The Navigators
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The Navigators

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The best kept secret in music


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Glory, Glory - EP (Velour 2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Navigators, the roots-rock trio born in the music clubs of lower Manhattan, have lit a campfire that both the band and its audience can sit around. Combining elements of the country-tonk of Louisville's backroom bars, the lyrical folk of Ireland, and the downtown swagger of Dylan-era New York, the band adds more than a touch of retro- to their metro-, and they're proud of it. In a city where flashes-in-the-pan hawk music like just another commodity, The Navigators forge their sound the old-fashioned way -- with heart and soul, one step ahead of the machine.

In late 2000, Louisville-native singer/songwriter Dewey Kincade was 27, had written over 200 songs, and had enjoyed success on the Kentucky airwaves with his self-produced first record, Lost and Found. Feeling a bit confined in his hometown, one day he & his girlfriend threw their possessions into his rusty Suburban and drove to New York City. Though a classic breakup quickly ensued, leading to temporary homelessness and a stint of subway busking, those first rough winter months gave Dewey some of his best material, South meets North songs that were later to become the building blocks of The Navigators' sound.

Dewey's ex-girlfriend did at least introduce him to upright bassist Andrew Emer, a Hollywood-native transplanted to Brooklyn. Emer had been leading a seven-piece Mingus-styled big band through his jazz compositions, but he yearned for something closer to the soil. Since he had grown up with a folk singin' mom and a crate of Dylan, Guthrie and Baez records, Dewey's material and voice felt like home. The two began to gig around the city, with the trademark folk-roots-cum-Violet Femmes sound of Andrew’s standup bass holding down the bottom. The duo eventually found its flesh & bones in drummer Brian Griffin and guitarist/pianist Naren (pronounced "Narn") Rauch, both gifted instrumentalists and vocalists. With the boys in the band, The Navigators found themselves able to cover the musical terrain that Dewey always held in his head: that space between high lonesome and down & dirty.

Fast forwarding over two years of demos and touring -- from three hour marathons at sawdust-on-the-floor bars to supporting gigs for artists such as Susan Tedeschi and the Waifs -- The Navigators have found their voice. They also, for the first time, have a record that truly speaks as they do. Produced by their old friend (and sometimes guest guitarist) Mark Tewarson, "Glory, Glory" (Velour) is what happens when a well-oiled band makes a record on its own terms. Engineered by Tim Hatfield (Keith Richards, Steve Earle, The Damnwells) at the studio he shares with his partner Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, The Navigators stretched, molded and polished their best material, from the ethereal ballad "The River" to the Stonesy "I Can See You Clearly" to the indescribable ode to lost love, "One Line Epitaph."

So what's this band all about? Well, it's certainly not about the money. It's about something that goes down deep. Whether it manifests itself as a rockin' call to arms, a groove that goes up your spine or a whisper that haunts your dreams, it's infectious. It doesn't just get into your body; it doesn't just stick in your head -- it sticks to your soul. Right now, somewhere, The Navigators are working on the soundtrack to their life. And they think that it just might be the soundtrack to your life, too.