Band: Infant Richard & the Delta Stones, Sergio & the Satin Dogs
Date: Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.
Venue: Callaghan’s Irish Social Club, 916 Charleston St., www.callaghansirishsocialclub.com
Tickets: $10 at the door
The old saying that change is inevitable resonates throughout everyone’s lives, especially in the music world. Bands go through changes with their lineups and their sound. Sometimes just a small variation in a band can lead to something different on a variety of levels. In recent months, Nappie Award winners Infant Richard & the Delta Stones have gone through some changes that have sparked an evolution in the band’s sound.
This group of eclectic Azalea City musicians has recruited singer-songwriter Morgan Fielder to serve as the band’s new vocalist. Her addition to the band has led the group to forget the past and focus on a future bursting with new material, with a new attitude.
Members of Infant Richard discovered Fielder through YouTube. Taken by her vocal style and songwriting prowess, bassist Christian Heiden says the band offered her an audition, which she accepted. Throughout the audition, Fielder said, she instantly felt an artistic bond with her potential bandmates, who she found to be “beautiful souls” and “kind.”
“They’re extremely talented and mesh really well,” Fielder said. “That was the automatic impression that I got. As soon as I walked in to audition, I could tell it was a tightknit family. I automatically felt welcome.”
While the addition of a new lead vocalist may seem like big news, the more impressive news is where Infant Richard has been going since Fielder joined the band. Guitarist Paul McDonald says the band has been starting over, scrapping all past original material, including the tracks on their new album “When the Smoke Clears.”
Familiar tracks will be replaced by all new material the band has been composing nonstop since Fielder came on the scene. While this may seem an impossible task, Fielder arrived with an abundance of original songs from her personal repertoire. The group’s newly discovered artistic chemistry and Fielder’s passion for songwriting has made Infant Richard’s fresh start an easy process.
“She [Fielder] writes constantly, every day and has new lyrics and new ideas for songs,” McDonald said. “She’s very persistent on us continuing to write songs and keep this process going. We’ve been taking the music that we write and pairing it with her lyrics. I think that’s the biggest reason that we’ve been able to write songs at a quicker, more efficient rate.”
“I love the energy of these guys,” added Fielder. “It’s opened a lot of doors spiritually and artistically. It’s helping me be a better person. I’ve grown a lot since I’ve been with these people. It’s been good for me, and I think we’re meshing really well.”
Musically, the group says they are not straying too far from their high-energy mix of “jazz, psychedelic rock with a little bit of funk.” However, this energized, aural context is being met with a deeper theme. The group hopes the end result will be a collection of songs that make their audiences ponder themselves and the world around them.
With this in mind, Fielder brought along a few songs she wrote previously. Inspired by her personal experiences, Fielder says, these songs reflect “self-awareness, spiritual awakenings and the world around us.” The songs are about asking questions, she adds, questions she and the rest of the band hope the audience will ponder while dancing to their vibrant sound.
“When we’re playing in front of an audience, we want to make them look inside themselves and look around and chew up the information that we’re spitting out and make a light bulb go off,” Fielder said. “It’s very deep but very fun.”
“There are darker overtones,” adds Heiden. “There’s more hidden messages and more to decipher. It’s darker overtones with a psychedelic rock feel.”
“We’re still gonna jam and be high-energy the whole time,” McDonald said. “We’re gonna be upbeat and have a good time.”
With its concentration on psychedelic rock, the band cites “Mudpie” as one of their favorite songs. The group likes this song so much that Fielder says they are planning to write more in the same vein. Infant Richard has also gotten a case of the blues with their new song “Johnny & Annie.”
While these songs and others can only be heard at the band’s live shows, the band’s online community has been treated to a stripped-down acoustic version of “Tattoo Kit.” In this version of the song, Fielder’s vocals trip light and sweet across the plucks and strums of the mellow, heartfelt ballad that is a throwback to the birth of rock.
As far as an album featuring new material, McDonald says the band will be concentrating on going into the studio sometime in the near future. If they have their way, Infant Richard & the Delta Stones’ next release will be an EP or a demo that will hit sometime “within six months to a year,” with a full-length to follow. As far as new material for their next album, McDonald says the band has an abundance of songs with more on the way.
The high demand for their live show has put any studio work on hold. Since Fielder has joined the group, the band has already introduced their new sound to Mobile, Birmingham, Athens, Atlanta and Augusta. Currently, the band has all dates filled through the end of the year, with more being added. With this in mind, McDonald encourages fans to witness the band’s new persona live.
“Come out and watch it,” McDonald said. “It’s all new music. With the songs that we’ve played over the past three years, we’ve played some for that entire time and some just over the past year. Now, it’s all new music. It’s all new originals and all new covers. It’s the same band, with a new feel.”