The setup: Local string band The Repeating Arms celebrates the release of its great new debut CD, “The Early Drive E.P.,” at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton on Saturday, March 16.
Members: Harold Hensley (lead vocal, acoustic guitar), Max Nunery (lap steel, banjo, lead guitar, backing vocals), Chip Pritchard (upright bass) and Ira “Sonny” Alsept (drums, mandolin).
Origin story: The Repeating Arms formed in Miamisburg in spring 2012 after Hensley and Nunery were introduced by Alsept.
Final puzzle piece: “We put an ad on Craigslist for an upright bass player, and Chip was the first to answer the ad,” Nunery said. “We knew after the first meeting that Chip’s energy and skill were exactly what we wanted.”
Getting to the roots: The four local musicians have come together to create a tasty batch of mostly acoustic modern Americana tunes that draws on elements from traditional country, bluegrass and folk rock.
Original material: “Our songwriting usually starts out with an individual idea or lick from either me or Harold,” Nunery said. “Harold writes most of the lyrics with collaborations here and there. The music is mainly written by Harold and me in the living room on acoustics and banjo. After the initial song idea is born we bring it into the full-band setting to forge the arrangements.”
Contemporary acoustic: The band’s original material is buoyed by a strong sense of songcraft, skilled musicianship and indelible melodies. Beautiful songs such as “Where We Begin” and “Pigeon” fit perfectly on a playlist alongside national buzz bands like Mumford & Sons, The David Mayfield Parade and The Lumineers.
Attic pickers: “We recorded this EP in the attic of my house in Miamisburg,” Nunery said. “The knotty pine walls made for a great live room. We had Randy Buhr, the drummer from Dayton punk band Shut Up!, help with engineering this DIY project.”
The future is bright: “The Early Drive E.P.” is only a teaser for what The Repeating Arms has to offer, but this is essential for fans of sweet-sounding homegrown music. There isn’t a clunker in the bunch, and with only five songs on the E.P., you’ll be happily keeping this release on repeat play.
Up next: “The next step for us as a band is to complete an LP,” Nunery said. “We have about 14 songs we are currently working and re-working for that release.”
More local talent: Saturday’s stellar bill also features roots rockers The New Old-Fashioned, supporting its late 2012 full-length debut, and local singer-songwriter Kris N.
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