The Fourth of July brings with it a plethora of celebrations, parades and concerts to the various venues around the area. Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum has lined up a band for Friday, July 5, that draws upon the best musical traditions of both the United States and the country against which the upstart nation rebelled.
The Weary Times, headed by singer-songwriter Ryan Curtis, are a far cry from the lethargy their name evokes.
Formed in 2015, the Boise-based band is an emerging force in Idaho rock. Years of hard work and unending gigging have eventually yielded what is for many bands the first and hardest hurdle to clear: a debut album.
The self-titled LP premieres later this month, officially going on sale on Friday, July 19. The 13-track album showcases just about all of The Weary Times’ considerable range and musical versatility.
“My musical tastes are all over the map,” Curtis said. “I love Americana, blues, rock ’n’ roll and everything in between, but I’d been kicking around the idea of old British rock for a long time.”
Much of the band’s repertoire builds upon the iconic groundwork of early British blues-rock and American garage rock from the 1960s.
Speaking of his biggest influences, Curtis cited early Rolling Stones—particularly the “England’s Newest Hit Makers” through “Out of Our Heads” years—The Animals, The Yardbirds and The Sonics. He also gave a shout-out to J.D. McPherson, whose recent albums similarly draw upon the rockabilly and rhythm-and-blues legacies of the 1950s.
While elements of early Stones and Animals certainly peek through, a listener cannot accuse The Weary Times of derivativeness or a lack of artistic originality. Their repertoire uses those classics as tried-and-true foundations on which to build innovative tracks, as many successful bands have done before them. After all, even “Johnny B. Goode” is, in essence, a 12-bar blues.
Acknowledging that those bands were, themselves, digging into the roots of an earlier blues movement, Curtis described his songwriting as “a reinterpretation of a reinterpretation.”
Prior to the formation of The Weary Times, Curtis played with Curtis/Sutton & Scavengers, primarily performing Americana and folk music.
“After playing in more of a string-based country-bluegrass band for a while, this is a nice change,” he said. “We get to rock out a bit more.”
They certainly do that. Their tracks pulsate with classic ’60s reverb, echo and electric guitar, featuring choruses that achieve what Phil Spector famously dubbed the “wall of sound.”
The concert at Whiskey Jacques’ on Friday, July 5, will mark the Boise band’s Ketchum debut. In the coming months, they have engagements set up for Stanley, Hailey and Bellevue.
Doors open at 9 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques’, with a mere $5 cover charge. To learn more about The Weary Times and listen to a few of their songs, visit thewearytimes.com. Otherwise, get ready to rock out at Whiskey Jacques’.