Formed in 2007 by turn-of-the-21st Century student musicologists who plugged in, The1921a is blasting it's way through the crowded field of Southern California bands like a Prohibition Era tommygun with it's eclectic, and electric, revival of folk music traditions. Unlike the majority of super generic garage bands that sample everything and can barely play instruments and can't read music, Jake Faulkner, Kris Hutson, Zac Sokolow, Alex Platt, and Joel Morrison are studied, accomplished musicians with a collective curiosity about the history of American music that runs wide and deep. Though based in Venice, CA, together the band members can claim 25 states as former residences. Early exposure to various local air waves cooked up a gumbo of influences and traces of everything from country radio, modern rock, and lonesome high plains guitar picking. These ingredients can be found in their musical repertoire along with scraps of traditional cakewalks and rags, Tin Pan Alley, Hard Bop, Rockabilly and of course Rock 'n Roll. State-of-the-art meets blast-from-the-past sewn together with the artful delicacy of an embroidery needle and then shredded with frenetic whacks of the ax. Identifying the band members by musical instruments isn't applicable since they all play everything. At live shows, the members are moving all over the stage, passing around their instruments like tools on a construction site. This instrumental virtuosity gives the band's dense sound a unique, shifting signature and allows it to fit comfortably up and down the radio dial - from top 40 country to college indie to orthodox hard rock stations. Faulkner created the WPA record label (shorthand for Working Performers of America, the acronym is a nod to FDR's progressive Workers Project Administration) as a home for his own band as well as other groups like Water Bears who creatively, and playfully, subvert the folk ballad tradition as well as Patrick Ferris and Jenna Caravello who effectively, and touchingly, recreate it.
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