Photo by Kate McCann | www.katemccannphotography.com
I knew as soon as I heard last fall’s Pack Light but Bring Everything that Philly’s Ryan Tennis would be recording in our studio in the not-too-distant future. What I didn’t know was how many folks he’d have in tow. I figured singer-songwriter, plus backing players, would equal what – three people, four tops? As we were swapping emails to coordinate plans, he sorta casually mentioned “Yeah, I’d like to bring in my nine-piece band, hope that’s cool.” NINE players?! Once the surprise wore off, and I got everyone loaded into our studio, I realized how essential the large group was. They’re called the Clubhouse Band, and it’s a testament to the community vibe of their South Philly HQ, the spot they have regular and freewheeling house concert group jams. These folks were riffing full-tilt on a rootsy chord progression with vocal harmonies, trumpet and bongo percussion before I even had all the mics plugged in. In our session we get a few different sides to Tennis’ crew – the quiet-to-exhuberant swell of “Madeline,” the contemplative “Walk On” the cathartic “Fight Song” – with local MC Max MilLionz spitting a verse – and the very introspective, pleading closer “Best for You.” Listen and download the tracks below, and look for more local live music from Tennis and the Clubhouse Band this summer.
Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head