Back in 2008 at a small Nashville campfire, homeschool met public school, two sisters met two brothers, folk vocals met rock licks, and a band was forged over the flame. The Vespers are what you get when worlds collide (properly). Composed of sisters Callie and Phoebe Cryar, and brothers Taylor and Bruno Jones, The Vespers are quite the hand: two pair of two very different suits, all led by an ace-high passion for music making. From a young age, Callie and Phoebe have been synchronizing spirit and voice. They first started singing professionally around the age of 8 and 9, and around the age of 13 years old, Callie and Phoebe performed in a children’s chorus on a Dolly Parton collaboration album. The Joneses, both ex-members of southern-rock trio Fuel to the Fire, grew up under the influence of their dad’s record collection. What you get when you mix the Cryar’s and the Joneses is what you get when you mix peanut butter and chocolate: some people don’t like it, but other people (like me) enjoy it so much that they smear it on their faces. Evidence of this perfect concoction litters the group’s latest album “The Fourth Wall,” especially so on songs such as “Got No Friends,” a rabble-rousing folk cut with just enough grit to necessitate some floss afterwards. The Vespers are performers first, writing most of their songs while on the road and playing them at shows long before debuting them on records. “The Fourth Wall” is an album that exemplifies that showmanship, as Phoebe puts it, “What we were trying to do is break that fourth wall down. Just with the way we interact with the audience. That (term) really struck a chord with us.” As for the creative process behind writing and playing shows, she goes on to say that the band is “Just doing what comes naturally.” All natural, homegrown music. The Vespers have noted many artists that they enjoy listening to, but they tend to stray from taking anything away from their favorite acts, “We try not to feed back on anything that anyone else is doing creatively, that’s the integrity of our music is our sound. We can’t help but have that sound. It’s just what happens when we get together.” You can’t deny The Vespers of their originality, for one, because they won’t let you. The Cryars and the Joneses have remained steadfastly independent thus far, staying in creative control, and it has worked out well. “The Fourth Wall” came to be out of a successful Kickstarter campaign that reached its goal of $15,000, and much of their current popularity has been garnered simply by word of mouth and playing shows wherever they can. As Callie elegantly puts it: “We want to avoid selling out and signing away business control just in order for us to be famous, basically. We kinda want to get to where we can have some success and at the same time have our own independence, too.”
There you have it. No gimmicks. Straight up Nashville, hemmed by the angelic Cryar harmonies and starched to the riff by the Joneses. The Vespers have come a long way since 2008, and they’ve done it without losing sight of who they are or the importance of putting on a damn good show. Check out The Vespers this Thursday the 27th!
Doors @ 8:00 pm
$8.00 tickets available at the door and online
By: Dylan Huddleston
photos courtesy of www.thevespersband.com