Texas duo brings years of shared experience to the stage
Smooth harmonies, skilled songwriting and intricate fingerpicking will be on display at Strings Music Festival next week for Jamestown Revival’s evening concert Wednesday, Jan. 26.
For the duo on stage — Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay — these are things they’ve been doing together for practically their whole lives.
“My family moved from Lubbock, Texas, to Magnolia — across the state, which was a drastic change — when I was 14,” Chance recalled. “Jonathan and I hit it off and became friends. We were thick as thieves, always getting into trouble. But we also discovered music together.”
Learning how to sing and harmonize, Clay and Chance eventually started writing what Chance called “really bad songs.”
“Hopefully, we’ve gotten a little bit better since we were teenagers,” he said.
They have. It’s evident on their latest album “Young Man,” which was released earlier this month. It’s their fourth studio album, and in it, the duo explores themes of coming of age and settling into an identity.
“Given that we had a healthy amount of time at home when we couldn’t go out and play shows, there’s a certain amount of reflection in the songs,” Chance said.
The title track wonders at identifying with past selves, and much of the album involves thinking about growing older and what Clay and Chance would tell themselves and a future generation.
The 10-song album is their first project without electric guitars — an idea that came about when working on the record with producer Robert Ellis.
“It seemed like a fun challenge,” Chance said. “And now that we’ve got a band, we have some other instruments that take the place of the electric.”
Of course, their style has evolved from the time when they were writing their own songs at 15.
While they used to describe their sound as “back porch folk rock,” there have been new influences — mainly from places, Chance said — like when they moved to California for a while or the Texas influence of being back home. But always, their sound has remained rooted in traditional folk and country with a little bit of blues mixed in.
“Young Man” is a body of work that Chance said he is very proud of.
“This is the closest we’ve been to having the songs feel like a collection,” he said. “They complement each other.”
Joining Jamestown Revival on stage for the concert will be Steamboat favorite Mipso, the Americana band from North Carolina.
The foursome wowed crowds last summer on Strings’ outdoor stage, and on Wednesday, they will return, full of new harmonies, modern progressions and captivating energy.
What: Jamestown Revival with special guest Mipso
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26
Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road
Info: Tickets start at $35 at StringsMusicFestival.com
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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