Gathering Field at the Oaks Theatre - Oakmont, PA Saturday, November 27
Pangs of sweet regret, everybody got 'em
But pangs do not a true assessment make...
These words from "Days Fly Away," one of 12 new Bill Deasy compositions on the first Gathering Field record in a dozen years, reflect the band's "don't look back" attitude.
"I think we all feel this is an opportunity to hear what we sound like right now, not how we sounded way back when," lead guitarist Dave Brown observes. "This is very much about the present moment."
One listen to the band's new release, "Wild Journey," and the truth of Dave's statement becomes evident. Yes, there is something familiar there, the indefinable chemistry that hooked a legion of fans the first time around, but there is a new-found depth, a spark of wisdom, a heightened awareness. The result is a sound that is as it was, only more so, and then some.
Gathering Field began in a burned-out third floor in Grove City, Pennsylvania when Bill Deasy and Dave Brown hunkered down for the weekend with guitars, tequila and recording gear. The results provided more than enough evidence as to the creative spark between Dave and Bill, leading the duo to enlist bass player Eric Riebling (formerly of the Affordable Floors), drummer Ray DeFade, and John "the Junkman" Burgh on Hammond B3 organ, thereby forming the Gathering Field.
They released their self-titled debut in 1994 and began performing in Pittsburgh and beyond. Their popularity skyrocketed when one of the regions most powerful rock stations, WDVE, began playing a song called, "Lost in America." With the release of the record that bore the same name, Gathering Field garnered a deal with Atlantic Records in 1996 and continued to develop its ever-widening base of supporters.
In 2001, after nearly a decade of touring and 4 critically-acclaimed recordings, the band went on "hiatus." Bill Deasy released several solo projects and pursued song and fiction writing (he wrote and performed the theme for "Good Morning America" and published 3 novels.) Dave Brown produced several projects and all of the guys continued to perform and record regionally.
Cut to September of 2013.
A channel-surfing Bill Deasy happened upon performance footage of the band Pearl Jam. A switch flipped. Bill found himself longing for what he witnessed on the TV screen.
"The Pearl Jam guys were all lost in it," the singer recalls. "Lost in the song. Together. Committed. A band. I suddenly realized I missed that...a lot."
Though the band had played the occasional reunion gig, and even released a live recording of one of those shows, it had been well over a decade since they had been a living, breathing organism.
One by one, he made the calls and one by one they answered. Plans were made. Gigs were booked. New music was recorded, and oh what sweet new music. From the epic flow of the lead-off title track to the final note of the record's loping post script, "Learning to Stay," Gathering Field has never sounded better.
And so it is with hope and renewed conviction that their, and your, wild journey resumes.
Saturday, November 27 Gathering Field at the Oaks Theatre - Oakmont, PA
310 Allegheny River Blvd, Oakmont, PA 15139 (map)