Presentation is everything. Kingston’s The Huaraches understand this. It’s something that not enough bands put a lot of thought into. As The Huaraches are an instrumental band, it’s a necessary element to their live performance, and they do it so damn well. The four band members, guitarists Chris Wood and Adam Weaver, drummer Daniel Chalmers, and bass player Steve Sotille, dress in matching dark blue jumpsuits and sunglasses. They wear these jumpsuits at every show, no matter where they’re playing – even in the direct sunlight at a 30° summer festival. They also have two dancers in lucha libre masks and sparkling blue attire flanking the stage. The dancers don’t necessarily have choreographed moves, but they look cool as hell and that’s what matters. Their presentation is simple, non-flashy, inexpensive to produce, and incredibly effective.
So, how do you take a band that is presentation-forward and make a great album? You have great songs, great musicians, and you work with people who know how to make a record. Recorded at NOP Studios with producers Aaron Holmberg and Zane Whitfield, The Huaraches third album, Curl Up With The Huaraches, is a very alive sounding record. It comes out June 1 with an album release party at The Grad Club.
With two albums already under their belt, The Huaraches took a bit more time with this record, and added a few guests to offer a broader sound.
We thought more deliberately about song structure and melody,” says Sotille. “We took the opportunity to have fun with our friends in the studio.” Among the guest musicians are quite a few staples from the Kingston scene: Holmberg, Whitfield, Dylan Lodge, Van Sheen, Jonathan “Bunny” Stewart, Chris Trimmer and Oscar Evans.
While not entirely new to The Huaraches lineup, Curl Up With The Huaraches marks Chalmers’ recorded debut with the band.
“Dan is a joy to work with,” says Sotille. “Since day one, he fit the tunes and the band like a glove.”
Chalmers’ first ever composition, Rippin’ Delts, is one of the album’s standout tracks. The song “came to the group complete,” adds Wood. “(Chalmers) recorded and played all the instruments himself. He’s a monster.”
Where to see The Huaraches: Friday, June 1 at The Grad Club, Skeleton Park Arts Festival, Back to the Farm: MacKinnon Brothers Beer & Music Festival