“People seem to like to listen to us while driving.” That’s how Kelly Brown describes the public’s reaction thus far to the debut CD from Hagerstown band Lucas and the Lovelys. Brown plays bass alongside founders Lucas Laws and Tara Jenkins, and drummer Katherine Seifarth. Brown, of course, is being somewhat reserved; people seem to like to listen to Lucas and the Lovelys, period. And rightfully so—the Indie Rock outfit blends alt-country with haunting vocals and echos of Rockabilly—the band is just plain fun.
The young group’s casual, vintage sound is comforting and often feels like home. But like most bands whose promising future you can hear within the melodies, the Lovelys is an engaging balance of influences, both timeless and original—they list Nina Simone and The Rolling Stones as some of their influences. On their self-titled album, released in January, and available on iTunes, the artists offer up several examples. The songs I’m Telling You and Circus Junkie are reminiscent of The Velvet Underground—maybe it’s the tambourine—and Long Way to Go could easily double as a perfect end-of-the-night bar song, or a long, windows-down road trip tune. We caught up with them recently; here’s what they had to say.
(left to right: Jenkins-vocals/guitar/keys; Brown-bass/vocals; Laws- vocals/guitar/harp; Seifarth-drums/vocals)
Not seen: Joe Taylor-fiddle/violinist – Joe is a full-time student at Catholic University, and makes as many shows as he can.
YEP: What has been the response to your first CD?
Seifarth: We sold through 300 copies in the first couple of months. That might not mean a lot to other people, but for us I think, it was quite an amazing response, given that the only time people could get our CD was at a show—because it wasn’t anywhere on the Internet. Everyone was buying multiple copies, planning on sharing it with their friends and families.
YEP: Any plans for another?
Laws: We have been sitting on twelve songs or so that are ready to record. It should happen during the fall. Maybe we’ll do it during the Harvest Moon. That would be appropriate.
YEP: What do you love about where you live? And tell us something about it that folks may not be aware of.
Jenkins: What I love about it the most is its potential. There is really not that much going on, but it’s not far from places that have a lot going on.
Seifarth: Hagerstown, Maryland, will always be my home. The summer I met the members of the Lovelys, I knew something good was going to come out of it. I’ve lived in Hagerstown my whole life; I have memories scattered all over this town. Hagerstown has some memorable characters from the past and present—like the old man who used to wave to cars, accompanied by his two basset hounds (or beagles).
Laws: The town was founded by this German guy who named it after his wife. What a gesture, you know? It’s that kind of selflessness that carried over here during the Civil War, when hotels, schools, and even homes provided for soldiers from both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. We take care of our homeless, too, thanks to the churches and charitable people.
YEP: Where do you go in town to: Relax? Be inspired? Get a great meal? Find good music? Meet cool people?
Seifarth: Port City Java. My backyard. House of Kobe. Depending on where friends’ bands are playing.
Jenkins: That’s all my house. Also, just being downtown is nice.
YEP: What inspires the subject matter for your songs?
Jenkins: Dating creepy guys, and duking it out with Kate. Giving birth to babies in the woods, and other stuff that never happened.
Laws: It could come from seeing a fisherman on a bridge with his dog, during dawn—or hiking in the Smoky Mountains, where it’s so foggy you can’t tell how high you are. The subject matter isn’t always there at the outset of writing a song, and sometimes, it still isn’t at the end.
YEP: When did you know being a musician was for you?
Brown: When I found the right people to play music with.
Jenkins: I still don’t know.
Seifarth: I stumbled into it. I always thought of myself as a soccer player, a theater kid, or a college student. When I started playing drums, I didn’t think that it would expand passed middle/high school. I had only sung at church, and in theater. When Lucas and Tara asked me to play drums for them, I hadn’t played a drum publicly since marching band.
Lucas: When my dad brought home the preacher’s old drum kit and started setting it up in my room.
YEP: Have you gone on tour or traveled for shows? If so, where? If not, where would you like to go and why?
Seifarth: I want to go anywhere! Long trips with three of my good friends…it’s all about the journey. And The Lovelys are still on that journey. I don’t care where we end up. I just want to keep learning about my bandmates, improving our talents, and playing honest music.
Laws: We recently played in Asheville (NC), and we’ve done shows in Baltimore and D.C. We don’t have the availability to tour much, outside of a couple of days, but if we did, I’d like to go south.
Catch them live: This Friday at Artomatic @ Frederick—show starts at 10pm. October 8th at Bentz Street Sports Bar (10:30pm), for The Official Flying Dog After-Party, as part of 72 Film Fest in Frederick, MD. You can also see them, along with Fieldhands, on October 28th, the night before Hagerstown’s renowned Mummers Parade, at The Broad Axe—show starts at 9pm. And you can easily learn more about them, and when/where they’re playing, on Facebook, as well as their website: lucasandthelovelys.com.