Westfolk
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Westfolk

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock

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"Album Review: Westfolk's Debut EP"

A note from the author about the local Nashville music world:
Local Nashville bands do not sign autographs and play encores when they play in town (Kings of Leon are no longer considered a “local” act, by the way, though they are from here and still call Nashville home); Nashville is a town where everybody is somebody and everybody knows everybody. More often than not fans go out to shows because they have friends or friends of friends who are playing or are somehow affiliated with the concert (it’s kind of like a small town down here, but with a LOT going on). All that being said, it is extremely encouraging to see a local band drawing fans who are completely outside of the music world and who are completely infatuated with the act on stage. Westfolk is doing just that, and it’s working.



Local rockers, Westfolk, released their self-titled debut EP this past week after nearly a year of independently working on the project. Produced by the band and mixed by front man and former namesake, Oscar Anthony (up until a year ago the band was known as Oscar Anthony & The Westfolk Band), the EP is a surprising blend of sounds and influences ranging from pure rock & roll to 70’s Paul Simon-esque lyric highlighting breakdowns to experimental harmony driven pieces, á la My Morning Jacket, and even touching the fringes of the jam scene. The band’s sound and genre scope ranges so drastically that even the members of the band have trouble describing their own sound.

The EP presents a valiant and well-crafted effort to capture the band’s live show, but nothing compares to actually seeing these guys live. Though front man Oscar Anthony still remains a driving force behind the band’s composition and performance, it is very obvious that the band as a whole works together to staple and splice together different genres and influences from a broad range of styles. One of the highlights of the project is the third track, “Dreamin’”, a smooth, harmony-driven, almost ethereal call to arms for artists and dreamers to not settle for “the motions” laid over sounds reminiscent of The Beach Boys’ 1973 album Holland. The track features Michael Ford Jr. of The Apache Relay, one of Nashville’s most critically-acclaimed up-and-coming bands, singing back-up. Ford also made a surprise appearance at the release show to sing on the song. “Dreamin’” is a contrasting response to the previous track, “One from the Meat Factory”, a funky drum and bass laden, groove-dependent track, the kind that brings the hippies to the dance floor to twist away the verses and thrash around on the song’s intense chorus.

The release show featured stellar supporting performances from two of Nashivlle’s best independent acts, The Hollywood Ten and Natalie Prass, both of whom are worthy of a full feature here on LiveMusicGuide.com, but that’s for another day (take just a minute to check out their music on Myspace though, it will not be a waste of your time). But Westfolk certainly stole the show as the night cumulated with a great performance of the EP’s epic closing track “East Now,” followed by an amazingly energetic and well-chosen cover of The Talking Heads’ “Slippery People”, both of which featured the beautiful and talented Selena Kirchhoff, La’akea Presley, and Natalie Prass accompanying the band with flawless three-part harmonies (the lovely back-up singers also appear on the recorded version of “East Now” on the EP).



The show ended with the band being just as surprised as everyone else when they were cheered back onto the stage for an impromptu encore of a never-before rehearsed (but fantastically performed) original song called “Slow Slow Train”, after which several fans grabbed a set list from the stage and tracked down members of the band for autographs. All in all, Westfolk is the only band I have seen in the past year that has consistently gotten more and more impressive each time they take the stage in Nashville, and folks are starting to notice. Autographs and encores aside, this band has what it takes to be taken seriously, so listen up.

The band is working on a tour this winter that will take them out west all the way to California and back. Tentative dates are available here. If Westfolk is coming to a city near you, take note. These guys put on a live show you cannot afford to miss.

You can listen to all the tracks from Westfolk’s debut EP on their Myspace here. And keep checking back for news and updates as the EP will be available on digital outlets like iTunes and CD Baby in the coming weeks. - Live Music Guide


"Rites Of Spring Gets Sprung"

Winter crashed the party at Vandy’s Rites of Spring on Saturday. Despite inclement weather, freshmen girls showed up in skirts which we can assume were intended to impress the freshmen boys. Frisbees and footballs were tossed in an effort to keep warm, which gave the back half of the Alumni Lawn all the aesthetic of a popcorn machine, what with all of the recreational objects flying through the air. Speaking of popcorn, the kettle corn stand that occupied the thatch of lawn beside the Paste tent had heavenly fare. Moving on…

The early attendance could have been for Oscar Anthony and the Westfolk Band, one of the winners of the battle of the bands held earlier in the week. Or it very well could have been the self-proclaimed “rock opera” of H-Beam, which was also not on the initial bill. Entitled Jane, the presentation was a comedic take (we hope?) on the sexuality of the protagonist. The former included a solid landscape of saxophone, accordion and southern rock inspired jams, in the vein of John Butler Trio. The latter included tight red pants, a giant panda (dubbed the “Love Panda”) and lots of hair.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/festivus - Paste Magazine


"Rites Of Spring: All Access"

Friday
Battle of the Bands Winners: Oscar Anthony & the Westfolk Band (first place) and Richard Flemming (second place)
Avery Spofford, Versus Staff Writer

Last Thursday, students gathered on Alumni Lawn for what has become known as the honorary first night of Rites of Spring: the Battle of the Bands.

The evening featured seven acts, two of which were selected to perform at Rites of Spring. The judging panel included two members of the Vanderbilt Programming Board’s Music Group, Professor Jen Gunderman (a senior lecturer in the Blair school of music) and WRVU DJ Scott Brown.

First place winners Oscar Anthony and the Westfolk Band are a six-man outfit from neighboring Belmont University. Influenced by artists ranging from the Beatles to the Allman Brothers, Oscar Anthony and the Westfolk Band feature a classic rock sound flavored with country, bluegrass and jam band. Visit their MySpace at www.myspace.com/oscaranthonyandthewestfolkband to check out the sound that opened up Saturday’s festival.

http://www.insidevandy.com/drupal/node/7336 - Inside Vandy


Discography

Westfolk EP

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Bio

Westfolk began four years ago, in a Belmont University School of Music rehearsal room. For those of you who don't know, Belmont University is in Nashville, Tennessee. It was where, in October of 2009, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, wandered around on the stage of the debate, and called our future President "that one." We weren't there, but we watched some of it on TV.