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Interview:
String Band Gets A Led Zeppelin Lift
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



The worlds of former Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones and the Colorado-based old-time string band Uncle Earl would seem to be markedly different.

But that didn’t stop Jones from producing the quartet’s sophomore album, “Waterloo, Tennessee,” which comes out March 13.

“We met him about a year and a half ago at Rockygrass, a bluegrass festival in Colorado,” says KC Groves, a Dearborn native who formed Uncle Earl in 1999 in Ann Arbor, shortly before she moved to the Rocky Mountain State. “We had a bar gig, too, and somehow talked him into sitting in with us. He was going to play a song or two and ended up playing the whole set.

“So when it came time to choose a producer, of course his name came up, but it seemed like fantasyland. But, y’know, sometimes you just have to ask, so we did and he said he’d do it.”

Groves says she and her bandmates wanted to give Jones “free reign” over the project, but that he turned out to be “a very hands-off producer,” concerned mostly with “getting the best sounds possible.” In the end, she notes, “everything happened pretty organically, without a lot of micro-managing.”

And that, in turn, allowed “Waterloo, Tennessee” to be “a really good refl ection of what our band sounds like and where we are in our career. We’ve been playing together for even longer than we had for the first album (2005’s ‘She Waits for Night’), and after all those hours on the road, there’s this thing — the vibe or the groove — that happens. I think that comes through really well on the record.”



Uncle Earl performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (March 4) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $15. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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