We Lit Up The Shea: Featuring Barefoot Truth
Friday, December 29, 2017, 8:00 pm
A Thank You Show for Berkshire Brewing Company and for all of our major donors for making The Light Up The Shea campaign a success. Doors 7:30/ Show 8:00. Tickets Advance $25.00/ $30.00 Door.
A true a symbol of genuine independent music success, Barefoot Truth’s dedicated and ever expanding grassroots following, including more than 28 million plays on Pandora (as of January 2016), has been built one listener at a time.
It wasn’t planned this way. In the beginning, it wasn’t a band, it wasn’t even a concept. It was just two friends getting together and doing what they loved most. Will Evans (guitar, drums, vocals) and Jay Driscoll (acoustic, electric, Weissenborn guitars) met in Mystic, CT shortly after graduating high school, and they spent much of that summer playing music together, often strumming guitars and singing on the beach. Come fall, Evans went off to St. Michael’s College in Burlington, VT, and Driscoll headed to UMass-Amherst. Though neither knew it at the time, Barefoot Truth had already taken its first step.
They kept in touch over the school year and got together to jam when they could. And each time they did, it became more obvious–something was brewing here. So, during the summer of 2004, Evans and Driscoll put together a set of covers and original songs and began performing live as Barefoot Truth, for the first time. For the next three years, they remained an acoustic duo, performing and recording two albums (“Changes in the Weather” and “Club House Sessions”, both produced by the Grammy nominee Jack Gauthier), and crafting their own style while earning their college degrees. They had decided, at that time, to begin reaching for a fuller sound yet they still didn’t know what form that would take. But their ears were wide open.
Building the band was an organic process. Upright and electric bassist Andy Wrba caught a Barefoot Truth show at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA in 2006 introducing himself after the set. The next day, he sat in with Evans and Driscoll at a show that turned out to be his audition. To become the newest member of Barefoot Truth. A quick study, with a degree in Jazz Studies, (he learned all the songs for the first show during the 30 minute drive to the gig), Wrba brought a much-needed low end to the band’s groove, and his versatility and deep musical knowledge immediately helped shape their compositions. Garrett Duffy, a college friend of Evans’, was a budding harmonica player who initially got involved; not so much to play but to help promote the band, book some gigs, and enjoy the road trips with the boys. But once his harp talent was fully revealed, he was asked to play on a couple of tracks on “Club House Sessions.” From there, he jumped in fully as a band member, and soon his signature harmonica bends became an integral part of the Barefoot Truth sound.
Now a quartet, the band spent the 2006-07 school year practicing and playing gigs across New England and into the Midwest, spending most weekends performing for college audiences who had heard the buzz and increasingly sought them out. They were honing their sound, cultivating a grassroots following, and having a ball.
Following graduation, the show moved onto the band’s new, and current headquarters, in Mystic, CT where the set up shop devoting their full attention to their music. But there was still one more piece to the puzzle.
The last to join was keyboard player John “Wayno” Waynelovich. He was still in school studying jazz and classical piano and musical education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts when he was invited to play on their third release, “Walk Softly”, in the summer of 2007. Wayno was the final piece in what has turned out to be a complex and wildly popular musical puzzle known as Barefoot Truth.
Work on their fourth full-length CD, “Threads”, and their first as a quintet, began in the summer of 2008. Due to a busy touring schedule that included colleges, clubs, and festivals, plus a couple of EPs (“Wake the Mountain”, with Pete Francis of Dispatch, and “Life is Calling”, with Naia Kete) Released in February 2010 to great critical acclaim, “Threads” revealed how far they had come musically since 2004 and how unlimited their future potential was to become.
The band truly broke through during 2010 with ever-growing audiences who couldn’t get enough of what they had to offer. Persistent touring in support of “Threads” and their acclaimed, high- energy live act were earning Barefoot Truth a loyal fan base that flocked to shows. Meanwhile, online radio service Pandora was spreading their music to worldwide audiences. The band also provided songs and the film score for the award-winning documentary “Nature Propelled.” The single, “Threads”, also found its way into the MTV music empire, ultimately ending up in the MTV video game “Rock Band”.
It was during that time that they began work on their most accomplished recording yet, “Carry Us On,” which debuted at #10 on the iTunes Rock Charts. This release finds Barefoot Truth confidently hitting their stride and at their full power as a group.
In August 2012, after 7 years on the road, the band announced a Farewell Tour. The band stated that the “turning of a new chapter” was by no means a reflection of suffering friendships between band members. The five friends maintain that their “brotherhood bond” will never fade. Though the band maintains that their “full-time” touring days are over, they still treat their loyal following to a performance once or twice a year.
Much has changed since that summer in 2003, as Barefoot Truth has grown to become a true musical force of nature.
Posted to: Events at the Shea