Thursday, April 17, 2014

town beyond the trees

The Storys Following the release of TOWN BEYOND THE TREES in March of this year, the Storys have continued to go from strength to strength and ultimately shape their career as a long-standing Americana/country-rock band on the UK country music scene. A tricky start regarding the band's beginnings has meant they have all been ready for unhappy endings and tough times ahead, as Steve Balsamo explains: "'We started as songwriters trying to write the best songs we could. We soon had a load of good tunes and Dai and Rob set about producing what became our debut album in an old converted cinema in the Welsh valleys. It sounded great so we borrowed money from local gangsters and set up a label. We released the album and got some lovely reviews.

A label in Warners signed it and put some money into the project, which allowed us to tour overseas. We sold quite a few records, and Warners wanted us to make a second album. We went into Real World with Jon Kelly and made the album in 5 weeks, during which time everyone at our label was sacked and the label shut down! A great fan of the band and head of the label, Nick Stewart saved the day, by getting the album back for us.

So here we are at the beginning of the journey again!" From Swansea, the original six-piece band recently suffered a massive blow, when after five years with the band, Dai Smith on vocals and guitar decided to quit the Storys for his own musical endeavours. Announced officially on the website on September 9, Steve Balsamo said: "It's great news that Dai says he is feeling better, but unfortunate and sad that he decided to leave the band last Thursday. We all remain good friends and wish him the best of luck with all his musical endeavours, and of course wish him health and happiness. Steve, on behalf of the band." Obviously a shock for the band and coming at a really bad time, considering the following night they had a gig supporting Van Morrison, you cannot choose the time for something so cataclysmic, and as it is they are continuing forward with their many upcoming dates and projects.

 The band now stays as a five piece for the time being, consisting of Steve Balsamo on vocals and guitars, Andy Collins on vocals and bass, Rob Thompson on guitars and vocals, Brian Thomas on drums and percussion and Alan Thomas on keys, mandolin and banjo. Their style is often described as a '70s west-coast influenced sound,' but encapsulates deeply organic influential acoustics, crafted with passion, harmony and a masculine rush of adrenaline and compassion that ultimately shines through. With a sound that encompasses the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and the songwriting skills and talents that are now offered by three of the five members, the outcome is something quite extraordinary.

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