For Press Requests:
Big Hassle Media
“If my Southern heart’s still pumping blood/I’ll bury my money in the mighty Mississippi mud,” sings The Weeks’ Cyle Barnes on Dear Bo Jackson’s “Brother In The Night.” “If my Southern lungs won’t let me breathe/I’ll wait for the cicadas and I’ll let ‘em push it out for me.”
With that powerful verse, The Weeks staked a claim as heirs to the timeless tradition of Southern rock. In 2013, the band released their label debut album, Dear Bo Jackson, on Serpents and Snakes Records, spent the year on their “Thick As Thieves Tour” and were included in Rolling Stone magazine’s “Hottest Live Photos of 2013” feature after a raucous set at NYC’s Mercury Lounge. (www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/the-hottest-live-photos-of-2013-20121212/the-weeks-0322913). During the summer, the band hopped over the pond for a UK/European Arena tour with Kings of Leon and then they came home to play at the Voodoo and Austin City Limits festivals.
Since then, the band headlined the Communion Tour, which was handpicked by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, played direct support to Jake Bugg at The Ryman, sold out the Mercy Lounge in Nashville twice, and have barely left the road with no plans to do so soon. Headed now into the festival circuit, they have already confirmed Bonnaroo, Shaky Knees, Mountain Jam, Wakarusa, Firefly, Spring Jam and Middle of the Map.
The Weeks are about to release an EP to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the band (formed when they were 15). The highlight of this EP will be a re-recording of the first song they ever wrote, “Buttons.” To this day, it is a fan favorite and their most-requested song. It was never properly captured on tape til now. The follow up to Dear Bo Jackson will be recorded over this spring and summer.
Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, The Weeks (Cyle Barnes – vocals; Sam Williams – guitar; Damien Bone – bass; Cain Barnes – drums; Alex Admiral Collier – keyboards) came together in 2006 and instantly came to define the sound of Southern Rock in the 21st Century – their grunge-powered, high-octane anthems rich with a bottomless Delta soul far deeper than the boys’ teenage years would suggest. Like any great rock ‘n’ roll outfit worth its salt, The Weeks played as often as humanly possible, with countless club dates across the Southeast and tours alongside such like-minded acts as Local H, North Mississippi Allstars, and the one and only Meat Puppets. Their extraordinary energy and outsized performances – not to mention a series of well-received independently issued releases – earned them a fervent fan following and ultimately, a deal with the like-minded Serpents and Snakes Records, who reissued the band’s second full-length outing, Gutter Gaunt Gangster.
By summer 2010, it had become clear that sleepy Jackson could no longer contain the mighty Weeks. The band left their old Mississippi home for the bright lights of Nashville, and, as Williams says, “it’s been non-stop ever since.”
Where GGG – like all The Weeks’ previous recordings – was recorded fast and on the cheap, the band opted to take a more leisurely tack in making Dear Bo Jackson. They spent six months at pre-production, resulting the most fully articulated demos of their career. When time came to record the album proper, their search for a producer led them to Paul Moak, a Grammy Award-nominated producer/engineer/mixer and perhaps most importantly, a fellow Jacksonian.
The Weeks set to work at Moak’s Music City studio, The Smoakstack, determined to push themselves further than ever before. Drawing inspiration from such iconic works of Americana as The Band’s Music From Big Pink, the band’s first goal was to incorporate new musical elements into their own inimitable take on Americana.
Much of Dear Bo Jackson’s all-inclusive sound can be credited to The Weeks’ very own Garth Hudson, Collier, whose compositional background and proficiency on an array of instruments enabled the band to build their inventive arrangements from within. Adding color to such standouts as “King Sized Death Bed” and “Gobi Blues” are legendary pedal steel guitarist Bucky Baxter – “the most unbelievable musician I’ve ever seen in person,” says Williams – as well as their buddy Carl Gatti on trombone and faux French Horn. What’s more, friends from throughout the new Nashville rock scene – including Jonny “Corndawg” Fritz – dropped into The Smoakstack to lend backing vocals and a collective stamp to the proceedings.
With Dear Bo Jackson, The Weeks enriched their already well-seasoned sonic stew with the classic flavors of soul, R&B, funk, and heavy boogie to fashion a forward-facing sound all their own. Big brass, lush strings, and twangy pedal steel fused into their distinctive sludge pop, with Williams’ greasy guitars and the highly charged engine room of Bone and Cain as well as the ever-distinctive Collier. Throughout the album, Cyle rends his throat raw as he testifies dramatic and truthful tales of modern Southern lives, always full of hope despite often punishing circumstances.
The press on the record was filled with deserving accolades. Rolling Stone said, “The Weeks’ nervy, careening jangle and scraggily, Southern-stoner look immediately bring to mind Youth and Young Manhood-era Kings of Leon comparisons,” while the Associated Press hailed, “Here’s more proof Nashville, TN, is saving rock ‘n’ roll one band at a time.” Relix claimed, “The Weeks’ breakout album, Dear Bo Jackson, is a big-hearted rock stew – a delicious blend of Southern rock riffs, soulful horns and punk attitude,” and American Songwriter said, “The Weeks groove and grunt their way through this tribute to Mississippi, the band’s home state.” Blurt exclaimed, “Dear Bo Jackson is a remarkable collection of blazing southern rock, soul, funk, alt country and just about anything else that is still good about music today,” while Paste said, “The band’s sound blends classic Southern rock influences with a grungy yet soulful twist to give the band a sound all their own.”
As The Weeks barrel into the future without a net or a rulebook, they are not looking backwards for a second as they continue to explore their Mississippi roots and current place in the world, with all the profound joy and unfathomable sadness that entails.
Joshua Black Wilkins
L to R: Cain Barnes, Admiral Collier, Cyle Barnes, Sam Williams, Damien Bone