In 2015 we saw the debut album from GospelbeacH, a group whose collective credits include Beachwood Sparks, Further, The Tyde, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and Everest. That album, Pacific Surf Line, captured our attention for its breezy tunes swim with swirling Hammond organ, soulful drumming, walking basslines and lightning guitar flashes, not to mention the five musicians’ voices merging in rich, lived-in harmonies. At the core of GospelbeacH is Brent Rademaker, a Floridian turned Angeleno who has a penchant for embracing rock sounds of the past in a way that manages to sound fresh instead of nostalgic.
Whereas the previous GospelbeacH was all about a California country rock sound, Rademaker and a newly configured band lineup are pursuing a sound that is more steeped in American roots and pop music on their sophomore album, Another Summer of Love, that’s out June 16th on Alive Naturalsound.
Today Glide Magazine is excited to premiere the tune “Hangin’ On”, an infectious power pop groover loaded with sunny harmonies, tambourine and exuberant guitar. If there is any song that will get you in the mood for another summer of love, this is it. Give a listen to “Hangin’ On” and read our conversation with Brent Rademaker below…
It seems like the band lineup has changed since the first album but also that the lineup is kind of fluid. How is the lineup different on this album, and in your opinion does the sound reflect that?
At this stage of my life a “fluid” line-up is so much more interesting to me. Honestly, the sound of the new record reflects a “concept” that I came up with. It’s about a country rock band in the 70s that was about to get dropped by their record label and played to empty rooms wherever they went and this was their attempt to make a record that would reach a wider audience and compete with the bands on FM radio in the late 70s. Not unlike a “McGuinn, Clark , Hillman record or a Souther, Furay, Hillman record or even a Chris Hillman solo record from 76-77 (Clear Sailin’ & Sippin’ Away). Basically anything on Asylum Records from 73 to 80.
Also Jason Soda took over all the other vocals and guitar from Neal Casal who sadly couldn’t be with us and that’s gonna reflect in the sound for sure. Jason produced the record from start to finish as well. He nailed it! Jonny Neimann, who joined on keyboards during the first album shows, made a huge difference too as he is an incredible piano/keyboard player and he, Jason and myself are really the core of GospelbeacH, you hear a lot of the three of us on Another Summer of Love
The first album seemed more country and Dead-influenced but the new one is a bit more psych-pop. Were you consciously going for a different sound with this record or did it happen naturally?
100% I was really going for more of a soft country rock thing on the first album (Pacific Surf Line) and with Neal Casal’s help we found ourselves in the Grateful Dead territory (which I do dig), but I only have like 3 Dead records and one of them is In The Dark. I didn’t feel right in that scene and there are SO MANY bands doing it! I recently got to play with Phil Lesh and it was a rush but didn’t feel too natural.
It’s funny that things need to be labeled especially when I listen to the albums by my heroes and they are rarely all the same. That being said, I could see the next album sounding more like Another Summer of Love because I think there’s some unfinished business with songwriting and production.
Do you see the combination of your Florida upbringing and your time spent in California as being an influence on your sound, and if so how?
The exposure and subsequent rejection of mainstream rock during my Florida years growing up (getting into punk and new wave) left a lot of exploring for me to do in these last 25 years in California. My experiences in the record business in California and all that lifestyle stuff had a huge influence on me. Drugs and assholes in the music business!
It’s been said that your hero is Chris Hillman. When did you first discover him and what kind of influence has he had on the way you approach music?
He sure is! So underrated in the rock and roll universe. He’s kinda always in Gram, Roger even Stills shadow. I got a cassette of Notorious Byrd Bros during an acid trip, and his bass and songs on that album really knocked me out and just through exploring all of his different bands and style changes I felt a kind of kinship with him. There’s a lot in common. Except for the success;)
You seem driven to make a different album each time. Do you ever worry that fans will get attached to one record and be surprised when the next sounds totally different?
Not really because I’ve already done it with Beachwood Sparks and all of my heroes don’t keep making the same record over and over…although the next album won’t be too far off from the first two GbcH records. I’m hoping it’ll be the best of both.
How long did the songs on the album take to write and were you drawing from any personal experiences for inspiration?
The songs were all done in 2016 and there’s not a song on the record that doesn’t come from my real life…maybe not “Strange Days” because my friend Trevor wrote those words, I just twisted them to tell my story. You can listen to this album and relive my last 15 years. It’s real…the first album contained some fictional stories and characters but this ones about me and Kathleen and my view of California literally!
Were there any albums you were listening to going into this recording that were especially important?
My whole record collection really…from The Chameleons to the Cars and 90s Petty to 80s Poco. Linda Ronstadt records from the late 70s especially Mad Love from 1980. I think the point is that I wasn’t targeting anything too trendy like the Dead or trippy ethereal freaky 60s folk in an attempt to sell records. I’m sure it’s the kiss of death! But I am having fun!
GospelbeacH will release Another Summer of Love June 16th onAlive Naturalsound. For more music and info visit them on Facebook.
05.31.17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre
06.10.17 – Sonoma, CA @ Huichica Festival
06.18.17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Grand Ole Echo
06.21.17 – Hollywood, CA @ Desert Nights at The Standard Hotel
Photo credit: Johnny Angel