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The Left Lane: The Vespers

May 31, 2012
By RICH GIBSON - Staff Writer ( , Times Leader

Not so often do you read about a rising young band in this space that happens to be playing a local gig in the next 24 hours.

However, a short drive to Barnesville and no more than 10 bucks scores a ticket to witness one of Nashville's most highly-touted groups of 2012 - The Vespers.

The Albert S. George Center, at Barnesville City Park, welcomes the brother/sister quartet Friday evening at 8:00.

The band's sophomore disc, "The Fourth Wall" is generating rave reviews. And for good reason. On the surface, a 12-song collection of pop/folk keep the faith gems, the record is all the more impressive for its adept combo of writing and arranging.

Sisters Callie and Phoebe Cryar are 21 and 19, respectively while brothers Bruno and Taylor Jones check in at 20 and 22.

"There's been a groundswell of support for our band and we feel so fortunate (at this point in our lives)," Taylor Jones told the Left Lane in a recent phone interview.

"It seems more and more people are discovering us on a daily basis. No, we've never been to Barnesville, so we're excited to play there and hopefully make lots of new friends."

A strong possibility considering strong word of mouth the band is attracting. "Our (U Tube) video views have risen from 100,000 to 200,000 over a short period and that's encouraging," Jones indicated.

A chance meeting at a 'campfire jam' first introduced the siblings whom, at the time, were all in their teens.

"My brother and I had played in a rock band. We asked Callie and Phoebe to come see us play," Jones related. "We got better aquainted and eventually, this weird, special vibe started to develop."

In the summer of 2009, the foursome recorded "Tell Your Mama," a relatively raw effort albeit with noticeable potential.

"The sisters were primary writers before Bruno and myself started getting involved," Jones describes. "As we grew a little older, we all became more comfortable around each other and made a decision to (try and make this) a full-time endeavor."

All four make their mark on "Fourth Wall," which according to the record's notes references "the invisible dividing wall at the front of a stage in a traditional three-walled proscenium theater, through which the audience views the performers."

The band serves up some gospel, bluegrass, R & B and traditional folk on the new disc. "Once we went back in the studio to record this record, it was pretty much musical infatuation (among us)," Jones observed.

"Now, we're going to be touring heavily and putting on a lot of miles this summer. We hope to make some new friends in the Ohio Valley (on Friday)."

Following their Barnesville gig, the Vespers travel to southeastern Ohio for this weekend's Appalachian Uprising festival.

Located at the Eden Valley Farm near Scottown, Appalachian Uprising's Saturday lineup is headlined by the Punch Brothers and also includes Mountain Heart, The Rumpke Mountain Boys, Don Rigsby and Midnight Call, Chris Jones and the Nightdrivers, Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys and the Vespers who play between 4:45 and 5:45 p.m.....


ON The Vespers website:, check out their video of bluesman Son House's "Grinnin In Your Face." That song is included on Fourth Wall and is the lone non-original on the disc....

THE June issue of Relix Magazine presents its 12th Annual Summer Festival Guide, listing a staggering 115 primarily weekend music festivals, a majority scheduled here in the U.S.

The list includes June 8-10's Arts Alive on the River Festival at Morgantown with scheduled artists Keller Williams, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Zach Deputy, The Greens and several more.

Pittsburgh's Rusted Root headlines July 4-8's Gratefulfest in Garrettsville, Oh. while Cincinnati's Bunbury Music Festival (July 13-15) welcomes Weezer, Jane's Addiction, Death Cab for Cutie, O.A.R., Guided By Voices, and others....


Friday's night's schedule includes a performance by the Tedeschi-Trucks Band at Pittsburgh's State AE with gates opening at 6:30. The husband/wife duo has just released a live album "Everybody's Talkin') which will be explored in an upcoming LL.

Pittburgh's annual Three Rivers Arts Festival opens this weekend, featuring arts, crafts and free musical entertainment.

Scheduled over the next week are: The Wailers (Friday); Kathleen Edwards (Saturday); Pittsburgh Symphony (Sunday); Dawes (Tuesday); Jonathan Richman (Thursday); and the Carolina Chocolate Drops (Friday the 8th).



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