“These simple days are all gone,” Yard Sale sings on their song “Media.” That may be true, but the band’s music, with its strumming banjos and hand-clapping choruses, suggests that the good ol’ days aren’t too far away.
The Hudson Valley based group will release their debut EP, Gone with the Sunrise, on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The band consists of banjo player Taylor Davis, multi-instrumentalist Charlie Schikowitz and bassist and vocalist Theo Schikowitz.
The Schikowitz brothers and Davis met in the fall of 2009, and Davis said he remembers the night well.
“I walked into Bacchus one of the first nights I moved to town in February, I remember it was cold as hell that night,” he said. “[Charlie] and Theo were playing with Ranger Rick that night and I kind of checked ‘em out hard…after they finished I just walked up to them and told ‘em how they sounded pretty good and that we should keep the party rolling back at my pad, as I lived down the street.”
Davis said the brothers agreed and they “rocked on” until 9 a.m. the next morning. The following fall, they started playing together as Yard Sale.
The band’s influences include the “greats” such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Otis Redding, James Brown, Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams and Lil’ Wayne, Davis said, but the band also manages to find inspiration outside of music.
“Ultimately we feel we are more influenced by life’s events, the experiences we’ve had, witnessed, or heard and how those unfold or ripple through our reality and romantic delusions,” Davis said.
Yard Sale’s overall sound draws inspiration from classic soul, rhythm and blues and country, mixing them into a genre of “country soul” or “mountain boogaloo,” Davis said.
Gone with the Sunrise was recorded last winter, and was written and produced entirely by the band (aside from a cover of Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine”). The EP includes six songs, but Davis said the band has a lot more to come, including 30 songs that are waiting to be recorded.
Davis describes the album’s sound as “definitely raw…with no separation and very little overdub.” He said the album is a taste of what the band is like, rather than a concept album, and the songs alternate between lead vocalists to show that Yard Sale isn’t a band about just one singer or frontman.
Yard Sale brings its vintage feel to its live shows, which feature auctioneering as well as genuine yard sale items, such as old books and auto parts, according to their website, iloveyardsale.com.
Some New Paltz students have noticed the genre-blurring of Yard Sale’s music, like third-year jazz studies major Misha Savage.
“Yard Sale plays a grooving blend of americana, bluegrass and old-school folk akin to peers like Yonder Mountain String Band,” he said.
Although Yard Sale’s EP is finished, Davis said the band shows no signs of slowing down.
“We’re a living, breathing, fighting kind of men and we’re just warming up,” Davis said.
Gone with the Sunrise will be available everywhere on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and advance copies will be available at Rhino Records. The release show will be at Snug Harbor on Saturday, Dec. 15.