Andrew Scotchie returns to Steamboat with two shows this weekend
Andrew Scotchie’s music has earned a lot of adjectives. People have described his band’s sound as funky, jazzy, bass-heavy with brassy big band kind of stuff and high-energy rock-and-roll riffs delivering the edge.
“I think it’s just really conscious rock-and-roll,” Scotchie said.
Listen for yourself and decide how to describe it as Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats perform two nights at Old Town Pub starting at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance at otpsteamboat.com/events/andrew-scotchie-and-the-river-rats.
Scotchie’s music has evolved over the past 10 years. He spent his early twenties busking on the streets of Asheville, North Carolina, with an acoustic guitar and a friend on the harmonica. As more pieces joined the band, the music gained complexity, and as Scotchie grew older his lyrics became more aware.
“I try not to shove anything down people’s throats,” Scotchie said. “But you know, I generally like to preach a message of love, compassion, unity and injustice in my songs.”
The 30-year-old musician started playing guitar 20 years ago when he was 10. His father, Thomas Scotchie, wasn’t a musician but loved music and took Andrew to shows and festivals regularly, where he fell in love with live performances.
“The performance aspect was so captivating,” Scotchie said. “You know, it was like a superpower.”
Just a few years later, when Scotchie was 15 years old, his father was murdered. He said the emotions he felt were present in his music for many years.
“I needed an outlet as a way to get some of the frustration, anger and depression out,” Scotchie said. “And so that’s why it really became medicinal.”
Scotchie formed the River Rats just a couple years later when he was 17, and remembering the concerts his father took him to as a kid, he continues to emulate the dynamic showmanship his dad introduced him to.
Scotchie has been praised for the energy he brings to his live performances and says most of his on-stage demeanor is improvised.
“I don’t try to have anything necessarily rehearsed,” Scotchie said. “I think that some of the best performance and some of the best music is natural, and it’s primal. It’s coming from a place of authenticity.”
Scotchie will be joined by Keith Harry on bass and vocals, who has played with Scotchie for over six years. Scotchie described Harry as being introspective, trustworthy and genuine. The drummer, JC Mears, is touring with the River Rats for the first time but was friends with Harry prior.
Friday’s show is billed as a ’90s tribute. The first half of the show will feature covers of popular ’90s-era bands such as Nirvana, Oasis and Radiohead. After an intermission, Scotchie’s band will play its original music including songs from their upcoming album “Love is Enough,” planned for release this summer.
Saturday’s show will start with a tribute to metal band Black Sabbath, and will similarly transition to original songs.
“All the old rock-and-roll metal heads will get a kick out of that,” Scotchie said.
This will be the third time Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats have performed at Old Town Pub. Scotchie said he loves the venue and has developed affinity with the pub’s owner Sean Regan.
“It’s a family atmosphere they have there,” Scotchie said. “I mean, I think that that was one of the reasons that whenever we were going to start booking shows in the western part of the country, I was like, ‘well, you know Steamboat has to be the first place we hit up.’”
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at spowell@SteamboatPilot.com
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