Friends, come out and enjoy the last Oriole Post show on Friday JUNE 29th at 7pm at RecordBar.
It started on the steps of the local art museum in Kansas City. Friends would bring their instruments and play together on warm nights. When the weather grew colder, the group moved indoors. Rachel Pollock opened her house. There was always hot soup in the kitchen, but everything else was unpredictable. Clusters of musicians would gather in each room and play. Meanwhile, Rachel was secretly recording her own songs after everyone had left.
“I distinctly remember Rachel handing me her demo tape and thinking finally,” said Roger Strong, who plays upright bass for Oriole Post. “Listening to it for the first time, even in demo form, everything was already there.”
Rachel writes earthy, stuck-in-your-head-for-days songs that feel like modern classics. The arrangements betray many of Oriole Post’s influences – Nickel Creek, Crooked Still – on a canvass as broad as the bands’ home state of Kansas.
“I like things that come with a history,” Pollock said, “and like that about songs, too. I like songs that sound familiar. The melodies I love most are the ones I feel I’ve heard before, or remind me of a song I feel I heard growing up.”
Not content to simply reproduce sounds of the past, the band works to bring a new energy and direction to the old sounds it holds dear. Multi-instrumentalist, Seth Jenkins, is quick to correct anyone who calls the group a bluegrass band, “Just because we have all the instruments of a bluegrass band doesn’t make us one.” You would be as likely to find members listening to jazz, classical or hip-hop as country or bluegrass, and these diverse influences come across in the band’s unique sound. “I think we can go a lot of different ways as a band,” said drummer Bill Pollock.
The spirit of community that inspired Oriole Post’s formation has been carried forth. The band still rehearses in the Pollock’s living room, all six musicians – including fiddle player Michaela Meckel and backing vocalist Michelle Strong – playing in a circle, where they can make eye contact.
“We’re not amplifying anything for practice. This enables us to focus on the personal dynamics and melodies. We hear what we’re playing and listen to each other,” Bill said. “There’s just something very different about listening to instruments producing sounds in a space.”
On stage, the band is charming; think vintage dresses and cowboy boots. Pollock’s voice easily fills any venue. Complemented by tight vocal harmonies, driving fiddle, intricate mandolin counter melodies, and rock-solid bass and drums, Oriole Post shines in their live shows. Their love for music and for playing this music with each other is obvious. As Pollock describes the band, “We’re friends who also happen to love to make music together.”