In Their Words: “‘Faint Outline’ is straight from what I think of as some of my most vivid sensory childhood memories. Approaching the Rocky Mountains across Western Kansas in an old panel van, alley light coming through the bedroom window playing shadows on the ceiling above the top bunk. We think we have our memories, distinct and concrete, but how malleable and practiced do they become? The Echoplex guitar was inspired by the Hannah Montana Karaoke machine I was playing my Tele through while writing the song.” — Nathan Earle, The Get Ahead
Portland band The Get Ahead is a close-knit group of musicians. They're five close friends, including two couples—one of which just became new parents. It's really like one big musical family. The band's upcoming album, "Deepest Light," features vocalist Juliet Howard on the cover in the midst of her pregnancy. The band says the art was meant to "celebrate the glorious and magical creative power of women." While some told the group that the cover might deter some listeners, the band didn't shy away. "Deepest Light" is a record meant to cover everything life has to offer.
The work of Portland, Oregon neo-Americana outfit The Get Ahead is happily free of any specific musical allegiance. The band was formed in 2012 through a mutual affection for classic soul, gospel, and R&B music, with each member bringing a complex but welcoming rhythmic history to the group. As they developed their sound, they began to incorporate folk and pop inspirations into an already intricate mix of influences. The resulting sound is as introspective as it is prone to inspire spontaneous bouts of dancing.
Portland group The Get Ahead is a 5-piece soulful Americana band set to release a new EP, “Mind is a Mountain,” Oct. 13.
The recording’s stirring title song was written by frontman Nathan Earle after a traumatic event in his family.
“I wrote this song about the experience of rushing to my youngest brother Josiah’s bedside after receiving word he had suffered a major stroke,” Earle said. “This title track and the EP itself are dedicated to Josiah and his ongoing recovery. We have always felt that there is a broader and more universal message present in the song as well.”
04 Mind is a Mountain – The Get Ahead (from the album Mind is a Mountain due October 13, 2017)
The Roots of The Get Ahead take hold in Portland, Oregon as the band blend a stew of American music, stirring Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Rock’n’Roll into “Mind is a Mountain”. The tune is the title track from their upcoming (October 13, 2017) release.
“These songs are snapshots of an American life culled from experience with what we feel are universal messages,” says The Get Ahead co-leader, singer-songwriter, guitarist Nathan Earle.
The Americana soul quintet’s latest EP, Mind Is A Mountain (Jullian Records), is a watershed artistic entry born from tragedy, profound relationship shifts, frustrating band lineup reshuffles, and a highly transformative experience working with Grammy Award-winning producer, Son Little (The Roots, RJD2, and Mavis Staples).
Despite their name, Americana quintet the Get Ahead has hit plenty of bumps on the road traveled so far. Yet, they don't shy away from the tragedies and frustrations that they've faced together as a musical family. It's an instrumental part of what makes their upcoming record, Mind Is a Mountain, so compelling.
The Get Ahead – “Mind Is a Mountain”
-Whether you call it blues rock, jam rock, or just high quality rock and roll, this is a kickass song. The beat really gets you grooving, the vocal harmonies are perfect, and it embodies that seventies vibe that seems to be missing in music today. The lyrics are interesting, dancing with themes of wisdom and survival.
"On the group’s first full-length album, the 40-minute, self-released Volcano, the Get Ahead showcases a soulful, party vibe dripping with passion, RnB and slowly-simmering rock. On most of the 11 tracks, singer Juliet Howard and guitarist Nathan Earle trade vocals while they sing about couples stumbling into mutual attraction, women rushing into infatuation and kicking out cheating lovers."
"Defying the typically melancholy, indie folk that comes out of Portland, Oregon, The Get Ahead offers a refreshing blend of blues, rock, funk, soul and R&B on its debut full-length, Volcano. The five-piece band impresses as much on rave-ups such as “Too Hot” and “Dollars to Doughnuts” as it does on such slow-burn grooves as “Moonstricken” and “Face Up.” The dual vocals of Juliet Howard and Nathan Earle are played up to particularly good effect on “Little Devil,” its funky breakdown highlighting the power of Steve Johnson’s dirty sax. "
"A bluesy jangle sparks through the speakers from the opening song on The Get Ahead’s new album and I am immediately hooked. The album is titled Volcano and the song, Could Be Better, acts thusly, gaining energy with drums thrumming and then the slow moan of a low slung saxophone. The vocals enter into the mix and the tempo slows down slightly, giving the listener a sense of calm before the storm…then the chorus explodes into a raw, gritty fury, drawing the listener to their feet."
"The Band’s Gritty Take on Rock’n’Soul Infuses Classic Sounds with a Powerful Modern Energy
When The Get Ahead launches into “Little Devil,” their sensual groove fills the room with a tense energy that explodes into ecstatic jubilation when Juliet Howard’s Alison Moyet meets Etta James vocals start dueling with Nathan Earle’s passionate tenor. Steve Johnson’s punchy Memphis-influenced sax and Earle’s funky, chattering guitar accents complete the band’s brimstone and honey approach, one that’s driven home by the inventive rhythms of Sean Farrell’s bass and Phil Medina’s drums. The band lights up the stage and that power carries over to every track on Volcano, their debut full-length album."
"The pair's seemingly innate vocal embodiment of soul pioneers like Sam Cooke, James Brown, and Etta James propels them into a relatively quiet corner of Portland's music community. Rest assured, their debut LP,Volcano, is a loud statement, percolating with funk grooves and Howard's husky voice, with tasteful saxophone, chirpy guitar accents, and downright dance-worthy jams. "