Chase and the Barons bring rock n’ roll back out onto the dance floor, donning paisley ties, brightly colored jeans, and a generally groovy look. Since their formation in 2016, the band has been hitting the Pittsburgh music scene hard with memorable shows, filled with energy and style.
The band started during the recording sessions for frontman Chase Barron’s second solo album when drummer Jake Stretch and bassist Jacob Rieger recorded their parts for Chase’s release. “It was very evident by the end of the sessions that the three of us were playing more like a full band than just studio musicians,” says Stretch,“and we started writing material before the album was finished. We decided then to go for it.”
Within a few months, the band grew from a trio into a quintet with the additions of lead guitarist Mike Saunders and saxophonist Tyler Handyside, and started to play out frequently.
Each member brought different tastes and musical backgrounds into the mix, ultimately creating a unique rock style, filled with elements of funk, jazz, and psychedelia. “I remember the first time the five of us got together, I was warming up with Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads and all of the sudden the band was grooving on it super hard-like,” says Chase, “so the second we finished playing, we knew that we had created something absolutely wild.” Songs immediately were pouring out of the group, creating the need to record.
They set up a studio in a remote cabin in the woods of Central Pennsylvania and not only recorded an album, but also established the Woodland Ruckus Music Festival in DuBois, Pennsylvania.
The Ruckus got the attention of Pioneer Records, who shortly thereafter signed the band. “We made a lot of videos and behind the scenes material for the cabin sessions before we were approached by Pioneer,” says Saunders, “but when we showed them what we had, they were all about releasing it as planned.”
By year’s end, the band had amassed quite a following and built a large resume of shows. “A true band of merry men,” says promoter Jackson Boytim from Fine, I’ll Do It Booking, “incorporating technical skill, sterling creativity, genuine passion and a real love of music to create a captivating and genuinely fun performance.”
The band could not be more happy with their first year, but they are looking to book even more shows moving forward, including festivals and radio appearances. Moving into 2017, the band is excited to be putting out Propose a Toaster, their first release with Pioneer Records, as well as continuing to release material from their cabin sessions.
“We’ve certainly put in a lot of hard work,” remarks Tyler,” but when we look at the music and fans we’ve made, it only makes us want to work harder to make even better tunes and have crazier shows.”