The National Reserve, Jonah Tolchin – Tickets – Gypsy Sally’s – Washington, DC – February 22nd, 2018

The National Reserve, Jonah Tolchin

Gypsy Sally's Presents

The National Reserve

Jonah Tolchin

Thu, February 22, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Advance $10/ Day of Show $12 + Fees

This event is 21 and over

The National Reserve: Brooklyn Rock N Roll

Jonah Tolchin & Blue Sky: Rock N Roll Americana

All online sales stop at 5PM. Tickets are available at the door at 7PM unless the event is listed as sold out.

The National Reserve
The National Reserve

Sean Walsh - vocals, guitar
Jon LaDeau - guitar, vocals
Matthew Stoulil - bass
Steve Okonski - organ, Wurlitzer piano
Brian Geltner - drums, vocals

For nearly half a decade, The National Reserve has spent
its Friday nights lighting it up at a Brooklyn bar, winning over
barflies with epic sets and a remarkable breadth of songcraft and showmanship. Now, with their stunning new Ramseur Records debut album, MOTEL LA GRANGE, the band has captured every bit of that energy, emotion, and entertainment for all to hear.
Founded and fronted by singer-guitarist Sean Walsh, The National Reserve mine an archetypal musical seam, marrying gutbucket R&B, Laurel Canyon lyricism, New Orleans funk workouts, late night soul, and boozy rock ‘n’ roll to create their own timeless brand of American music. Songs like “Found Me A Woman” and the indelible title track reveal a gifted new tunesmith while masterfully reminding one and all of the simple beauty of a great American bar band – two guitars, organ, bass and drums rocking out in the corner, singing their songs to soundtrack the night.
The New Jersey-born Walsh began his musical journey amongst
New Brunswick’s all-ages house show punk scene, a formative
experience that instilled his standing belief in the power of music to create community. New inspiration came in the form of classic American artists like The Band and Bob Dylan, whose rebellious, revolutionary spirit proved especially mind-blowing.
Jonah Tolchin
Jonah Tolchin
Immediately after Jonah Tolchin finished recording his new album, 'Thousand Mile Night,' he got behind the wheel and lived it, driving from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, all the way back to his native New Jersey with guitarist Lucas Hamren in one straight shot. By the time the car finally coasted into Hamren's driveway in the early dawn light, the odometer had accumulated 998 miles. The journey wasn't quite over yet, though. Tolchin said his goodbyes, gathered his things from the back seat, and began the walk to his childhood home on nearby Clover Lane. It was precisely two more miles.

The universe is full of signs if you're open to them, and for Jonah Tolchin, there could be no clearer omen than the mileage of that epic trip: he'd had made the perfect album for the perfect moment in his life. Recorded at the legendary FAME Studios (Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin), 'Thousand Mile Night' charts the young songwriter's remarkable growth, both personally and artistically, as he digs deep into the roots of American music with a distinctly modern perspective, tackling everything from love and marriage to life on the road to loneliness and depression with a deft lyrical touch.

The album follows Tolchin's acclaimed Yep Roc debut, 'Clover Lane,' which was recorded in Nashville with a slew of special guests including Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and Deer Tick's John McCauley. NPR called Tolchin "a promising new artist who artfully occupies the gulf between old-school tradition and contemporary appropriation," while Uncut said he "demonstrates the finesse and maturity of someone like Jason Isbell," and Mojo praised him for "adding raw, punk brio to a folk-blues template." Tolchin racked up more than three million plays on Spotify with tracks from the record and toured the US and Europe extensively in support of it, sharing bills with artists like Chuck Prophet, Dave and Phil Alvin, Gregg Allman, Joseph Arthur, and more along the way. When he wasn't on the road, Tolchin was busy showing off his talents behind the board as a producer, heading to Nashville's Bomb Shelter to helm an album for Bill Scorzari and bringing bluesy soul singer Julie Rhodes to record at FAME, where he made such a powerful connection with engineer John Gifford III that he knew he had to return there for 'Thousand Mile Night.'

When it came time to record, Tolchin doubled down on the same raw approach that made 'Clover Lane' such an infectious collection, performing live as a band in the studio and recording and mixing the entire album start-to-finish in a staggering four days.

"I work very well under pressure," Tolchin explains. "If I had three weeks to make a record, I don't know what would happen. There's something about having this pressure to create on a deadline that helps me as an artist. We didn't have the luxury to over-think anything."

Tolchin once again teamed up with producer/multi-instrumentalist Marvin Etzioni, who helped shepherd 'Clover Lane,' and rounded out the band with Hamren on guitar, Michael Bosco on drums, and Jamie McFarlane (son of legendary Muscle Shoals musician Will McFarlane) on bass. Rather than prep everyone for the whirlwind sessions, though, Tolchin kept them in the dark until it was time to press record.

"I purposely didn’t show anyone besides Marvin the songs," he explains. "I don’t like anyone to chart anything out in the studio. I like them to make it up as they go along. I want everyone to play what they feel is the right thing to play."

The result is free-wheeling and instinctual, the rare sound of a group of artists discovering the magic and mystery in the songs at the same time as they reveal themselves to the listener. It all begins with album opener "Beauty In The Ugliest Days," a beautiful showcase of Tolchin's young-man-with-an-old-soul brand of heartfelt philosophy featuring a performance by Bob Marley drummer "Santa" Davis. It's a song of resilience, a gentle dose of Zen reassurance in the face of doubt that every dark cloud does indeed come with a silver lining.

"I was on an airplane sitting on the runway in Los Angeles, and I got a call from Marvin," remember Tolchin. "He had just spoken to a friend of his from school that he'd lost touch with along time ago, and it turned out this friend had been living on the streets. He said,' Marvin, I have this title for a song called 'It's Up To You To See The Beauty In The Ugliest Of Days.' He started talking to Marvin about this concept, and then Marvin called me right away, and I'd finished writing the song before we even took off."

There are some ugly days on this record, to be sure, from "Song About Home"—written during an unhappy stint living on the West Coast in the Olympia apartment complex —to "Where The Hell Are All My Friends"—an apocalyptic, Tom Waits-esque musing on time spent alone—but Tolchin takes the lesson to heart and always pushes deeper to find moments of transcendence and redemption. He embraces change and uncertainty throughout the record, singing "All the wise men say / That they know nothing at all" on "Workin' Man Blues #22" and surrendering himself to the all-encompassing power of true love on "Completely," which features Joaquin Cooder on drums. Elsewhere, "Unless You Got Faith" is an ode to trusting in your gut, "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" resurrects the Skip James classic, and "I Wonder" is a rollicking note-to-self to accept things as they are.

"I can get in these existential mindsets where I'll get very philosophical," says Tolchin. "I'll want to know the answer, and I won’t want to rest until I find it. This song was a reminder that sometimes you can just wonder about something and that’s all. There doesn’t have to be an answer. The process of wondering is one of the most beautiful things about being human."

With an album this outstanding, we don't have to wonder much about what's in store for Jonah Tolchin. It's safe to say there will be many more thousand-mile nights in his future as he takes these songs across the country and around the world, bringing beauty and truth and silver linings wherever he goes, "driving all night," as he sings, "on a little bit of faith."
Venue Information:
Gypsy Sally's
3401 K Street NW
Washington, DC, 20007