This is story about a band with no home to claim, so for today, I’ve adopted them for Pittsburgh. I have to say, it’s a different band than I’m used to. Members all over the local states, getting together for select shows they choose at venues they feel meet up with the type of music they play. They describe themselves as “too weird” for rock stardom… but for a band to have amassed an underground following of “Neo Hippies” and being on the lips of college students for their sound – do they really need rock stardom?
Reuben Sairs and Dick McEwen have been together since about eighth grade and they are the first one’s I’ve heard give me the tale of seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show that sparked their interest. Getting their start at local coffee houses in High School they’ve never lost that 70’s type of feel to their music, which may be why they get so many Deadhead fans as well. They describe the goal of their music to be “(playing) thoughtful, social, spiritual, all–original music.” and after listening to their CD “Love and Violence” I have to say they follow through very well with that goal.
On the twelve song release you’ll find “Love”, written with an upbeat feel, full of classic 70’s Simon and Garfunkel type rock, and “Violence”, a darker feel and almost Bob Dylan feel. The thing that remains the same through the entire full length CD is the clear vocals, guitar and drums as well as well thought, at times political, lyrics. This is something I would hear playing at my more carefree/hippie/longing for another time friends homes during parties… the kind of music everyone would be singing and breaking out the instruments to play along with. One time of listening and you’ll like it. Second time? You’re going to start moving to it.
Not surprisingly, they tend to pack their venues with people who love to get up and dance to their original music. These are the guys you won’t read about in Rolling Stone but their fans from places all over the U.S. recognize them and their following is across the board in age range. This somewhat surprises these guys as they have ‘grown up and gotten hair cuts’, never focusing on fame but enjoying the success they have and the fact that their music touches others in such profound ways.They have reached a level of stardom without even trying! Their careers have morphed into having the ability to be selective of shows, choosing the ones they feel are more artistic, but staying open to ones they know will be accessible to fans longing for their brand of music in their area.
Having gone through a few musicians in the time they have been together, they have been grateful for all of them, and the love between the two original Hipsters is palpable. They are brothers, if not by blood and by love and music. I don’t think anything else can sum up their style any better than that.
If you want to find out more about this group that changed me into a hippie for a time, and yes, I own the CD now so I see me returning to that free place again soon, you can find them at www.thehipsters.org. I do hope to see them come to PIttsburgh again in the near future so I can catch this live!
Jana Lee Macheca - Lady Jaye - Is the founder of First Angel Media as well as a photographer and writer for not only her own company, but Chimera Magazine out of New York. Passionate about music and driven to help the local scene she works to connect those within it, as well as working behind the scenes on various projects. You can find her photo collection at www.firstangel.smugmug.com