1. I Will 2. Fall Down With You 3. Hours Made 4. No Guarantees 5. Storyteller 6. Did You Think of This all by Yourself? 7. Side of the Road
Stories are everywhere, if you look for them.
The Color Forty Nine hail from San Diego, California, where pretty much everything is nice. The weather and languid pace can easily lull you into a blissful complacency...or implore you to seek for more. Hence, this band mines musical stories from these surroundings, daily life, countries traveled, and the fortunate proximity of the neighboring town of Tijuana, Mexico, a whole different place altogether.
Describing it as ‘the best feature of living in San Diego, and one tragically avoided by all too many’, Tijuana is the inspiration and occasional setting for many of the lyrics for vocalist, Phil Beaumont. Stealing from autobiographical moments, and semi-fictional tales of characters encountered, and imagined, from both sides of the border and beyond, Beaumont’s lyrics explore the notion that we all seek refuge, in places, moments and people with whom, or from whom, we sometimes want to escape.
The lead track, ‘I will’, speaks to the idea of finding anonymity in a crowd and allowing ourselves to let in to the foibles of being human. Quasi-confessional, where none is necessary, it leans on the common desire to diverge from the path without losing the way. Beaumont is a director of a public elementary school, and finds refuge in music, other communities and places that provide breathing room in times of need. Working with kindred musicians allows for a less censored vulnerability in songsmithing.
Collectively, the members of the band have played throughout the world with previous and current projects such as little white teeth (Phil Beaumont), The Black Heart Procession (Matt Resovich & Jason Hooper), the Album Leaf (Matt Resovich), Maquiladora (Phil Beaumont), System’s Officer (Jason Hooper) and the John Meeks Band (John Meeks, Matt Resovich). The band members have also sat in with the likes of Eric Bachmann and Pinback as touring members.
As multi-instrumentalists, each member gets to stray from their previous roles to find new musical connections to song writing. As a bass player for most of his life, Beaumont picked up, by happenstance, a baritone ukulele to travel with more easily, and thus was the genesis of the songs on this, the band’s first outing. Matt Resovich plays violin and Casiotone through the many effects pedals he builds himself. Jason Hooper, a highly sought after drummer, picks up the bass for the Color Forty Nine, and John Meeks, typically the front man to his own band, falls back on his drum-core days to fill out the rhythm section. Their musical home is the attic of a 1910 home in Sherman Heights, where each rehearsal begins with a family style meal of good food and better wine.
This first, self-titled ep is a collection of songs recorded over the past 9 months; a reflection on San Diego’s slow pace perhaps. The band has collaborated extensively with film-maker Grant Reinero on a variety of videos to accompany the songs. Shooting in locations such as Tijuana and in collaboration with installation artists. Collaboration is a strong suit for The Color Forty Nine whose members have worked on a variety of soundtracks for film, theater and documentaries. Already working on songs for a follow up record, they recently went to TIjuana’s mariachi plaza to collaborate on a song reflecting the absurdity of the current push for a wall between the two countries.