About a year ago, the Upstate band Remedy 58 walked into an old warehouse in Simpsonville with no heat or running water. Their intention was to set up their gear, play their songs and, with the assistance of engineer Matt Jones, record their first album live in their makeshift studio.
As it turned out, though, that plan was a lot harder than it seemed. It’s not that the band couldn’t play; the trio, singer/guitarist/keyboard player Tipton Jones-Boiter, bassist Joel Green and drummer Kirayah Spell, were all experienced players who together created a potent mix of gritty blues, deep soul and straight-ahead rock.
“We wanted to go in the studio and play like we play live and release it,” says Joel Green. “And we quickly learned that it wasn’t the best way to go.”
But for whatever reason, the initial recordings simply didn’t sound right.
“We wanted to go in the studio and play like we play live and release it,” says Green. “And we quickly learned that it wasn’t the best way to go. We didn’t use a click track” — essentially a digital metronome that the musicians can hear in their headphones — “so we had to restructure the tempos of the songs and realign them so we could actually have a listenable record.”
“It wasn‘t recorded as well as we would’ve liked,” adds Jones-Boiter. “There were a lot of technical issues, and so that was part of it, too.”
Essentially, the band had to rerecord the vast majority of their eight-song album over the course of a year (hence the title “Year One: A.D.”), and they had to do it with somebody else playing drums; by the time they started working on it, Spell had left the band. Producer/engineer Marc Robertson, who handled the new recording sessions at The Audio Dojo in Greer, got behind the kit and handled the new drum parts.
The result is an album that pulled from two different sets of recording sessions in two different places, which makes its cohesiveness all the more surprising.
“We love playing anything soulful that you can kind of get your gut into,” Boiter-Jones says of Remedy 58’s sound.
Fueled by Green’s rock-solid bass playing, Boiter-Jones’ smoky, confident vocals, blasts of fiery guitar and old-school piano and organ, “Year One: A.D.” is a winner, a lean-and-mean collection of slippery funk-rock (“Panic Attack”), aching R&B ballads (“Holding It Down”), devastating electric blues (“Someday Blues”) and dark-hued Southern rock (“Send Me Somebody”).
“We love playing anything soulful that you can kind of get your gut into,” Boiter-Jones says. “That can fall under blues or funk or rock. We’re not concerned with genre; we want to write what feels good to us, and if it doesn’t sound like the last song, that’s OK as long as it’s true to what we’re trying to get across.”
As for the result of their year-long journey, Green says he was more than a little surprised about how well the album came out.
“After we retouched it, I was blown away,” Green says. “I was almost like, ‘Is this really us?’ I couldn’t believe. It finally felt right.”
- Remedy 58 found a new full-time drummer, Mark Eshenbaugh, shortly after completing their first album.
- The band grew out of an older Upstate group called Dysfunkshun.
- Their first single, “Panic Attack,” was nominated for an Upstate Music Award.