If you like old-style Americana with plenty of guitar and vocal harmonies perfect for singing and dancing along, you will want to check out Humble Kind's new album "American Vernacular."
The Baton Rouge band will host an album release celebration Friday complete with tacos, rice, beans and baked goods. The show starts at 7 p.m. at The Guru. Singer and guitarist Mike Montoya, of New Mexico, will open the show. Entry is $20 per person, $30 per couple, and includes a copy of the CD and food. The Guru welcomes guests to bring their own drinks.
Humble Kind started from humble beginnings, or local open mic nights, more specifically. The quartet came together after meeting one another time and time again at small showcases.
“We eventually decided to put our efforts together,” singer and guitarist Benjamin Moore said. “We started out playing covers, but [guitarist] Michael [Legendre] and I had the songwriting bug and thought, ‘Why not use the tools you have?’ One thing led to another, and pretty soon, we were playing shows with all original music.”
Though an affinity for backyard gatherings and passing around guitars is still the foundation of the band, the guys worked to hone their songs and stage performances. With influences like Dawes; Crosby, Stills and Nash; and Wilco, an audience latched on to Humble Kind’s sound. Soon, the band had a following.
Earlier this year, the band began recording its full-length debut with producer John Tulley at the Legendary Noise Floor in Baton Rouge.
“You want to document that time and have something to preserve it and share with friends and family, but as soon as you get into the studio, you start seeing possibilities," Moore said. "Instead of just capturing, you get the chance to define yourself in the studio.”
“It became clear that this record should sound like the absolute best Humble Kind set you could see, with some extra bells and whistles around the edges,” guitarist Will Folse said.
The band and Tulley amped up the role of drummer Chad Townsend on record. When he stretched his chops, it infused a new intensity to the band's classic Americana sound. Meanwhile, the band looked to keyboardist Anthony Polizzi for his talents with composition and details.
“Even if you’ve heard the song a million times, we wanted something that would catch your ear again,” Folse said.
Moore added that the band didn't want to just rest on its trademark vocal harmonies on the record. Folse and Legendre now also trade guitar riffs throughout songs in an Allman Brothers-inspired style.
“When Mike started playing electric, it gave us the opportunity to do some dueling guitar work,” Folse said. “We became tighter musicians and better guitarists.”
The band members wanted their time in the studio to be like the rest of the time they spend together — fun and focused on creativity, and without ego battles, Moore said.
“The studio time was an extension of our recreational time,” Folse said. “The vibe was awesome.”
That atmosphere is what you can expect at Friday's release show. In the idea of gathering around music, rather than just playing or listening to it, the band is cooking dinner for all its guests at the album release party.
“We want it to feel like a hang,” Folse said. “We want to put on a show, hang out and visit — have a nice little celebration and let it be a bookend for us.”
HUMBLE KIND ALBUM RELEASE PARTY
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
WHERE: The Guru, 1857 Government St., Baton Rouge
COST: $20, $30 per couple