Welcome back to JamBase's baker's dozen to the bright lights of the music world. Last time we heard from Over the Rhine.
It takes all of a minute into The Bridge's new album, National Bohemian (released February 1 on Woodberry Records) to realize one is in the presence of a serious rock ‘n’ roll band. Muscular tenacity and strongly drawn lines mark every track from barnstorming opener “Sanctuary” to sweetly shuffling closer “Dirt On My Hands,” the album moving from the earthier classic rock flavored writing of Cris Jacobs (guitar, vocals) and the emotion filled singer-songwriter fare of Kenny Liner (mandolin, beatboxing), a dance artfully choreographed by producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos). Just three years on from their promising sophomore release Blind Man’s Hill, The Bridge shows a maturity and high level craftsmanship that marks them as this generation’s answer to vintage Little Feat, Ozark Mountain Daredevils and pre-McDonald Doobie Brothers, where strong harmonies, consistently memorable tunes and a commitment to unforced diversity and modern wrinkles drawn from hip-hop and other genres add up to real dividends for listeners. (Dennis Cook)
Here's what The Bridge’s Cris Jacobs and Kenny Liner had to say to our inquiries.
1. Great music rarely happens without…
| The Bridge by Alicia Rose|
Cris: Taste and soul.
Kenny: Musicians and instruments
2. The first album I bought was…
Cris: Guns N' Roses’ Appetite for Destruction
Kenny: Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, and first tape was LL Cool J
3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
Cris: Ray Lamontagne’s Trouble. A masterpiece. Soulful, gut-wrenching songs and amazing singing throughout. Still 3 or 4 consistent tearjerkers, even after repeated listening.
Kenny: My Morning Jacket’s It Still Moves. Great songs and style.
4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
Cris: Michael Jackson. Glad that didn't happen. Too soon?
Kenny: Bo Jackson
5. My favorite sort of gig is…
Cris: One where people are listening close enough that the band is allowed to use its full range of dynamics and quiet songs are just as powerful as loud ones. It’s rare.
Kenny: One with feeling, where the crowd looks happy!
6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
Cris: I'm a great-great-great grandson of Blackbeard the pirate. Seriously.
Kenny: I graduated from MIT with straight As. Also, I can walk on my hands for 100 yards.
7. I love the sound of…
Cris: Pedal steel guitars
Kenny: Whales talking to dolphins, and soul singers.
8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Cris: Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks
Kenny: Fresh banana bread with a fruit smoothie.
9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
Black Sheep Family Reunion. Fresh beef straight from the farm, fresh tuna right off the boat, enjoyed in the woods of Oregon with some of our best friends before our five hour marathon sunrise set. Priceless.
Kenny: At Black Sheep Family Reunion, fresh tuna off the boat.
10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
Cris: Bawlmer hon, can't beat the hooometeawn love, ya knaow whada meeen?
Kenny: Baltimore and Oregon
11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
Cris: Smoking. Somehow that became the activity to kill down time...which there is a ton of.
Kenny: Working out, eating healthy.
12. The Beatles or the Rolling Stones, which flips your switch the most and why?
Cris: Hmmm...Although I'm a sucker for a good old rock riff and hooky melody, which the Stones were geniuses at, but I have to lean toward the Beatles. To have songs that have stood the test of time 50 years later is unbelievable. Any of their albums could have been released last week and would still be relevant.
Kenny: The Beatles. I am producing an Abbey Road remake with the band Yellow Dubmarine, reggae style.
13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
Cris: The back of my eyelids during a DMT experience. You asked.
Kenny: A whale in the Pacific Ocean from a kayak. I was all alone, and it was as big as a Mac truck. We became friends. Big Blue, you're my boy blue.
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