The Appalucians play music from the mountains of Western North Carolina, featuring spirited songwriting, sublime harmonies, and a layered interplay between dobro, guitars, harmonica and banjo. The band is the musical union of two couples Jay Brown and Aditi Sethi and Angie Heimann and Cas Sochacki who met at their kids’ preschool, gradually realized their seemingly cosmic musical alignment, and decided they better start a band.Their debut album “Bright Hills,” recorded at Higher Ground Studio in Birmingham, AL, released in early summer 2018, has flavors of mountain music, 70’s folk-rock and barroom twang.
The moniker “the Appalucians” belies the band’s playful relationship with words, pairing their often mountain-esque sound with the root word “lucia” (latin for “light.”)The Appalucians’ repetoire, comprised mainly of songs penned by Ohio-born Angie Heimann (guitar, vocals, banjo,) and Alabama native Jay Brown (guitar, vocals, harmonica) explores themes both dark and light, connecting to the peaks and valleys of the human experience. Brown’s other projects include rhythm/roots band Lazybirds, his solo work as a one-man-band, and Aditi and Jay, duet project with his wife Aditi Sethi. Heimann's other projects include performing solo as well as with fellow Appalcuian Cas Sochacki in the California-born folk group the Blushin’ Roulettes.
The life experiences of the band members have contributed largely to both the depth and the playfulness of their music’s running themes. India-born, Georgia raised Aditi Sethi (bass, vocals) works as an end-of-life care physician and doula. Jay Brown works as a music therapist in hospice. As songwriters, Jay Brown and Angie Heimann are often both drawn to themes of the passing of time in life and the great beyond. All members of the Appalucians have endured the deaths of dear friends and bandmates in their musical pasts, which informs the depth of their performance in songs like “Rhythm in the Wind,” “Hailbop” and “Summerlawn.”
The band’s sillier side is expressed in off-the-cuff witty stage banter, and funny songs like “Don’t Bother Me,” a song for parents of young children, penned by Cas Sochacki- (dobro, occasional baritone vocals.) Sochacki also engineers Farmstead Studio, the birthplace of the side project “Old Mill Radio Hour” a comedy/music show which includes writing and music of members of the Appalucians, Lazybirds and Blushin’ Roulettes.
The Appalucians toured California and Alaska in the summer of 2018 to celebrate the release of their debut album Bright Hills.
Review from The Alternate Root
The Appalucians (from the album Bright Hills available as a self-release)
A pre-school isn’t the most fertile ground for a musical group formation but even the most unlikely locations can serve as a catalyst for band-making. Two sets of parents met at said pre-school, and small talk during a drop-off or pick-up revealed musical similarities; The Appalucians were formed and little time wasted on the recording front.
The Appalucians debut, Bright Hills, is a record of loose acoustic country, subtle twang and southern charm, an album that has harmonies for miles.
Bright Hills starts with a 1-2-3 punch of greatness. Opener “Bloom in the Seed” sets a laid-back vibe; “Forty Seven Main” is does dual-duty as a train and escape song where the narrator just wants to go somewhere to ‘just be another Jane’, right into “Champagne Annie”, a country rock torn from the pages of The Flying Burrito Brothers. Stop right there and you’ve got the folk E.P. of the year. Fortunately, they don’t.
“Don’t Bother Me” is an almost spoken word tune in the vein of Country Dick Montana (The Beat Farmers) and “One Man Woman” is like a bit of country Motown. The final track is “Sweet Later On”, a mournful gospel number with the instruments hushed behind the vocals….. a beautiful closer. The dominant instruments on this Bright Hills remain dobro and harmonica, lending a bluegrass and blues vibe. The Appalucians hit on all the great parts of roots music, Bright Hills a harmony driven album of folk, bluegrass and cosmic country. (by Bryant Liggett)
Listen and buy the music of The Appalucians from AMAZON