Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    The Revivalists come to Druid City Music Hall

    Travis Shinn

    Nine years ago Zack Feinberg was riding his bicycle around a New Orleans neighborhood when he came across David Shaw sitting on his front porch playing guitar. This chance encounter was the beginning of what is now the soulful rock group The Revivalists.

    Since that day in 2007, the band, which will be performing at Druid City Music Hall on April 16, has released three full-length albums, toured 45 states and recruited a family of fans along the way. Feinberg, who plays guitar, and Shaw, lead vocalist, are joined with Ed Williams on pedal steel guitar, Rob Ingraham on saxophone, George Gekas on bass, Andrew Campanelli on drums, and Michael Girardot on keys and trumpet to form this staggering seven piece group with southern roots and rock ‘n’ roll vibes. 

    When listening to “Upright” on the band’s 2014 album “City of Sound,” it is impossible not to notice the standout saxophone solo about halfway through the song. The man behind the sax is Ingraham, who humbly chooses songs where he doesn’t solo as his favorites to perform.

    “An easy answer would be to pick any song where I’ve got some big long solo, but I think I’m going to try to avoid doing that and say ‘All in the Family,’” Ingraham said. “It’s a really fun song that’s got a lot of different bits and pieces. It’s just very energetic and gets everybody into it.”

    “All in the Family” is just one song of many that has entranced The Revivalists’ fans since the group touring and making music. With each stop on the road in any given part of the country, they are greeted with a variety of both young and old, and Ingraham appreciates the idea of having music a diverse group of people can enjoy. 

    “The thing I’m most proud of about our fans is when I’ll see like a college student and her dad go to a show together,” Ingraham said. “That’s something that always means a lot to me because her dad probably grew up with way cooler music than anybody my age did, so it’s always like ‘Yes! That guy had the Beatles growing up and he’s coming here!’ It means something to me.”

    The band’s sound has been described as everything from funk to soul, indie to danceable, and most famously, rock. But Ingraham himself sometimes has difficulty defining it. 

    “It’s so hard to categorize your own sound,” Ingraham said. “Either way you’re going to sound pretentious by being like, ‘We’re post-neo modern classic whatever,’ or going the other direction and saying ‘We don’t have a genre,’ so I usually just kind of give up and say, ‘We’re a rock band I guess.’”

    No matter what words you want to use to describe their sound, the songs speak for themselves. Their album “City and Sound” brings together studio sound, whereas for their most recent “Men Amongst Mountains” they returned to a live performance feel. For both albums their recording process has grown and changed as their sound has.

    “The process has definitely developed a bit over the years,” Ingraham said. “We mature a little bit and get a little more used to the idea of being in the studio. We’ll track the song together then listen to how it sounds when we’re playing all of our parts, then we’ll get into an editing process, and then go back one by one and fix things.”

    Ingraham has been playing the saxophone since he was 12, but he said he always has more to learn, both in his own instrument and performing in general. 

    “I try to never really be satisfied and think I’m good enough at this instrument,” Ingraham said. “Whenever I listen to someone else playing the saxophone I try to think what are they doing that I can’t do, as opposed to why am I better than this guy. It comes down to always wanting to be better. Obviously I’m never going to be perfect, but it’s the idea of chasing something you’ll never really be able to capture.”

    Fresh off their first national television appearance on The Today Show this week, the future is pretty bright for this group of seven. With each performance more fans are jumping on board their musical ride, and it looks as if 2016 will be no different as they play the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival later this month, Hangout Musical Festival in May, and a slew of other venues and festivals across around the U.S. throughout the rest of the year.

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