Somewhere on the Road: Chris Carrabba’s musical wanderlust has always embraced a strong vein of American roots music, which led to him creating TWIN FORKS. The critically acclaimed folk rock Americana group that emerged from Dashboard Confessional’s hiatus has now expanded/evolved into a tour of likeminded songwriter/artists Dan Layus (Augustana) and The Social Animals under the moniker the First Annual Folsom Tour.
“There was a spirit of what and how Johnny Cash came to music,” says Carrabba of the vision behind teaming with his fellow song-driven performers. “It was always the song, the stories, the emotions first – and where they came from second. Whether it was his tv show in the ‘70s with Bob Dylan and Neil Young and the Byrds, the Highwaymen with his friends Waylon (Jennings), Willie (Nelson) and Kris (Kristofferson) or working with Rick Rubin and singing Trent Reznor and Soundgarden songs, and that’s what makes the music rich.”
Kicking off at Asbury Park’s House of Independents April 20th, the April/May Folsom Tour will focus on listening rooms and bars where the collective can connect with like-minded music lovers, in search of songs that draw on life, influences ranging from Guy Clark to the Band to their own singular eclecticism. A band of brothers or family in song, the Folsom Tour is about inspiring the players as much as it is the fans.
“When Chris called me, there was nothing to think about,” says Dan Layus, who spent much of 2016 on the road with the Dixie Chicks in Europe and the US. “Any time you can be with people who really care about the songs and writing, it lifts you up as a person and as a creator/writer. For me, it’s always about where else can I take this music… And Folsom is going to take it to places I might not get on my own, what else is there?”
Indeed. The brainchild of Carrabba and Folsom Records owner/founder Rich Egan, the Folsom Tour celebrates creativity at the heart of the song. As Egan explains, “When Chris asked about getting on the road with artists who share his vision of writing, of playing to people – and creating a small scene around the music, I thought, ‘That’s what we’ve always done. Absolutely. And we looked around. Dan was a no brainer, but finding a young/new act like The Social Animals, it brings a whole other dimension to an unplugged plugged-in situation.”
For Social Animals, whose Formative Years EP is generating a buzz, it reinforces what drives the lean rockers. Dedric Clark says, “This is everything we’re about: songs, people, connecting. We’ve been living in a van, taking these songs about our world to people who’re living that same experience where they are. Sharing a tour with Twin Forks and Dan expands what this kind of music can be and what it means to people.”
With seven dates being announced – in Cambridge, MA, Chicago, IL, Columbus, OH., New York City, Pittsburgh, PA, and Washington, DC – the triumvirate will hit listening rooms on the cutting edge. As Townes Van Zandt would say, “for the sake of the songs” and the sheer joy of playing, the First Annual Folsom Tour is dedicated to fellowship among fans, players and the music being made. And, as Carrabba says confidingly/conspiratorially, “This is only the beginning. We’re going to add dates, but more importantly, we’re going to make a lot of music in a lot of ways under this tent/umbrella/moniker/name. (but NOT brand!) Come out and see it, see it before it turns into something even more.”
TwinForks is a folk/roots/Americana collective founded by Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carabba. With an EP and LP both called Twin Forks, the male/female vocal interaction creates a certain frisson that evokes vintage country duets, old time, folk and post modern Appalachia.
Dan Layus, Augustana’s front man, released Dangerous Things in late 2016. He spent much of last year on the road solo, opening shows around the world for the Dixie Chicks, LeAnn Rimes in England and Grand Ole Opry debut.
The Social Animals hail from Duluth, Minnesota and mostly live in their cargo van. With the Formative Years EP landing summer 2016, the band is finishing their debut album The Early Twenties in Nashville at Chris Carrabba’s Deep Deep South studio with Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Uncle Tupelo) for 2017 release.
Folsom Records, based in Nashville, is an independent record company that is built on fostering a spirit of artistic freedom, collaboration and returning music to its roots/essence. Founded by Rich Egan, the man behind Vagrant Records, Folsom believes in supporting artists’ vision and focuses on raw, roots-oriented projects with the same DIY ethos that built Vagrant into one the most successful independent labels of the 2000’s.