“Chicago Summertime” By The North And Wells Band – Modern Jazz Never Sounded This Good
The North And Wells Band is a trio of musicians who met at The Second City in Chicago and their name originated from the location of The Second City – NorthAvenue on and Wells St. in Old Town, Chicago where they all worked as either cooks, hosts or dishwashers in the theatre. The group have been writing and recording for almost 8 months with vocals and rhythm guitar performed by Gideon Redic, piano licks and vocals by John Love and Jake Stopar on the guitar, bass and drums. The North And Wells have a sound that is described as something like Stevie Wonder meets Tame Impala with a blend of old soul combined with a psychedelic peppering.
I was drawn to “Chicago Summertime” immediately, with its modern jazzy tones mixed with that flare that reminds me of John Mayer, the track is extremely hard to beat and is reshaping a popular art. The vocals are smooth, sultry, embedded with emotions and I love the range that he has that later is accompanied by a blend of harmonies that add extra depth to “Chicago Summertime” that can already be found with the many layers of instrumental lines. The North And WellsBand does a fantastic job at modernizing their sound to draw in a wide audience with lyrics that are relatable and jazz tones that are timeless, catchy and expertly compiled. The trio really does a great job at transporting the listener to a calmer location, with relaxing guitar, piano, bass and drums lines and thevocals that you really can’t get enough of. If you are looking for a song that is going to paint a beautiful picture of “Chicago Summertime” through the melodies that are moving and vibrant and lyrics that speak of romance then The North And Wells Band have you covered with this new favourite track.
Listen to “Chicago Summertime” here and get to know more about The North And Wells Band below!
Hey Guys! What a fantastic sound! Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves?
Thank you! Well I guess to introduce us, we have Gideon Redic (artist name Twlev3 Twelv3) slaying the vocals and rhythm guitar. John Love with those silky smooth fingers on the keys. Then Jake Stopar filling in the blanks with lead guitar, bass, and drums! We all met at The Second City in Chicago working as night staff employees (cooks, dishwashers, hosts) for the theatres. We aren't funny enough to be comedians apparently, so we decided we'd just play music together instead... The Second City is located at the corner of North and Wells which is how we, cleverly, came up with our band name. We wanted the name to have some sort of special meaning to the three of us so the place where we all met seemed fitting. A true love story. Gideon was born in Chicago but grew up mostly in Georgia until he moved back about 5 years ago. His favorite color is blue but he doesn't have a favorite food. John comes from small town central Illinois (Arenzville, IL. population 409) and moved to Chicago in 2016. Blue is also his favorite color and his favorite food is his Momma's homemade Hungarian Meatballs. Jake was born and raised in Sweet Home Chicago, baby. Although he did move down to Mississippi for a few years to play blues music all throughout the southern states. His favorite color is red and he loves spaghetti. Our producer, Jordan Esparza, was kinda the one who eventually got us all in the same room together after he asked Jake and John to lay some tracks down for one of his final projects as he was just finishing his last semester as a student at SAE Institute in Chicago. Gideon came in with "Chicago Summertime" and nailed the vocal tracks for two other songs we recorded and it all just sort of clicked. Jordan was also able to play our songs for some really impressive producers/professors in Chicago who have worked with some big names in the industry. They all had some really nice, constructive things to say about our music so we took that as a sign to really get serious about what we were doing. So we gotta give a big thanks to Jordan, the fourth member of North and Wells! There is no "right" way to start a band, but we feel like we have deviated from the "typical" way of forming a band. A lot of times, bands will first practice, play live shows, gain a following, and then go into the studio and record an album. We are going a little backwards because it's the hand we were dealt, if you will. We have had a bunch of free studio time thanks to Jordan so we are writing songs and immediately recording them without playing them for anyone. We've really only played a handful of gigs in the short 5 months that we've been a band, but there are more on the way! We've been really lucky to have a very supportive group of Second City folks though and we've been working really hard to get our social media presence out there. We are hoping our hard work is going to be shown off in the next couple months! @thenorthandwellsband, what's up! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, Myspace, whatever you are using these days!
Other than all of that, we just have too much fun together. We meet up to rehearse and then it usually ends up being us joking around and drinking beers because we are just good buddies who happen to be in a band, too. We work really hard, but we also take time to enjoy each others company because that's important to us. Alright that's enough sappy talk.
How did you as a group decide on creating such a remarkable sound that is so alluring to listeners?
First off, thank you for saying we have a remarkable sound! I don't know if we really ever sat down as a band and decided "hey let's go for this sound." It was more of an unspoken, collective agreement that we all personally liked this style ourselves. We all have similar, corresponding tastes in music so there was never a need for us to do much decision-making on what genre we were going to identify as. Which is something we haven't really done...We like to think of ourselves as some sort of mix between soul, blues, and modern rock I suppose? Labeling our music as "this" genre or "that" isn't necessarily something we really even worry about. We are just making songs that we like! We do have some big time influences though! Artists like Joey Dosik and Vulfpeck, Stevie Wonder, Robert Johnson, The Beatles, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Ed Sheeran, Tame Impala. Any old school soul like Sam Cooke, Marlena Shaw, Ray Charles. We literally could (and do) sit and talk musicians/bands for hours! All of those legends and so many more have led to us creating the sound we are going for!
Tell us about a challenge that you as a group have faced during your creative process and how did you overcome it?
We are a fairly new band. Individually, we have played a lot of gigs and live shows so we are very comfortable with the performance aspect. But one thing that has been sort of a challenge is recording. We are learning a lot as we go and we are lucky to have Jordan there showing us a lot of new things, but something like how to get the final edit of a song tight and crisp is somewhat of a challenge for us. For example, we have had a few instances where we were just adding to many layers onto a song to the point where it was excessive. Ultimately, we just had to start chopping things out and being okay with giving up certain parts of a song that muddied up the track overall. Another thing that all of us are not accustomed to is playing with a click track. One of the producers we mentioned earlier brought that up to Jordan; "They didn't play to a click track did they?" We didn't... But like we said, we are a new band and you overcome these challenges like you do everything else; practice and patience. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Play with a click track. We're quickly starting to learn when we are adding too much to a song and being okay with cutting. And we will keep learning and growing!
Is there a deeper meaning behind your song “Chicago Summertime”?
Well with the opening line, "When I first met her, yeah it was on that beach", it's obvious Gideon is referring to a special lady he met at the beach (the one in Hyde Park, yeah that's 53rd beach). But underneath it all, it's truly just a summertime anthem for Chicago. If you haven't experienced a Chicago Summertime, you really are missing out. It's a special time of year. Living in Chicago, you get some truly nasty winters. With Lake Michigan, you get some harsher winds and it's just kinda miserable sometimes. So while the song might sound like its' specifically for one person, it's really for the city of Chicago in general. It's something for them to look forward to on those cold winter days. We want people to listen to the song and just be able to leave the winter behind. We also realize that it's very specific toward Chicago, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to the song! It's just a good tune no matter where you are! We have a running joke in the band that if we get to tour around someday, we will change the name depending on what city we are in. "Seattle Summertime!" "New Orleans Summertime!" "New York Summertime!" Some of the cities fit better than others syllable-wise, but we will cross that bridge when we get there...
Can we expect any new music or performances from The North And Wells in 2019?
YES. AND YES. For starters, our next single, "Kosher" is going to be dropping on all major streaming platforms on June 14th! We think it's a pretty cool song and we hope you will, too! We are also in the studio right now working on an 8-10 song album which will be self-titled and released sometime toward the end of thesummer. No official release date, YET! But stay tuned in to us because we are planning on putting out a lot of music in the future! Performance-wise we have two big Chicago summertime shows already in place with more to come! Sunday, June 23rd we are going to be playing at Reggie's Chicago for GTS Presents' "Summer Breakout." Then on Saturday, July 13th, we are playing a show at the Cubby Bear (across from Wrigley Field) for our friends Revolt Coda's album release party. You can find the details for those shows and all of our future shows on our Instagram! Much love!
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