Shulertown CD hollers out with the spirit of Fayetteville
By Richard Davis
TFW Staff Writer
The first and 11th tracks on “Free Range” bookend with the sounds of a locomotive engine — a funny, yet appropriate, choice for a group whose music doesn’t track to a rail-line path and sonically inspires visions of open air and unrestrained options.
The band is Shulertown, comprised of names you’ve likely heard in other collectives in the region: Jason Reddecliff (Jupiter’s Hollow, Mothership), Charlie Platt (punkinhead, Ultra Suede), Owen McClung (Mothership) and Cowboy Tom. The foursome began writing and playing songs together last April, had their first gig in June, and now, are looking forward to the official release of their first CD at George’s Majestic Lounge on March 18 — although “Free Range” is already available on iTunes and is an international sensation.
“We’re global now,” Jason joked in a conversation on the patio at Rogue on Dickson Street in Fayetteville.
“We’re huge in Spain,” Charlie said.
“We’ve sold two albums in Spain,” Jason explained. “One guy bought our CD and turned one of his friends on to it.”
To my ear, Shulertown resides in an amorphously defined area I mentally check in as back porch music — and I mean that as a complement. The songs on “Free Range” can be as sweet and refreshing as a honeysuckle breeze or as rowdy and raucous as a nighttime bonfire.
“I don’t like to get too technical about it,” Jason said of the band’s sound. “It’s kind of American rock, Americana rock. Lots of bluegrass and ska and rock influences. Little bit of funk.”
“Ska-billy?” Charlie suggested “The cool thing about American music is it encompasses all that. If it’s from this country we try to check a little bit of that in there.”
“The short definition is rock because I think all of our songs so far rock at one point or another,” Cowboy Tom said. “There some point in the song where the rock comes through.”
Regardless of how you want to categorize it, “Free Range” supplies a good feeling, like listening to live music on a back yard bench swing on a late spring night. It feels like Fayetteville. It feels like home.