A few things that have been said about 86
86...in their own offbeat way, seem bent on reinventing the Modern Lovers and Velvet Underground.
A charming...foursome covering up its soft underbelly of gooey folk-rock sincerity with a protective shell of winking irony, bedecked with quirky faux-impassioned vocals, airy harmonies, deft bluegrass banjo, fiddle, and one-string bass.
In addition to knockout harmonies Murach's and Kleinberg's songs also share a feeling of wistfulness.
A introduction to the band
Come on in. Let me introduce you to the guys in the band, music-industry style.
Jason Kleinberg (guitar, fiddle, vocals) cut his teeth playing in SF's Paddlefoot during the 90s and has recently toured much of the United States with Ian Brennan's "Best of the West Singer/Songwriter Tour." Plus, he has wasted a lot of time driving to LA to play solo shows down there. Jason also played fiddle in Rico Bell's (of Mekons fame) band, and he's done session work for the likes of Carrie Bradley's 100-Watt Smile and for Chuck Prophet.
Like Jason, Joel Murach (bass, vocals) got his start playing original rock and roll with SF's Paddlefoot during the 90s. While playing with Paddlefoot, he honed his ability to keep a steady bass line while jumping in the air. Joel also moonlights as an acoustic guitar playing singer/songwriter. Recently, he released his debut solo album, "Greetings from the Middle of Nowhere".
Tom Murach (drums) has been playing the drums ever since he and Joel formed a rock band in high school that covered classic songs by the likes of The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, etc. Since then, Tom has played in numerous bands including The Swoop Unit and The Eric Skye Band. Tom has been studying drums with legendary drum instructor Chuck Brown since the mid 90s.
Joe Rut (guitar, lap steel, vocals) did much of the recording and engineering for the first 86 album before joining the band in 2001. In 1999, he released a solo album called "Genuine Wood Grained Finish" that he recorded by himself in a cabin in the mountains. He has played brief stints in other local Bay Area bands including the Spikedrivers and Loretta Lynch, and he has recorded and engineered albums by The Spikedrivers, Jeremy Brown, and Joel Murach. Like Jason and Joel, Joe is also currently pursuing solo adventures in addition to 86.
Andy Davis (banjo, vocals) was a founding member of and driving force behind the Bay Area's Spikedrivers. He has done session work with many Bay Area performers, and he has taught countless banjo students his patented "screw driver" technique.
A brief history of 86 (the band)
I guess 86 all began when Jason and Joel's old band, Paddlefoot, broke up somewhere around 1998.
When that happened, Jason had a lot of time on his hands because he was only working part-time and giving fiddle lessons on the side. So he wrote a bunch of songs and recorded them on his 4-track. After a while, Jason played the tape for Joel to see what he thought. Needless to say, Joel liked the tape, and they started practicing the songs. In the beginning, Joel took a minimalist approach and played a one-string bass made by this guy named Dave Ardito. Anyhow, Joel brought a few of his songs to the band and a short set was born.
Before long Joel's brother, Tom, came downstairs to see what was going on in the basement, and ended up sitting in on the drums. In October of 98, Joel and Jason met Andy at a Halloween party and just like that you had the original 4-piece version of 86.
In 1999, 86 hired Joe Rut to record and enginner much of the first album, "True Life Songs and Pictures." By 2001, he was a full member of the band, bringin in his own songs and everything, and 86 had entered its five-piece era. During this magical era, 86 played a lot of shows and recorded the second album, "Hooray for Music".
Shortly before the release of "Hooray for Music", Andy decided to leave the band to pursue some other types of quieter music and to spend more time with the wife and kids. Who can blame him? The rock and roll life isn't as glamorous as most people think. Anyhow, he still lets us practice in the shed behind his house, which is nice.