This week was all about Austin to Boston for me. I was blown away by this freeing documentary about four indie bands touring literally from Austin to Boston in 5 old VW camper vans. You must have heard about most of them by now. It’s Bear’s Den, Ben Howard, The Staves and Nathaniel Rateliff.
I have decided to write about the musicians in it instead of reviewing the documentary itself. I will leave this work to film critics. The main characters’ background stories was the only thing that was “itching” me after watching Austin to Boston. You can check movie review here.
Ben Howard (folk/rock) seemed to be the most popular musician from the documentary since he already had a huge fan base in UK.
Ben’s roots comes from Devon, near Totnes. Unsurprisingly, he was raised by musical parents who exposed him to their favourite records from the 60s and 70s, such as John Martyn, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel, by whom he was strongly influenced.
Believe it or not, in 2014 he was chosen to appear on the 10 Totnes pound note. Another crazy fact – before Ben decided to focus on making music full-time, he was studying Journalism at University College Falmouth, Cornwall.
He self-released his debut EP Games in the Dark (2008) followed by two more EPs, These Waters (2009) and Old Pine (2010). He has also released two studio albums with Island and Communion – Every Kingdom (2011) and I Forget Where We Were (2014).
The Staves (acoustic/folk rock) is a sisters’ trio (Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor) from Watford, Hertfordshire. They started performing at open-mic nights at a local pub which led to forming a band. And here they are – talented young women who not only can sing but also write lyrics, compose music, manage and…what else do you want??? Before Austin to Boston documentary, The Staves already had one album (Dead & Born & Grown) and a couple of awesome EPs released. According to the latest news girls joined Bon Iver for the Asia tour in late February 2016. Have a nice time in Asia, The Staves!
Nathaniel Rateliff (folk/blues rock) is a singer and songwriter from Hermann, Missouri. I have no idea where he was before or why he isn’t known as much as he supposed to be because this guy is a legend! Rateliff’s lyrics are so sincere and deeply touching that he doesn’t need anybody else on the stage. His personal story was one of the most developed in the movie since everybody else were talking only about the tour and experience in it. This guy has released three solo albums and two albums with a band. Even though he looks pretty cool on stage on his own, now he has a band called Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
Bear’s Den (alternative/indie rock) – band formed in West London in 2012. Andrew Davie, Kevin Jones and Joey Haynes met each other while hanging around with a bunch of creative people, going to bars and playing music together. I would say that Bear’s Den is pretty much nowadays hippies. Even their first video clip Elysium was made without any actors or professional help. People in it are their friends!
Austin to Boston was actually the first tour as a band for these guys. After that, they released their debut album, Islands, and according to the latest news lost one band member – Joey Haynes has decided to leave the band since it takes too much of his personal time, you can find his “bye bye” letter here.
P.S. There is always something behind the lyrics…
P.P.S. my most favourite discovery after watching Austin to Boston was song The Fear by Ben Howard.