The Sparrows / Blog
...just stoppin by to say hello
Thank you friends for all the years of support and great times. We got one helll of an album comin your way VERY soon, and you all deserve it! You're the best... -see ya next show. Cheers.
The Sparrows Summer Update
Hi friends, ...We are working hard at Ampreon Recorder on the GREAT new album Magnolia Sessions, with our buddy and musical maestro Pete Drivere, rehearsing all the new stuff with our original Sparrows drummer Craig Glavan, and preparing for the big album push later this year! We have some great shows coming up, and lots of exciting things in store for all of you! See you at the shows!
Pre-release Review of "Back in the Red"
Sparrows' album puts versatility, talent on display By Harry Funk, Online editor, firstname.lastname@example.org You never know how the various elements of a band are going to unite. But in the long run, all that matters is the music. The case of the Sparrows, the group’s origins help explain the diversity of its repertoire: “Americana” is how drummer Tommy Ray Hohnson of McDonald encapsulates the variety of styles, “where folk, country, rock and roll, the blues and soul come together.” How the Sparrows came together was a fortuitous series of circumstances that started when brothers Chris and Corey Gray met a singer named TC Davis who was looking for a drummer. The Grays play lead and bass guitars, respectively, but were happy to join forces with Davis after taking a look at his songwriting abilities. The percussionist eventually came along when Hohnson – Pittsburgh-area music enthusiasts may know him better as Tom Hohn through his work with the Cynics, the Frampton Brothers and Boss Diablo – answered an ad for a “roots-rock drummer” with an affinity for such artists as Tom Petty, Steve Earle and the Wallflowers. That was last fall, and the Sparrows cruised along for a while as a guitar-based quartet before the members started thinking about expanding their sound. As Hohnson told the others, “I know a guy who plays keyboards, but he’s also an excellent sax player. It was like an instant chemistry thing when we rehearsed.” The man who made such a good impression is Jimmy Deal Watson, whom Hohnson had known since high school; they event played together in the jazz ensemble at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Watson, though, had drifted away from music over the years, until: “I think he just shot me an e-mail out of the blue one time,” Hohnson recalls: “If you ever come up with any bands or projects you’d like me to play on, let me know.” Set as a quintet, the Sparrows went about recording what has emerged as the band’s first album, “Back in the Red,” produced by Hohnson’s Boss Diablo bandmate Chuck Beatty. Most of the material is written by Davis with input from the rest of the band as far as developing suitable, and often complex, arrangements. “Our objective is to interpret each original we come up with in a way that’s correct for that particular song,” Hohnson explains. As such, the album serves as a showcase for the band’s diversity. The opening track, “Hitchhiker,” is an earnest rocker that puts Davis’ voice and Chris Gray’s guitar playing on full display. “Calico,” by contrast, has a Dixieland vibe to it, with Watson’s horn parts reminiscent of Preservation Hall. Hohnson points to the closing number, “Strangers,” as a track on which he draws from the rhythms developed by legendary drummer John Bonham circa Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” album. The entire “Back in the Red” album is a treat for fans of harmony vocals, as the Sparrows do a commendable job of adapting from the standards set by bands like the Eagles and the Byrds. A prime example is “Cocaine and Marijuana,” which opens with a four-part a cappella rendering of its catchy chorus. (The song’s lyrics, by the way, would seem to be as much about lost love as other subjects.) Hohnson says audiences have been very receptive to the original material, which the band mixes in with cover songs from a variety of sources. Some highlights on any given night might include a rave-up on Dave Mason’s “Feelin’ Alright” or Watson’s sax jam on the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See.” An opportunity to see the Sparrows live is Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Eagles Lodge, 122 N. Central Ave., Canonsburg. The show, which starts at 9:30 p.m., has no cover charge, and free food even will be provided. For more information, call 724-745-7090. And for more information about the Sparrows, visit www.thesparrows.us. Original article is located at: http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Story/sparrows073009
Where Eagles Dare
…Oh hello, didn’t see you there. Come on in. I was just working on a new update for yinz guys. To start things off, let’s talk about the Christmas in July show at the Ellwood City Saxon Club on Saturday night. Man, there was a tree with lights and everything. It was another outdoor event for us, and again, the weather held out perfectly. We have been blessed this summer with awesome weather for all of our outdoor shows and it’s been great. No matter what goes on, playing under the stars is my idea of a perfect night. We want to thank all our friends who came out to support us and we want to thank The Saxons and Jeff for having us perform once again for the annual bash. We hope to do it again next year. Next Saturday we hit the highway and head south on down to Canonsburg, PA for a great show at the Eagles Lodge. I can’t wait. I love road trip shows and love playing new venues. We get to spread our music to a whole new group of fans and make a bunch of new friends in the process. As I’ve been saying for weeks now, t-shirts and CDs are coming soon. Really…I promise. The artwork for the CD is finally getting underway by our friend, the lovely and very talented Angelica Maria, and we’re really psyched about how it’s going to turn out. Our video mini-documentary is rolling along nicely too, and we should have new footage to post very shortly for you to check out. We’ll keep you posted… Well, until next time, take care of one another, and keep an ear open for us. Cheers, TC Davis The Sparrows www.reverbnation.com/thesparrows www.thesparrows.us
Christmas in July
Hey all, Well, after a very productive rehearsal week, the Sparrows are ready to rock the Christmas in July party this Saturday night at the Ellwood City Saxon’s Club. This concert is open to the public and we hope to see ALL of our friends out there. It’s going to be a great show and a great chance to see us perform all the songs from the new CD “Back in the Red”, which is currently in the final stages of artwork design and production, and will be on sale very soon. Recently, Hans Jensen, a good friend of mine and proprietor of A Beautiful Army of Trees records, has been filming the band for a mini-documentary and video for one of the songs on our upcoming album. He and his assistant Brendan came down to our rehearsal last Thursday and got an inside look at the work we put into every show. After a while, you tend to forget about the cameras and just go about it the way you normally would. So I have a strong feeling there will be some priceless stuff caught on film. We are all really excited to see this mini-doc, and from there move on to picking out a song for the video. Hans is a very creative artist and has an eye for capturing great moments. Aside from the video, we have very cool t-shirts with the Sparrow’s logo being designed and will be available real soon. I will let you know when they will be available at the shows and on the website. Looking forward another week, we will be performing at a new venue for us in Canonsburg, PA on August 1st. More on this show in next week’s update along with all the latest happenings – stay tuned! Until then… Cheers, TC -The Sparrows www.reverbnation.com/thesparrows www.thesparrows.us
Down By The River
What’s new crew? Well, it’s Monday and you know what that means…SPARROWS UPDATE from TC! This past weekend we played Lockhouse 6, situated along the Ohio River below the rolling hills of the Beaver Valley in Industry, PA. It was a really cool time and everyone treated us very well. This place is literally right on the riverside. There’s an outside bar, great food, friendly and easy-on-the-eyes bartenders, and an overall great atmosphere. It was a gorgeous night at a beautiful venue. The band we were opening for, Those Poor Devils…were great! They rocked the house, and made us feel very welcome. We appreciate them having us, and it was good to see another band, like ourselves, striving for originality. We hope to do many more shows together in the future. Now…I have to take a second to properly recognize the food at Lockhouse 6. This place definitely gets an A+ in my book. Gourmet pizza…drinks…amazing! They really took care of us, and we appreciate all of the hospitality. The Sparrows will be back at Lockhouse 6 on Friday, August 21st, to play a full show. We hope you all make it out to this superb spot. (BTW – A subtle hint for all you midnight tokers out there)…the cameras are watchin’- so roll some halfies! (hee hee hee). And here are some quick thoughts. I realized a couple of things this weekend. First…you are never too old to feel like the 8th grader being admonished by the angry old schoolmarm. Uncomfortable? Yes, but hilarious. I realized that no matter how hard you try to please everyone…you can’t. So don’t try. You’re better off pleasing yourself (in the words of Ricky Nelson ala “Garden Party”). If you’re happy with what you’re doing, keep on truckin’. Your true friends and fans will be there with ya. Finally, I realized that no matter how delicious a slice of pizza looks…no matter how hungry you are…let it cool off first. Till next time friends, TC Davis -The Sparrows www.reverbnation/thesparrows www.thesparrows.us
Creative Art, Random Thoughts and the Latest News
Hello Everybody, It’s TC from THE SPARROWS back with another weekly update and also some random thoughts. I figured I might share with you some topics of interest from the mind of me from time to time. More on that later… First though, here’s the update. The 4th of July show at the Beaver Falls Boat Club was great! The people were friendly and they really enjoyed our music. We thank the folks at the BF Boat Club for having us and hope to perform for them again real soon. This coming Saturday night (July 11th) we open for a great band at Lockhouse 6 in Industry, PA. The band is called Those Poor Devils. These guys truly rock. A perfect mix of cowpunk and rockabilly makes Those Poor Devils one of my favorite bands in the area. I can’t wait to play and I can’t wait to listen. Our new album is so close to being finished I can smell the vinyl! Very soon we will be ready to release “Back in the Red” and we will dedicate (at least) the rest of the year to promoting it. With shows and appearances, new venues and a video coming out, we have a very busy schedule ahead. And here are the random thoughts. As I was looking through the weekend entertainment guide recently, I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I was to round up a group of friends and musicians (i.e., THE SPARROWS) who are truly dedicated to original music. I say “lucky” because most of the bands and players around my area are dedicated to being the next most popular cover band. Not to take anything away from these bands, but there are like approximately forty-two hundred of them, all playing the same set list around town. I mean, even as a cover band, shouldn’t musical performance still be somewhat of a “creative art”? I know people like to hear the songs from the radio, played out karaoke style by sweaty bar musicians crammed into the corner of some hazy tavern, and that’s all fine and good…maybe necessary even. I just want everyone to remember, that without original artists there would be no cover bands. Someone has to carry the torch. So, open your minds and go out to see a band like THE SPARROWS and Those Poor Devils. Regardless of your musical tastes, there is an original band to satisfy your cravings. There will be plenty of time and plenty of bands available for you to go listen to “Crazy Bitch” and “Free Bird” in the same set. So take some time to ingest some creative culture. Support you local original music scene. Without it, we (as a region) lose our creative edge. And the void that’s left gets filled with plastic, generic cover bands, sold by the dozen at the local Dollar General. Until next time friends – cheers! TC Davis -The Sparrows www.reverbnation.com/thesparrows / www.thesparrows.us