When the local roots rock act Rambler 454
got its start some 12 years ago, the band (singer-guitarist Dan McCoy, guitarist Rick, bassist Cooter and drummer Jessie) took a pretty straightforward approach to recording. “The first album came about after Dan and Cooter worked on some tunes and then we recorded them as a group,” says Jessie. “They weren’t songs that we played live or that we knew. We just got together and what it sounds like on the first or second take is what it is.”
The band took that same approach on its new studio release, Wire and Wood,
its first studio offering in six years. The disc commences with the catchy rocker “Charleston Early,” a song the band wrote while in Charleston, South Carolina, the town bassist Cooter now calls home. The group recorded the disc, which has the raw, reckless energy of Uncle Tupelo, in Willoughby at Closed Studios.
“We recorded very quickly,” says Jessie. “Dan was hired to play a wedding for a couple that was getting married just outside of Charleston. He extended his trip and stayed with Cooter. They wrote a bunch of tunes and then circulated them to me and Rick. We met up at the studio having never played the tunes before and just did it. On the new album, you can hear the influence of alt-country acts like Lucero but you can also hear the punk stuff that Dan likes — bands like the Dropkick Murphys. There’s also blue-collar working man’s rock and moments that are Springsteen-like.”
Despite the distance between band members, the group plans to play one or two shows a year in the Cleveland area each year and hosts a CD release show at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 20, at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern