There’s an acronym out there, FFO, that for those who don’t know means For Fans Of. Eclectically delightful Asheville soul rockers The Freeway Jubilee would be FFO [insert jam band name here].
The Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic- you name it.
Consisting of Adam Clayton (keyboards, vocals), Jonathan Clayton (guitar, vocals), Kenny Crowley (bass, vocals), Hunter Parker (saxophone), and Cartwright Brandon (drums), the group initially formed in 2015, and through their vibrant sound has sought to cultivate positivity, especially through life’s challenges.
Primarily self-produced at their home studio in Asheville and pressed at Citizen Vinyl, the band’s latest record, On The Horizon Vol. 1, is a 7-track collection of songs that incorporates a variety of genres: from classic rock, to funk, to jazz, to blues and back again. Although a modest seven songs, the tracklist consists of not one, but two 9-minute songs (“Not The Same” and “Rugged & Free,” respectively) that seamlessly blend the worlds of Trey Anastasio and Miles Davis.
The record opens with the lively “In Motion,” which was the group’s leading single, to which the band also recorded a music video for. The track immediately fronts traditional-sounding bluegrass harmonies, soon melting into a sax-laden, rock-infused revelry.
Immediately following is “Sunlight Stream,” a Jerry Garcia-esque sounding vocal line backed by a funky psychedelic groove, again sure to perk the ears of any jam band lover.
The fifth track, “Let Me Try,” offers a Lumineers-y upbeat ballad that foregrounds the talents of all band members and their unique and expert instrumentation.
The term “blues-grass” comes to mind with the record’s closing track, “Humble Song.” What begins as a bluegrass-sounding, harmonica-wailing jamboree, eventually melts into smooth, saxy, quintessential blues. It’s a damn fine way to wrap up an album by a group of guys who have an organic and authentic feel for how to cross genres.
Formerly dubbed ‘The Freeway Revival’, the group has been turning heads all over the east coast with their energetic sound, continually growing a dedicated grassroots fan base. Among other renowned east coast venues, Freeway has performed at music festivals like Floyd Fest, Front Porch Fest, and Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival to name a few. They have shared the stage with artists like Dumpstaphunk, Lukas Nelson, Melvin Seals, Larry Keel, Everyone Orchestra, Big Something, Zach Deputy, Keller Williams, Toubab Krewe, Dangermuffin and many other great national and regional artists.
After the successful release of their 2016 self-titled EP, The Freeway Revival burst onto the scene in the fall of 2017 with their heavy-hitting debut album, Revolution Road, which appeared at #20 on Jambands.com National Radio Charts.
On The Horizon Vol. 1 is their latest and (arguably) greatest sonic creation, and it is available to stream everywhere now- and what a jubilee it is.