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Interview:
The Accidentals at the Magic Bag, 5 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Accidentals didn't set out a strict five-year plan when they started playing together as high school students in Traverse City.

But they've accomplished quite a bit during 2012.

After building a nationwide grass roots following with two albums and last year's "Parking Lot" EP, and plenty of touring the trio has signed a deal with Sony Masterworks. The Accidentals are finish up work on the set; Expect an August release, with an all-star corps of guests, including Kaki King, Keller Williams and members of the Decemberists, Carbon Leaf, Lily & Madeleine and Jack White's band.

Hard work has insured there's nothing accidental about the Accidentals' rise to this point -- including the group's own brand of wine, by the way. And it certainly makes prospects likely for more good things to come...

While not necessarily surprised by the Sony deal, the Accidentals certainly understand its magnitude. "Honestly, things kind of happened organically since we started the band," Savannah Buist, 20, says by phone. "We've had the right opportunities come up, but I don't think any of us expected this to happen." Her co-founder Katie Larson, 20, adds that, "I think five years ago I thought I'd be in college at this point, doing who knows what -- not standing on a stage playing music in front of people. That would have terrified me five years ago. it still terrifies me, actually."

The Accidentals had dealt with other labels and producers in the past, including a brief relationship with fellow Michigander Marshall Crenshaw, but opted to stay independent. Masterworks, however, won the group over with a music-centric philosophy as well as an eclectic roster that include Yo-Yo Ma, Brandford Marsalis, the Piano Guys, Robert Randolph and others. "We feel like we're the nerdiest ones on there, but it's a good dynamic. Sony Masterowrks is definitely the nerdy branch of Sony," Buist says. "It's a lot of people who are really geeky and musical and do a lot of genre-blending, which is really cool. It's exciting to share the roster with them but really terrifying to share the roster with them." "It sets up all these expectations and goals," Larson adds.

The new album was recorded in Asheville, N.C. and Nashville and will mix brand new songs with material the Accidentals -- which also includes percussionist Michael Dause and new adjunct member Jake Allen on keyboards -- have been playing live for years but never recorded. "With this album we've really had a chance to sit on the songs for years -- two, three, even four years," Larson says. "We've been hashing them out live, so we knew them so well by the time we were in the studio we had the best versions together we could."

Having guest be part of the project added a new wrinkle for the Accidentals as well. "I think we really appreciated that opportunity, just because it helped open up some of the arrangements for the new songs," Larson explains. "For a lot of these songs we've heard the way they are for a long time, so it was cool to get someone else's ideas on there, especially to work with artists we love. The whole goal for this album is exploring different genres and morphing genres and combining genres and making something...undefinable."

The Accidentals are playing their way down to this year's South By Southwest conference and festival, where they've been a hit the past two years, and will be part of the annual Remember The Child Dick Wagner charity concert on March 24 in Detroit as well as the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury. The summer looks to be busy as well, both before and after the album release. "It's going to be a lot of summer festivals," Buist says. "We're going to do a Colorado and Texas run. I'm sure we'll be out there just pushing the album. We tour a lot anyway, so this won't be any different."

The Accidentals

Thursday, March 2. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

Tickets are $15.

Call 248-544-1991 or visit themagicbag.com.


Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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