Since forming in 2007, The Revivalists have rightfully earned their reputation as the next breakout band from the music capital of New Orleans. The
group’s blend of soulful, syncopated rock and earnest songwriting comes to life
through meticulously crafted and ever-evolving live performances. The
formation of The Revivalists was all about chance, but everything since then
has been a combination of hard work, awesome music and friendship.
The septet has been playing nonstop since then, crafting a genre-hopping
sound that rounds out traditional rock instrumentation with horns and pedal
steel guitar and mixes the divergent backgrounds of its individual members with
the humid, funky undercurrents of their New Orleans home. The result is
like English spoken with an exotic accent: familiar, yet difficult to pin down.
Religion aside, a revival is all about the tangible electricity that can only
be created when enough like minds are crammed under a single roof for a
singular purpose. It’s a spiritual spectacle, a carnival of the divine, a whole
greater than the sum of its parts. The same could be said for The
Revivalists’ searing live performances. The band has a knack for bringing
music to life on a stage, and they have tuned those talents to Swiss-watch
precision over years of relentless touring. Their bombastic showmanship is the
outgrowth of a desire to connect with audiences on a personal level, and that
intimate connection is what elevates their shows above simple entertainment.
It all started with the seed being planted during jam sessions at New
Orleans’ Tipitina’s Sunday Music Workshops where drummer Andrew Campanelli and
guitarist Zack Feinberg first met. The band found its front man by
pure luck when Feinberg heard David Shaw singing on his Birch Street
porch. Fueling the rhythm section, Campanelli’s college friend, George
Gekas, became the bassist. Feinberg later invited saxophonist Rob Ingra- ham,
the two realizing their incontestable dynamic while taking music classes at
Tulane University. After a fortuitous meeting at French Quarter Fest, Ed
Williams joined on the pedal steel guitar. The newest addition to The
Revivalists’ cross-generational rocking goodness comes from
multi-instrumentalist Michael Girardot. Having played sporadically with
the band since 2009, he has grown into an integral part of their live show.
The Revivalists’ 2008 self-titled debut EP was an “Editor’s Pick” for
both the Jam Band and American Traditional Rock on CDBaby.com. The young band
was privileged to record under the guidance of Grammy Award-winning
engineer/producer Chris Finney (Dr. John, Gov’t Mule, Harry Connick Jr.).
Songs off the album were featured on MTV, Paste Magazine‘s Music Sampler and on
American Airline’ in flight program to name a few. Their first full-length
album, Vital Signs quickly became the top-selling album on CDBaby
in the American Rock category.
In 2011 they were named “Best Emerging Artist” at Gambit Magazine’s Big
Easy Awards, and were nominated for Best Rock Act in 2012. The Revivalists
incessantly tour on the national level, often times supporting giants like
Rebirth Brass Band and Galactic. They’re also proud to have opened for notable
acts Dr. John, Gov’t Mule, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Trombone Shorty.
The Revivalists have spent the last few years touring all over the
country, playing countless sold out shows from California to New York and
places in between. 2013 had the band making
multiple cross country tours and have established themselves as an engaging
festival act, gaining notoriety on the main stages of Governors Ball, Mountain
Jam, Voodoo Fest and Harvest The Music Festival. They also had key slots
and performances at Hangout Music Festival, The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Series, DeLuna Fest, SXSW, CMJ, and the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage
Festival and many more. They ended 2013 being featured in the
fourth and final season of HBO’s acclaimed drama series “Treme” in an episode called “Sunset on Louisianne” which
aired on December 22, 2013. In the episode the band performs “Concrete
(Fish Out Of Water)” off their 2008 self-titled EP at the Always Lounge in NOLA
where Davis McAlary (played by Steve Zahn), a part-time DJ, aspiring songwriter
and music scenester goes to see them perform.
The band’s current album, City of Sound, will be re-issued
through Wind-up Records on, appropriately, Fat Tuesday - March 4, 2014. The
album was produced by Ben Ellman (Galactic,Trombone Shorty, Gypsyphonic Dysko)
and includes eight bonus live tracks.
True to their name, The Revivalists lean more heavily on the older
styles and warmer sounds of the golden age of rock ‘n roll, but the band isn’t
afraid to dabble in electronics and sleight-of-studio when it’s right for the
song. The group tends not to bother with questions like “does this sound
like us?” or “does this fit with our other stuff?”, instead allowing songs to
define themselves and take shape organically, each on its own terms. Is this a
dark, heavy rock manifesto driven by a steel guitar line that borders on
electronica, or is it an airy, acoustic story about star-crossed lovers, rich
in vocal harmony and sparsely arranged until the coda? This one’s funky,
that one’s sweet, this one’s heavy….
To The Revivalists, it doesn’t matter. They just write songs that
they want to play.
They’ll be playing several dates throughout 2014 including major
festivals such as Wakarus, Counterpoint Fest, Joshua Tree, Tortuga Fest, AURA
Music & Arts Festival, Jazzfest and Blackstock Music Festival
among others. They are currently in the studio recording a new album
which will be out on Wind-up Records late 2014.