WXPN Welcomes The Record Company – Roll With It Tour

Jesse Ahern

Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Doors: 7pm | Show: 8pm

Join us before the show for dinner & drinks in The Lounge, our full-service restaurant & bar which opens at 6pm. See the menu & make reservations here. Mezzanine ticket holders will be able to order from The Lounge menu right from their seat.

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When The Record Company pick up their instruments, the members—Chris Vos [guitar, lead vocals, harmonica], Alex Stiff [bass, backing vocals], and Marc Cazorla [drums, backing vocals]—participate in a musical back-and-forth akin to a formative and supportive conversation among siblings. The nuances of their personalities seep through loose, bluesy guitar leads, airtight drum grooves, thick bass, and vividly evocative lyrics. With such fluidity, the musicians respond to one another so instinctually you’d swear they were telepathically linked. However, there’s no such superpower necessary when you’ve got the closest thing to a brotherhood that three musicians unrelated by blood can share… The GRAMMY® Award-nominated trio only amplify the power of this bond on their fourth full-length offering and 2023 debut for Round Hill Records. “We know each other’s personalities on the instruments, so we reconnected with one another and really found that brotherhood again,” explains Chris. “It's always been there, but we got back into a room where it was like a circle of stone. We’re creating something that will go out into the world. We all stand behind it equally, and we’re willing to put our lives and love into it. When you put your career, your future, and your art into another person’s hands and you know they’re doing the same for you, there’s a different level of trust. That’s been our secret since day one. When it’s challenging, we’re all trying to figure out the challenge. When it’s good, we’re all experiencing it together.” They’ve experienced everything as a family since forming back in 2011. Along the way, they served up a tested-and-proven epic in the form of their 2016 debut, Give It Back To You. The release earned a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Contemporary Blues Album” and spawned “Off The Ground,” which reached #1 at AAA Radio and tallied nearly 40 million total streams and counting. Beyond a string of stunning late-night television appearances, they performed on CBS This Morning, at Bonnaroo, and on an extensive tour with John Mayer in addition to headlining coast-to-coast. They maintained this momentum with All Of This Life [2018] and Play Loud [2021]. On top of praise from American Songwriter, Classic Rock, and more, NPR hailed the latter as “the band’s biggest and most dynamic record to date.” In 2021, the guys hunkered down and commenced creating what would become their fourth LP. Working out of an intimate home studio in Beachwood Canyon, they wrote, recorded, and self-produced the music. Outside of cutting drums at the legendary Sunset Sound, it proved to be a homegrown affair through and through. “We got back to our old perspective, which is to trust the idea, get out of the way, make something, listen, and respond to it,” affirms Chris. Alex elaborates, “We decided to record the organic thing that got us really excited to play music as a band in the first place. That was the general theme of this record. Keep it as close to a three-piece sound as possible. Keep the music raw. It’s a return to form in a way, but we’re still growing.” “We’ve been doing this for a while ,” adds Marc. “As long as we sound like us, we can be proud of it. It’s not going to be for everybody, but we’ve never been prouder of what we’re doing.” The Record Company kicks off their next era with the single “Dance On Mondays.” Guitar cries through a hypnotically hummable bassline and head-nodding beat. Meanwhile, a chantable hook instantly takes hold with grit and gusto as Chris affirms , “I don’t dance on Mondays.” “Somebody asked me to go see a band on a Monday night, and I just said, ‘I don’t dance on Mondays’,” Alex recalls. “I wrote it down in my phone. The phrase signifies, ‘I’m taking my life back, and I’m not going to dance for anybody’. It goes back to where we are as a band and us being The Record Company.” Then, there’s “Talk To Me.” Bass practically dances atop a simmering groove punctuated by tambourine before guitar kicks back in as Chris urges, “So, why don’t you talk to me?” Marc goes on, “It reminds me of one of those rare Blue Note groove records with a chill vibe.” Launching into toe-tapping bounce, harmonica wails on “Darkest Days” as the stomp and 12-string guitar underline a soulful vocal. “Highway Lady” shines with a Laurel Canyon meditation in the glow of swooning slide guitar. “We wanted to make music you could listen to “Highway Lady” on a road trip in the car with the city’s lights behind you,” Alex says. “This song had this big vibe of feeling good both musically and spiritually.” “Lyrically, it’s my favorite,” adds Marc. “It could be about so many different things. I moved into this house with a little pool, which I’d always wanted in Southern California. When it’s hot as shit out, you naturally develop all of these new friends during the summer. You make a pool playlist, and I wanted one of our tunes to be a contender. To me, this is one.” In the end, The Record Company are stronger than ever as a band and, more importantly, as brothers. “I’d love for people to hear this record and feel like they’re in the house with us making it,” Alex leaves off. “I want them to feel like they’re part of this unpolished and homemade thing, because that’s what we were trying to get back to.” “We’re a trio, and that’s the completion of this circle,” Marc concludes. “The fourth member of this group is the space between us. We embrace that space as part of the raw element. That’s what we explored on this album, and it’s beautiful. We can’t wait to bring it on the road.”
When Jesse Ahern walks onstage, he looks like a regular guy-albeit one with a six string strapped across his body and an anchor tattoo under his right eye. As he tears through his set, easily rousing brand new crowds to shout his choruses back in his face, it’s clear Jesse could be everybody’s friend. Ahern’s tunes hold the clenched fists of the working class. Others put on full display the raw open heart of a man who is dedicated to love, and has known enough loss to cherish what he has at home. Still others reveal the tender, protective arms of a father who misses his kids when he’s off touring the world. On tour, Ahern stands before a giant backdrop emblazoned with the words ROOTS ROCK REBEL. Three words that proclaim the truth about his music, and the man himself. The new album produced by Ted Hutt (Dropkick Murphys, Gaslight Anthem) takes those three words a giant step further. Ahern has spent the last few years touring the world, sharing stages with Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner and Jaime Wyatt. With the release of the “Roots Rock Rebel” Ahern will travel many more miles around the globe, converting more first time crowds into future longtime fans.