Press Release - December 9, 2009
The HEAP will play The Tabernacle 12/26 supporting Drivin' n Cryin'
Sideman brings his own 'HEAP' of Indie-Soul to Atlanta's Tabernacle
Bryan J. Howard has toured with the Violent Femmes as part of the Horns of Dilemma and played bass with Jim White, Sarah Lee Guthrie and is a full time member of Kevn Kinney's Sun Tangled Angel Revival. Several years ago, he was motivated to use his downtime to start an original project with multiple bass players.
The idea that became the HEAP was born out of discussions and informal rehearsals with fellow Athens bassist, Jeff Rieter (Baghouse, Bain Mattox, hey, Revolution!). The two embraced the idea of creating music that had soul at its core. The HEAP was gradually fleshed out with drummer Ian Werden (Slackdaddy, Vinyl Strangers , Dodd Ferrelle), a four piece reed and brass section (a.k.a the HEAP Horns) consisting of tenor player- Marc Gilley ( who has worked with Dave Brubeck), trumpet-Jeff Crouch (Wadada Leo Smith), alto-Chris Costigan (Gunnison) and bari sax- Kate Mikulka (daughter of The Velvet Underground's Moe Tucker) , as well as old school keys (organ/ electric piano) provided by Jack Stirling (Legendary JCs) , and the live percussion of Diego Catalan (Madeline, Don Chambers).
A 9 piece HEAP-ing helping of original indie-soul stew- the HEAP played its first show supporting Kevn Kinney in May 2007. Over the course of the two years that followed, the HEAP performed regionally and recorded their independent debut- Deluxe, co- produced by Matt Yelton (Pixies) and Bill Doss (Apples in Stereo, Sunshine Fix, Olivia Tremor Control). Presented "old school style", the recording features instrumental versions of all the tracks in addition to the primary vocal versions. In 2009, the HEAP was nominated for a Flagpole Music Award in the Funk/Jam category along with fellow Athenians- Widespread Panic. In late 2009, the HEAP re-entered the studio to begin recording a follow up to Deluxe for a Spring 2010 vinyl and digital release.
Despite borrowing from another decade's approach to recording and instrumentation, the HEAP's sound is something new, yet not altogether unfamiliar. Howard's baritone vocal delivery combined with tube- crunched out tenor bass, soulful organ and wurlitzer, theHEAP Horns' punctuated harmony and riffing, and laid back upright bass bass grooves underpinned by kinetic dance friendly drums and percussion yield a sound that distinctly recalls southern soul roots while never letting you forget that we are "in the future now!"