Roadkill Ghost Choir

Episode 422: In Conversation with Andrew Shepherd (Roadkill Ghost Choir) About the Life and Death of A Band and What Comes After

Episode 422: In Conversation with Andrew Shepherd (Roadkill Ghost Choir) About the Life and Death of A Band and What Comes After

Roadkill Ghost Choir was a band.

Roadkill Ghost Choir are our friends

This is the story of how band is born, lived, and died.

RIP Roadkill Ghost Choir.

LONG LIVE ROADKILL GHOST CHOIR


Roadkill Ghost Choir @ Songbyrd - 6/19/2017

Roadkill Ghost Choir @ Songbyrd - 6/19/2017

Roadkill Ghost Choir’s sound is big - much bigger than their origins. Hailing from Athens, GA by way of DeLand, FL, their debut album In Tongues introduced the world to their unique blend of Southern rock and alternative rock that were both of those things and much more. Their most recent album, the Born To Run-influenced False Youth Etcetera, is on track to be re-released later this year by Freakout Records. The band (and friend of the podcast) played Songbyrd on their mini-tour of sorts that started at Firefly Music Festival in Dover and will end at their adopted hometown of Athens.


Episode 254: False Youth Etcetera, Vol 1 - Roadkill Ghost Choir

Episode 254: False Youth Etcetera, Vol 1 - Roadkill Ghost Choir

In 2014 Athens, GA's Roadkill Ghost Choir released their masterful full-length debut, In Tongues. With miles on the road behind them and a years worth of waiting, their follow up, False Youth Etcetera, Volume 1 is finally here and we're bringing back a blast-from-the-past to talk through their finest, and poppiest song-cycle yet.

PLUS! Singer/songwriter Lincoln Barr makes some mighty fine "weird folk" music and we've got a taste for you from his new LP, Trembling Frames


THE LIST for July 15th, 2016: A Peek Behind The Curtain

THE LIST for July 15th, 2016: A Peek Behind The Curtain

This week we published our 200th episode of Chunky Glasses: The Podcast. It was a long road full of...well...mostly beer, but the point is we got here by staying true to our "vision", just doing what it is we do, and believing in the power of weird.

In the spirit of that weirdness, this week's playlist is a look inside what has driven the podcast over the years, either directly - you may recognize some of these songs from our outro - or indirectly. In other words here's a glimpse into my head, a view that our crew knows well, that offers the clearest look at how and why we do what we do.  - Kevin


Roadkill Ghost Choir - Keep It Under Cover (EP)

Roadkill Ghost Choir - Keep It Under Cover (EP)

Sounds Like:

One of our favorite bands having fun; Your favorite 80's jams spaced out and given that special Roadkill "touch"; any given Sunday in our basement. 

Why You Should Care:

The guys of Athens, GA's (by way of Deland, Fla) Roadkill Ghost Choir are, first and foremost, music fans. If you follow them on Facebook you can see the ever growing playlist that they listen to in the van. If you've seen them live you know the energy this band brings to their art. Put simply, they're one of the best bands to come up in the past few years, and they're story is just getting started. So what does a band who's opened for Band of Horses, received widespread critical acclaim for their debut album In Tongues and become known as practical warhorse of the touring circuit do in their spare time?

Record a handful of choice 80's covers obviously.


Best Of 2014: The Lists - Kevin's Picks

Best Of 2014: The Lists - Kevin's Picks

2014 was a huge year for music makers and music lovers alike. Established bands hit their stride, newcomers changed the game and across the board musicians from the biggest to the smallest delivered some of the best music we’ve heard at ChunkyGlasses since we started this damn thing almost five years ago. Before calling it quits for 2014 and taking a break, it’s time for one last list, one last roundup, and a whole lot of thank-you’s.

To all of the amazing artists we talked about, interviewed, or just put in our ears -  thanks  for thinking we were worth your time. That goes double for the ones we didn’t get to.

To the site staff and contributors and sitters in – your insights, opinions and differences in tastes keep this whole thing interesting for me. Hopefully it does the same for our readers and listeners (if not we’ve got an email address for that). Special thanks goes out to Paul for gChat support and Andre for the heady vibes he brought to the podcast.

Biggest thanks though is to our readers and listeners. We’d still do it without you, but the idea that once in a while people listen to and maybe even care what we say – even if it’s only eleven of you – warms our curmudgeonly hearts greatly.

With all that out of the way, I give you 2014 through my ears. 

See you soon. 

Keep your lawn safe.

- Kevin


Episode 77: Roadkill Ghost Choir - 'In Tongues'

Episode 77: Roadkill Ghost Choir - 'In Tongues'

In our latest episode we cross the streams and break the laws of time and space to bring Andre back from far away lands and discuss In Tongues, the debut album from ROADKILL GHOST CHOIR. Emotions, thoughts, space jams, and probably lots of booze await you good listener as we dive, for better or for worse, into the latest record from one of the hardest working bands we know.  


INTERVIEW: Roadkill Ghost Choir

INTERVIEW: Roadkill Ghost Choir

Photo by Julia Lofstrand (julia@chunkyglasses.com / julialofstrandphotography.com)

Deland, Florida’s Roadkill Ghost Choir has been living a semi-charmed sort of existence as of late. What started as a songwriting outlet for singer/guitarist Andrew Shepard has blossomed into a full band that is not only winning the ears of fans nationwide, but the attention of their peers as well. Pegged as an opener for a tour with Band of Horses earlier this year, the expanded six piece (comprised of Andrew’s brothers Zach and Maxx on bass and drums respectively, along with Stephen Garza on lead guitar, Joey Davoli on keys and trumpet and Kiffy Meyers on pedal steel and banjo) have been spent 2013 crisscrossing the nation in true road warrior fashion.

This May the band visited our nation’s capital for the first time, and we were lucky enough to spend some time with them around their gig opening for Dead Confederate at The Black Cat. What follows is a snapshot of a band that may be just starting out, but with their potent and inspired blend of psychedelia, Americana and indie-rock earning them slots at major festivals like Louisville’s Forecastle and The Governor’s Ball in New York, it's clear that they're already well down the road to greatness.


LIVE: Roadkill Ghost Choir @ The Box (Charlottesville, VA) - 10/7/12

There are many firsts when you are in a band. The first EP you release, the first tour, the first night you all sleep in the van together, and the first time you see and hear someone singing along to your songs thousands of miles from home. These are just a few of the firsts Roadkill Ghost Choir has been checking off over the last few weeks, and a couple of weeks ago they got the chance to check off their first show in Charlottesville Virginia.

Opening the set with a monster 11+ minute performance which blended two new songs “I Could See Everything” and “Dead Friend” into a single musical piece, the Ghost Choir provided the intimate audience with a great introduction and foreshadowing of the dynamic cosmic soundscapes and range they would explore throughout the evening. Starting with a simple strummed guitar, the band built the groundwork of long shimmering pedal steel lines, Wurlitzer backdrops, and Brian Eno inspired ambient tones that intertwined beautifully with Andrew Shepard’s dynamic and powerful lead vocal range. “There’s no meaning to the words left on the lips of an old dead friend,” he sang as he bent and shifted between a brooding country twang, Tom Petty croon, and aching grunge yelp in a single line. All the while the band fluidly phased from a mellow country ballad to straight up indie rocker, only to end on an ambient piece that sounded like a pulsating neutron star whose gravity had enveloped everything that had just happened.

As a listener, these ambient transitional pieces provided a space to reflect on what they had just experienced. In this case, it also provided a perfect launch pad for the next tune, a straight up rocker that is still “Untitled”. Turning up the grungy guitar, bass, drum and vocal lines on a dime, the inclusion of non-traditional drawn out pedal steel and vintage electric piano gave it an overall fresh and new feeling. 


Episode 16: Rocktober And Everything After

In this, the headiest podcast yet, the gang tells all about the month that almost killed them, fogs up the van and travels back in time, because why the hell not? PLUS!!! New music from Australia's Tame Impala, Sweden's The Amazing, and finally (!!!) Florida's Roadkill Ghost Choir!!!

Episode 16: Rocktober And Everything After"







INTERVIEW: Roadkill Ghost Choir

Deland, Florida's Roadkill Ghost Choir released their excellent debut EP Quiet Light EP a couple of weeks ago and are now taking the show on the road, thrilling fans of alt-country and indie rock alike wherever they go. Last Sunday the band stopped in Charlottesville for a two night stand, and we made the trip down to check out the show and chat with them for a bit about their past, their future, and all the wormholes along the way. 

You can, and SHOULD see Roadkill Ghost Choir play TONIGHT (10/12) at the Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge in Annapolis, MD, but if you don't want to take our word for it, read on below and be convinced!


AS: Andrew Shepard (Vocals, guitar); ZS: Zach Shepard (Bass); MS: Maxx Shepard (Drums); KM: Kiffy Myers (Pedal steel, banjo); SG: Stephen Garza (Guitar, space whale rider); JD: Joey Davoli (keys, trumpet); CG: Chunkyglasses

CG: When I first heard your band name, Roadkill Ghost Choir, it sounded like a great name for a sweet comic book supergroup. So, if you were to write a graphic novel about your band, what do each of you bring to the table in terms of the band?

JD: (laughs) I like that there’s the three brothers, Andrew, Zach, and Maxx in the core of the group, because how can you have a tighter connection musically, and then we kind of fill in stuff around the outsides.

CG: The group kind of started with the three brothers? Can you give a little backstory?

AS: I think it was towards the end of 2010 I started writing a lot of music, and I got a show offer on New Years Eve to play an acoustic set by myself and just the thought of me doing that, it was a terrifying one, but I also thought it would be really boring for people watching it. So I was like I don't want to do this by myself because I've got people around me that can play with me for this one show at least and see how things go. Around that same time we met Kiffy, and found out he plays petal steel, which was crazy because as I was writing the music I had a lot of pedal steel in mind in the songs, so when we met him and found out he played pedal steel it was crazy because it was all in that same period of time. So, I asked him if he wanted to play and he said yes and then I got Maxx and Zach to jump on as well and that was kind of the start of it where they learned the songs and then it branched out from there.

CG: So, it kind of started with a gig and then you needed to assemble a crew to do it?

AS: Ya, and then it just kept going from there

JD: That Christmas Present demo you did was like one of the first things you did.

CG: You had recorded a demo by yourself at that point?

AS: Ya, just acoustic stuff, it was a Christmas present for my dad because he knew the songs I was playing but they weren't available on a cd that he could pop in the car or something and that was all he really wanted so I did that for him and so that was kind of where it all started, those songs on the demo were the starting points.

CG: So the songs that were then developed for the first full band EP Quiet Light, what was the process for writing those?

AS: I started the songs just on acoustic guitar usually, and wrote out a rough arrangement and then we will all came together and from there it gets arranged even more, because I have a tendency to make songs really long, like add too many parts and it gets too bloated...

CG: ...and then all of a sudden you are a Yes cover band.

AS: (laughs) exactly, so we all come together and trim stuff down and they all add their parts so it is a pretty free process of collaboration.

CG: Were there any songs that took a really different direction when you brought them to the group than what you might have originally expected?

JD: Well, I think our overall sound is like that which is cool, in terms of what we all play and bring too it from these different backgrounds and the way it all melds together.

AS: Like the song “Drifter”, I wrote that song around when we were in the studio, and so that was built pretty much in the studio, I didn't really know where that song was going, I had a rough idea, but that one came alive in that situation where I didn't know what was going to happen with this song, and at the end it is probably one of my favorite songs we've done so far, it was kind of spur of the moment, like hey lets try this and this.

KM: And the guy who produced it, Dave Planken, he had a lot of cool ideas about how to make things a bit more different than how I would have played on stuff, which helped make it sound better overall.

 


Press Play: Roadkill Ghost Choir - "Drifter"

Sounds Like: My Morning Jacket, if Fleet Foxes rocked, Midlake, Band of Horses, chicken-fried Radiohead
Why You Should Care: This what you want playing when you are dodging guitar bullets coming out of your speakers as you are chasing after the mythical unicorns of Kamchatka. (at least this is what I was feeling) Otherwise, this drips with the type of energy that will make anyone want to start a band, get into a trance on the dark lonesome highway and see how fast you can get that old duster going, or just rock some serious air-lap-steel in your living room. 

Following the path laid down by fellow state-mates Tom Petty, Criteria Studios (which produced Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and The Eagle's Hotel California), and Iron & Wine, the Roadkill Ghost Choir stand out as a beacon of hope for the music coming out of Florida in the coming years. Composed of six gents who look like they just stepped off the set of Dazed and Confused, "Drifter" is a roller coaster ride of a tune that comes charging out of the gates with a southern rock attitude that’s been dipped into a dream tank and then blended with folk music and some rock cojones to launch it into the stratosphere.

Wowzers, what does that even mean?