There are bands you appreciate, and then there are bands you root for. Not because they need the extra backing, but because there’s something that joins your experience with theirs. It could be that their music is so good that you feel passionately that it needs to be heard as widely as possible, and that passion acts like glue — their success is your fulfillment. It could also be the case that you meet the members of a band, and their approach to music aligns with some ideal you hold onto — a picture you’ve painted in your mind after hearing and dissecting an album you love.

All of the above applies to Sleepwalkers, who I had the chance to interview for River City Magazine/West End’s Best in early October. The highlights from that conversation just hit the interweb, and you can read them here (a slightly shorter printed version will hit newsstands any day now). There are two quick things I’d like to add:

  • I mention in the interview that “I get the impression from Greenwood Shade that this band knows a lot about music.” That’s an understatement. After I was finished asking Michael and Alex questions, we sat and chatted about music for a while (especially rock and soul from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s — Harry Nilsson, The Whole Darn Family, Motown, Van Morrison), and it became clear to me that their appreciation and understanding run very, very deep. Whether they were talking about the bands their parents listened to while they were growing up or the stuff they’d been getting into lately — it seemed like, to them, hearing, processing and speaking about music was like breathing oxygen. Completely natural. Ingrained. I learned a ton from that conversation and won’t soon forget it. (My vinyl collection is already reaping the rewards…)
  • I had the chance to see Sleepwalkers live for the second time this past weekend at the Broadberry, and they were dynamite. Michael’s guitar playing was fiery, the group’s rapport with the crowd was playful (I loved the Hobbit-themed snippets), and the new songs sounded amazing. It was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while. I tweeted afterward that “That was exactly how rock and roll should feel. Thank you.” Experiences like that make me feel thankful because they fill up the spiritual reservoir that daily life drains. Different things fill people’s tanks back up — eating a perfectly cooked meal, finishing a good book, hiking to the top of a mountain and looking down… for me, it’s rock shows like the one I saw on Saturday. So again I say thank you, Sleepwalkers.

Click here to read the River City Magazine article, listen below to two of my favorite Greenwood Shade tracks, and click here to snag tickets to this Friday’s Broadberry show with Black Girls. They’re also playing this Saturday at Hardywood for the RPG IPA release, and that promises to be a great time as well. Sleepwalkers + an IPA described as “loud, bitter and inescapably black” = yes please.

Sleepwalkers — “Breaking My Heart” [Spotify/iTunes]

Sleepwalkers — “Cheers” [Spotify/iTunes]

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