Philly's mewithoutYou was forged out of admiration for bands like Jawbox and Burning Airlines — heavy rock acts with a melodic undercurrent and dynamic live shows. Tooth and Nail released the group's latest wildly titled LP "It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright," showcasing a new sound that's more folk-rooted than hard rock. Spiritual-fable themes dominate mewithoutYou's lyrics, but the group has generally sought a more secular touring approach powered by a bus that runs on vegetable oil.
Indie rock singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato is respite for those ailing from an often predictable genre. Texan-born Votolato formed acclaimed rock band Waxwing in '96 and, as is common of most prolific songwriters, Votolato found his writing moving into new musical territory. With his new Barsuk release "True Devotion" he strips his songwriting down to the basic elements — it's a mostly acoustic affair reflecting on life.
In the years following the his 2007 "The Brag & Cuss," Votolato’s private lifelong battle with depression came to a head. Unable to write music or tour, he cut himself off from the world. Through reading and studying philosophy he overcame his demons, and began writing again. With "True Devotion" Rocky Votolato found some long sought-after understanding and peace of mind.
Check him out on this vintage Turnpike episode from his 2003 Lawrence show.