Armed w/ an acoustic-electric guitar, an acoustic-electric bodhrán, and a vocal blend usually reserved for members of the same family, music-duo Beat Root Revival (Andrea Magee & Ben Jones) bring a bold, passionate sound to their music, and they're bringing that sound to the Warner Theatre this Saturday, November 26th when they open for The Brian Setzer Orchestra's 13th Annual Christmas Rocks tour.
I had a chance to talk to Andrea & Ben a bit about their music, moving from the UK to the US, and what the future has in store for Beat Root Revival. Here's how that went down:
The Lot Scene: Irish trad, folk, rock, roots, pop, country...you probably hate boxing yourselves into a label or genre, but I'll ask you to anyway. How would you describe your musical style to someone you just met and has never heard you perform?
Beat Roots Revival: You are right! We find it tough to be put in a box but when we describe our sound we usually aim for Retro Roots. We are an energetic, dynamic duo and try our best to just make good music that connects with the listener. A waitress in a Denny's restaurant described us one time as "You've got the Beat and are Rooted in old music and are reviving it!"
The Lot Scene: How long ago did you two move to the United States? Living in the US, playing music around the country, meeting other musicians in the community...how, if any, has your style of music or approach to performing evolved since you moved here?
Beat Root Revival: We moved to USA nearly three years ago. We packed up all our belongings selling/giving everything we owned away and hopped on a plane. We committed everything to making this work and both knew there was no turning back. We have met many amazing people, who have now became our very close friends and who have made continuing on this path possible. We have definitely found our sound over the last two years. We started off as two solo performers and during the last two years there has been plenty of exploration and growth on both sides to find a sound that represented both of us, and we feel like we are finally there.
The Lot Scene: Andrea, starting at 10 years old, you were playing flute in a band with your dad and sister in pubs around Ireland. Were the audiences / bar patrons generally respectful and attentive to the music, or did they ever get rowdy and out of control? Any crazy or particularly memorable stories from those days?
Andrea: Pubs are pretty unpredictable, but I feel like I have been fairly lucky when it comes to playing in venues that really love and respect music! If anyone behaved out of hand, there was always someone there to put them in their place. In my experience in Ireland, the sessions I played in in bars have very attentive audiences and everyone has respect for the players and music.
The Lot Scene: What's on the horizon for 2017? Plans to get back in the studio? Any tours in the works that you can talk about at this point?
Ben: All of the above. We'd like to continue visiting new cities we haven't yet played to spread what we have as far and wide as possible. And we are tentatively looking towards planning another album, aiming to create our own “Rumours”, hitting a high benchmark for songs and production.
The Lot Scene: Thanks so much for your time!
For a taste of what you can expect from these United Kingdom turned Austin, TX transplants, check out the video below of Beat Root Revival performing their song, "Instincts" at The Basement in Nashville, TN...