The Kent-based folk-rock outfit the Speedbumps first came together in 2007 when singer-guitarist Erik Urycki, who had been busking with cellist Sam Kristoff, met drummer Patrick Hawkins and formed the group. The band's semi-acoustic music has drawn comparisons to singer-songwriter types like Jack Johnson and David Gray but doesn't clearly fit into one genre. It has a roots-rock feel and generally gets labeled Americana. The group's new album, Soil to the Seed, arrives May 5.
Recorded in an A-frame cabin in the Northwest woods of Pennsylvania, Soil to the Seed
is the second album engineered and produced by Columbus-based Jay Alton (Saintseneca, the Floorwalkers) and mastered by Ohio native Brian Lucey (Black Keys, Beck, Ray LaMontagne). It also features new members Abby Luri (vocals, guitar, banjo, keys) and Danny Jenkins (drums/percussion). Luri even co-wrote three songs on the record with lead Urycki. In addition, Urycki co-wrote a song with Akron native Chuck Auerbach (father to the Black Keys’ singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach), and the album also features mandolin player David Mayfield (brother to singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield).
Songs such as the lilting “Just Need Your Love” and "Give Me Some More" feature lush string arrangements and heartfelt vocals. Last year, the band picked up some real traction as it won an American Songwriting Award for Best Song in the Adult Alternative category. Relix
magazine also crowned the band as the winners of the January/February JamOFF. For its CD release party, the band will perform with a string section. The concert takes place at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, at the Beachland Ballroom. Oliver Oak is set to open. Tickets are $13 ADV, $15 DOS.