The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow to release EP at Barrington Stage show
PITTSFIELD — For months, The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow has been promoting its Saturday, June 1, show at Barrington Stage Company's Boyd-Quinson Mainstage as an album release kick-off event. Yet, while Pittsfield concertgoers and other spectators on the band's tour will receive an album, it won't be the group's first full-length record. Instead, the Americana band will give audience members an EP featuring acoustic versions of five tunes on the forthcoming "Band Together" record as the group remains in talks with Blue lan Records, a Los Angeles-based label, about releasing the longer album at a later date.
"They've given us all the signs for us to feel confident that they want to collaborate with us, and part of that collaboration would mean we'd release the album together under their label, with their support, in cahoots," said Tory Hanna, one of the band's five singer-songwriters. "It feels a little strange to be not having that product for these people who just love us and have been part of this journey, but I'm confident that they'll understand that this a huge opportunity for the band. I think people get behind us and they rally behind us because they want us to succeed."
Pittsfield significantly contributes to that support.
"We kind of view Pittsfield as our home base," Hanna said. "It's really been the launchpad for the Whiskey Treaty from basically our first rehearsal at Billy Keane's house ever."
The band hasn't played at Barrington Stage Company before. The organization's artistic director, Julianne Boyd, was proactive about booking the group.
"I think they're the best band in the Berkshires," Boyd said.
Drummer Conor Meehan, keyboardist Benny Kohn and bassist Josh Chaplin will join the band's five singer-songwriters — Hanna, Billy Keane, Chris Merenda, Greg Smith and David Tanklefsky — onstage. Large theaters aren't always fit for dancing to rock music, but Hanna isn't worried about people feeling tied to their seats at the 520-seat Boyd-Quinson.
"If people fill the pit area and the walkways and start grooving, this stuff happens," he said.
Those attending will see local artist Joe Wheaton's projections and Pittsfield native Joe Wilk's album artwork. The EP's five songs were recorded during a daylong session at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in April. Bottle Tree Pictures filmed "Pass the Peace," "Don't Cross My Land," "Following Your Tears," "Reasons" and "Rock 'n' Roll Deja-Vu"; a video of the live takes is now available on the band's YouTube page.
"With EPs, you definitely want to keep it kind of concise," Hanna said of the album, which will only be available at the band's tour stops. "It's kind of about attention span but also a snapshot of the band. It's five singer-songwriters, five tunes, seemed to make perfect sense."
After stops in Cambridge, New York City and Greenfield, the Roadshow will begin its West Coast leg of the tour in Los Angeles at The Hotel Cafe, offering Blue lan the opportunity to check the band out live. The group is also hoping that it will eventually get paid the money it's owed by PledgeMusic, the crowdfunding platform that is heading for bankruptcy, according to co-founder Benji Rogers. Pledgers need not worry about getting the goods they were promised, according to Hanna.
"Our goal is to meet all the pledges that were made no matter what happens," he said. "But we're just confident that Pledge is going to make that happen, not our own bank accounts."
Continued support hasn't been a problem for the band.
"This community has rallied like you wouldn't believe," Hanna said.
Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.
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