between playing by myself, acoustic, but I’ve pretty much just dropped it for the band because it’s gotten that positive of a response. I love it. It’s fantastic.”

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- The Weekender


Discography

North Carolina EP - 2008

The Ends of the Earth EP - 2009

Photos

Bio

The Ends of the Earth were formed like most bands, through old friendships and a love for music. In the summer of 2008, singer and guitarist Charles Davis decided to record an album while living in North Carolina. Charles assembled a band of long- time friends, including Max W. Hosey (drums), Brian P. Moretti (bass), and the infamous lead guitarist, Roadside. Max flew in from Santa Cruz, CA; Moretti ventured west from the Eastern Seaboard; and Roadside came down from the band’s hometown of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Along with said travelers, the recording sessions were graced with the presence of residents from nearly every continent, thus the name 'The Ends of the Earth' seemed only befitting.
The album was recorded in a few quick sessions over two days before the band departed, each going their separate ways. The future seemed uncertain until January of 2009, when peculiar circumstances found both Charles and Max once again residing in PA. Alongside Roadside, the two once again began playing music, this time with a new face on bass; Classical Guitar professor Vince Insalaco. True to the nature of the band, Vince had just recently returned to PA after living in Upstate New York. Deciding to push forth, Charles, Max, Roadside and Vince continued on with a ferocious ambition, quickly getting back to the studio and setting forth on the touring road. The band has released their highly anticipated second EP now available on iTunes and other digital sites. The band was recently joined by Paul Hosey, Max's Brother, on Percussion. Though they are officially a quintet, they often call upon guest musicians hailing from all ends of the earth to sit in during their expansive live shows.