Modern fold duo Neulore to make Maine debut

On Friday, Aug. 1, State Theatre in Portland will host a concert featuring a new act from Nashville. I know, the first thing that pops into mind when that city is mentioned is country … well, this time around, it is a modern folk duo (made up of William T. Cook and Adam Agin) called Neulore. They have a new single, “Shadow of a Man,” that is becoming well heard due to the fact it appeared on “Grey’s Anatomy” and other TV programs. In a recent telephone interview from his Nashville home, Agin chatted about his group, their music and the tour that will bring them to Maine.

Q: I understand you’ll be coming to Maine to perform — is this going to be your first time up here, perchance?

Agin: I think it is, yeah. We’ve been up in the Northeast a lot but we’ve never made it that North before — we’re very excited about it, too, because from what I’ve been told and the research I’ve done, I think I’m going to really love Portland.

Q: Well, you’re coming into a really great venue. I understand you are going to be opening for Ingrid Michaelson and I must confess I’m not familiar with her.

Agin: Well, she’s been around for a while, I think she’s on her third or fourth record. She’s promoting a new record that she released a couple of months ago, I’m not completely sure, but she has a song on the radio now that’s doing really well: “Girls Chase Boys.”

Q: How long a set do you get?

Agin: We get like a good 40 minutes, I think … we get to put on a good show.

Q: Do you have an album and an EP out currently?

Agin: Essentially. Basically our full-length will be coming out this Fall. We signed to a record label last year and we had the record done going into that record deal, and it’s taken us some time to get all our ducks in a row — but we have an old EP out that we’ve had for a while and just some singles and what not.

Q: The EP is “Apples & Eve”?

Agin: Yes and the new one that’s coming out is called “Animal Evolve.”

Q: Is the soon-to-be-released album along the same lines at the single?

Agin: “Shadow of a Man”? Musically, it touches on lots of different things and there are definitely some other aggressive folk songs, but there are also some really beautiful, very lush cinematic songs — more emotional songs. Yeah, it kind of touches a lot of different tastes, there’s even a kind of old, smoky-bar kind of soul song. We really try not to write the same song over and over again!

Q: That is a work ethic to be not only proud of but fostered — too many groups find a sound that sells and then proceed to crank it out again and again and again. I also love vocal harmonies and “Shadow…” is loaded!

Agin: Thank you. We’re a very harmony-driven band — it’s very important to our sound … you can expect that all over the new record.

Q: Back to your first single, if we could: You have had some considerable success with “Shadow…” on TV, right?

Agin: Yeah, it’s been on some different television shows and commercials and what not, which has been really awesome — it’s been a big encouragement. It’s fun when people come to the shows and start singing along on that song. We’ve been seeing that over the last six months or so.

Q: I have your picture up on my lap top now and want to put a face to the voice — which one are you?

Agin: I’m the guy without the big beard — with the hair up top — and I’m the lead singer. William, the bearded wonder, is the guitar player and he arranges a lot of the music. He’s got a classical background and is very hands-on with all the technicalities … and we write up all the songs together.

Q: Oh, I really should have asked this earlier: Do you have any backing musicians with you on this tour?

Agin: Yes, we tour as a five-piece full band, we’re a rock band pretty much live. It’s drums, bass, pianos — acoustic and electric — and we all sing and we all get rowdy and we make fools of ourselves and dance around and stuff.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to passed on to the readers of this article?

Agin: Yeah, our live shows are high-energy and pretty passionate. We really value community so we try to bring that to our live shows and make the crowd feel like they’re part of it rather than just there listening to some music. That’s something that’s really important to us … it’s a “we’re all in this together” kind of idea rather than “here, let us show you how good we are,” that’s not really what we’re about.

Lucky Clark has spent 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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