Wednesday, July 5, 2023 - 7:30 pm
Sophia Griswold opens.
Eagle, Idaho, the fourteen track full-length LP continues upon the path the Lyme, CT trio, The Brazen Youth, set for themselves with this October 2022’s Changing EP. The record was born out of shared experience as three friends confronted a beloved parent’s sudden passing, and navigated the early years of an adulthood stilted by the warped reality of the pandemic.
Eagle, Idaho is the namesake of The Brazen Youth’s new album, but might have well remained an anonymous collection of subdivisions to the band and their listeners if not for a fateful phone call. The band were on the road with a few days off in the suburb nestled in the Boise Foothills when they got word the father of band member Charles Dahlke had passed away. They had all been living with the elder Dahlke for the past couple of years, so the news hit them collectively as the loss of a certain foundation of the group. “It felt like things were going to be different from that moment on,” remembers Micah Rubin, “and they were.”
And for long time fans of the band, the change will certainly be palpable. Having just escaped the bounds of high school at the time, The Brazen Youth’s early releases are colored and influenced by a kind of wonder and expectation preceding the new experiences and adventures that lay ahead of them in life. Eagle, Idaho on the other hand, sees the group stepping through the looking glass into adulthood, perhaps a little sooner and suddenly than one might hope to, and carries the weight of the ensuing years and life events that followed.
As they have with past releases, The Brazen Youth recorded the new album at Charlie’s Ashlawn Recording Company studios at Ashlawn Farm. The studio itself has grown up with the band, as has Charlie’s production prowess, to the point where musicians now come cross country to record there. But for nearly two months, The Brazen Youth had the studio to themselves, and woke up every day to record something new for Eagle, Idaho. Along the way they were heavily influenced by the freeness and liberty they heard on records like the Charles Mingus and Joni Mitchell collaboration Mingus, Paul Simon’s Graceland, the discography of Arthur Russell and Big Thief’s Two Hands. The record was entirely produced by the band, but inspired by Great Grandpa’s Four of Arrows, they reached out to that album’s producer/mixer Mike Vernon Davis to mix Eagle, Idaho.
Making peace with the internal and external chaos of life can seem daunting, but The Brazen Youth create a world with sound and lyricism that while certainly not answering life’s great questions, goes a long way to setting the listener more at ease with not knowing. “I think I’ve realized that the goal of my life is not to be happy,” reflects the group’s Nic Lussier, “happiness is an inevitably fleeting state. So that goal appears unrealistic. I think my true ambition in life is to simply be at peace. That’s a theme that has found its way into the album, and into our songwriting as a band as we’ve gotten a little older.” That’s not to say Eagle, Idaho is a capitulation to time’s cruel march, but rather as Lussier describes it, “a reflection and romanticization of a prior life while coming to an acceptance of imperfect love and naked reality.”
The Brazen Youth are a band formed within the otherworldly vacuum of the 300-year-old Ashlawn Farm, located in Lyme, Connecticut and consisting of Nic Lussier, Charles Dahlke and Micah Rubin.
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"Sophia Griswold is a funk, R&B, and soul trombonist, vocalist, and performer. As the leader of the band Sophia Griswold and The Grizzlies, she specializes in playing popular music with a unique emphasis on the horn section. Her band pulls from Trombone Shorty's modern twist on trombone and Bruno Mars' high energy and stage presence. She most recently spent six months performing in the official band of the World Expo in Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai. There, she opened for various artists such as Christina Agulera, Norah Jones, and Jason Derullo. Sophia is currently a student at Berklee College of Music and a member of the official band for New England's major league rugby team. She is a former member of groups including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra and the 2019 All-National Jazz Band. She has performed at internationally recognized venues such as The Newport Jazz Festival and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. National television appearances include Emirates TV and Abu Dhabi TV."