In this day and age of uncertainty with the music industry, it’s becoming increasingly important to support new and local artists. South County’s own Dylan Sevey and the Gentlemen will be performing at the Knickerbocker Cafe this month. The band’s strength lies in how they draw from several genres to create a signature sound, blending indie, folk, rock, blues and even an occasional hint of country. Having so many influences could easily result in a sonic disaster, but the band skillfully makes them gel. Check it out: their debut album, Join the Club, is streaming at dylansevey.bandcamp.com. One of the advantages of the digital age is that bands can make their material available online to convince us to get out of the house and support them. Dylan Sevey and the Gentlemen make a convincing case with Join the Club.
As the band’s songwriter, Dylan’s influences are evident in the band’s material. “I have personally been influenced by many of the classic rock artists I grew up listening to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Led Zeppelin, The Band, Neil Young, etc. I have also learned quite a bit from groups like Wilco and My Morning Jacket, as well as any project Jack White has been a part of. I’m consistently drawn to artists with blues, folk and rock and roll roots.”
No man is an island, and Dylan acknowledges that it’s the differing tastes of each Gentleman that forms the whole. “Steve Ellis, our bassist, plays in another group, Ask The Dead, that is rooted heavily in progressive rock and hardcore punk. Brendan Moore, our keyboardist, is both a classically trained pianist and an incredible jazz composer who has been influenced by Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Keaton Albro, our drummer, has played drums in musical theater settings, rock bands, concert bands, jazz ensembles, country acts and more. David Ponte, our lead guitarist, has listened to as much Robert Johnson as he has Pink Floyd.”
As far as lyrical inspiration, Dylan has drawn from his experiences of living in Rhode Island. “The woods of West Kingston and Richmond have definitely made their way into my songs, as well as the beaches, Route 1 and my experiences at South Kingstown High School and the University of Rhode Island. I have lived in southern Rhode Island my whole life up until this point, so I naturally feel a connection to the sights and people south of the tower. Playing in Providence for the last three or four years has also influenced my writing quite a bit. As long as I’m writing songs based on what I know, this state will always be a source of inspiration.”
It’s great that technology has made music available to us at any time. Being able to stream our favorite band’s new albums while we laze about the house in our underwear is a modern miracle, no doubt. But it still doesn’t beat live music, and there is plenty of quality live music to be had. “The diversity of Rhode Island’s music scene is awesome,” Dylan says. “Obviously, the successes of Deer Tick, The Low Anthem and Brown Bird have been instrumental in establishing a strong roots rock and Americana scene.
Providence has also helped to attract a lot of funk and jam bands in recent years. The punk and noise scenes are as active as they have ever been, and a good amount of artists who first helped to solidify Rhode Island as a legitimate music state – John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, Roomful Of Blues, Mark Cutler, etc. – are still playing.”
Being a native of southern Rhode Island, he knows the value of performing outside of Providence and reaching the largest audience possible. “Providence, being the capital and biggest city in the state, obviously has a wealth of venues, but there are great places to play all over the state. It’s exciting to play in a scene with so many exceptional artists and venues.”
Dylan Sevey and the Gentlemen
Opening for the Adam Ezra Group
The Knickerbocker Cafe
February 13 at 7pm
35 Railroad Ave, Westerly