Americana rock band The Congress comes back to Steamboat
December 25, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Scott Lane went home to Richmond, Va., for the Christmas holiday, taking an eight-day break from touring with his Denver-based, roots-rock band The Congress.
It was the longest break the band has taken in its short but intense two-year history.
The Congress has been playing 15 shows per month since its inception, but Lane, one of two guitarists in the quartet, still played a gig with some old friends while on vacation back East.
"I just don't really feel like I could go that long," he said about playing music. "It's the only thing that I do. I've done some different things. I used to work at a locally owned bank. I've had my hands in some different pots.
"I guess (music is) just the most open form of communication I've ever had, both with each other on stage and with the people that are listening. Something just feels really human about it."
The Congress has played four times in Steamboat, all at the Ghost Ranch Saloon. The band will play its first Old Town Pub show Wednesday. The cover is $5 at the door, and the show starts at 9:30 p.m.
The band comprises Mark Levy on drums, Todd Herrington on bass and Lane and Jonathan Meadows on guitar. The dueling guitarists, who know one anther from their hometown of Richmond, interact in both songwriting and guitar playing in the tradition of bands like the Allman Brothers and the Rolling Stones.
It's those influences of rhythm and blues, British rock 'n' roll and Southern soul that keep a driving tempo through their improvisational and psychedelic tendencies, rooting their sound into a genre often called "Americana."
Whatever that means.
"It's hard to understand what anyone means by that," Lane said about the term often ascribed to The Congress. "A lot of people tend to say it and mean they're slightly roots influenced — whatever roots-influenced means. But I think that means we are paying homage to the tradition of American songs."
Though the band's sound throws back to the 1960s and '70s, Lane said there are several contemporary artists who embody the soul of that era, such as Adele, Wilco and My Morning Jacket, with whom The Congress played High Sierra Music Festival this past summer.
Although primarily a live band, The Congress just got back into the studio to record their first full-length album, due for release in May.
If he had it his way, Lane said he'd love to live in a recording studio and go to work on the live stage.
"Long live rock 'n' roll," he said.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com
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