Chicken Jam West: Coral Creek The Lil’ Smokies The Social Animals

Brian Ripple  |   Thursday Oct. 1st, 2015

CORAL CREEK puts on a high energy show appealing to audiences across the bluegrass, blues and jamband spectrum, playing genre-bending original music and unique renditions of traditional bluegrass tunes and Americana classics. They are an Americana band featuring the original music of Chris Thompson and Bill McKay.  With the addition of Bill McKay on keyboards and vocals (formerly of Leftover Salmon and Derek Trucks Band), Coral Creek will be back in the studio this winter, releasing and touring in support of a new record in 2015.    

The Social Animals are a full time, van-living, beer-drinking young band. Experts across the globe have called them “The Opposite Of Toby Keith”. They speak through elegantly sarcastic and thoughtful lyrics splattered across a canvas of indie rock/Americana instrumentation. They don’t do backflips at their live shows or slide across their knees into guitar solos. Instead, they play their music passionately and honestly, leaving room for a shirt-staining dance party in a crowded club, or one too many glasses of wine and a cab ride home from a listening room. Between songs, their dry commentary on the status of their lives and the world around them often causes people to look up from their phone screens, an action known to be scary and difficult for people throughout the nation.

They recently finished an album recorded at Ice Cream Party Studios in Portland, Oregon. The studio, (owned and frequently used by Modest Mouse), is as eccentric, hidden, and professional as it is smoky. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick), the album highlights their shift toward indie rock, while simultaneously retaining the Americana edge that helped push them to where they are today. Through a mixture of both his tremendous beard and his very intelligent ear for all things music, Berlin helped shape the band’s second release into something worth stealing online. Captured almost completely live, the album showcases the band’s growth as a professional entity, driven by powerful vocals and the dirt of endless touring.    

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