Electric Blue Yonder Reflects on Recent East Coast Run July 3, 2019 15:57
Photo by Duncan O'Boyle
Interview by T-Bird: Staff Writer for Live & Listen
The band Electric Blue Yonder has been around for a handful of years, and has created a reputation for intimate songwriting showcases as well as raging shows in the River Region and beyond lately. We recently sat down with guitarist/vocalist Johnny Veres to discuss some of the most recent shows and plans for upcoming singles and a full-length album.
What is the lineup of the band?
Johnny: I’m Johnny Veres, I sing and play electric guitar. My wife Beth sings and plays acoustic. Russell Thomas Bush plays electric bass and upright, and Sam Pittinos plays drums as our core band, but sometimes we bring in other players and grow to the show. We also scale back to a 3 piece (upright, acoustic, and electric) so we can go from an intimate songwriter experience to a rocking show on the right stage.
Electric Blue Yonder is fresh off a tour of the East Coast. Can you tell me about some of the highlights from that tour?
Johnny: This is tough. There’s a good story in every moment of the tour.
We started by playing in a cave at a bar called Rattle Snake Saloon, which was surreal in so many ways. We half expected the chicken wire screen across the stage but thankfully they sell draft beer in styrofoam cups. Our friend Jimmy Teardrop joined us for this and the Cloverdale concert series dates just before he set out on a tour with Alex Williams. He’s a monster guitar player. It was great to hear his take on some of our music.
We played a Sofar show in NoHo at this spot called Recess that sells “hemp infused sparkling water” and everything was neon pink and blue with cloud lights on the ceiling. It felt like that room was designed for our band.
Our Sunday show at Toad in Cambridge was maybe the most memorable. We played Boston the night before and had some time to explore, so I showed Beth and Russell some of our dear friend Andrew’s old stomping grounds and went to lunch at a restaurant he had taken me to years ago. We headed over to load into the venue without much expectations for a rainy Sunday evening, but were pleasantly surprised by a bustling crew of locals doing a record swap style party where folks brought their own records and took turns playing their favorite songs. It was rad. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and suddenly it didn’t feel so dreary. We even ran into someone that plays bagpipe for a certain Boston based group.
On top of that we met Steve Morse, a long time contributor to music at the Boston Globe and current Rock History teacher at Berklee College of Music. Steve regaled us with old industry tales, a sharp wit, and as he put it “beer on NYT’s dime.” He also wrote us these words about our music:
"I went on a whim but became a devoted fan after seeing them. They played a meditative mashup of trippy folk-rock psychedelia, cut with a raw, Alabama flavor befitting their roots. Captivating harmony vocals and skilled, almost Nick Drake-like guitar fills complete the picture. Would love to see them again."
That one felt really good.
We caught up with an old friends in Philly, saw sprinkles of family, and other beautiful humans along the way. We also played maybe the most raucous show in Americus, Georgia with our good friend and Blues player, Neal Lucas. Small town shows are great because the people that attend really care and are excited to have guests in their city. We were described as “post punk beach boys” there as well, which we totally dig. EBY always feels the love there!
Lastly, we finished up in Tuscaloosa with a friend opening that just blew our socks off, Patrick O’Sullivan. Druid City Brewing is another spot that feels like family when you’re there.
Speaking of Tuscaloosa, you and Beth just played Black Warrior Songwriter Festival there this past weekend as well?
Johnny: We did. It was awesome to get to rep EBY in a format that we don’t often get to. We’ve been told that we’re like a star peg between a square and a round hole. We don’t quite fit in either, so sometimes it’s difficult to know where to place in festivals like these. These folks had an open mind and didn’t care about “genres” so I think we all had fun together.
Do you have plans for a full-length album?
Johnny: We are working on our full length in the studio now and targeting an early fall release date.
Will it be pressed to vinyl or available to stream?
Johnny: We will definitely put it out on all digital media platforms, and vinyl will be in the future. We have our first vinyl single release coming out this summer so be on the look-out for that as well!
Do you have plans for single releases?
Johnny: There’s one more late summer before the album drops, and we just put out “Bluster” a few weeks back.
What platforms are you available on?
Johnny: All the digital ones!
When/where is your next tour planned?
Johnny: We are booking a run out to Oregon and back over September and part of October. If everything goes as planned, this will be a super special tour. If you want us to come to your town hit us up!
Do you have any shows coming up in your hometown of Montgomery, AL?
Johnny: Our next date in town is at Commerce Beer Works with Kyle Kimbrell 7/6 at 10pm (Doors at 9).
Stream Electric Blue Yonder's "Bluster" here: