In my continuing mission of discovering new acts (at least new to me) from our own state, I heard about a blues band, Between Dead Stations, that won an award in Memphis a couple of years back. It seems that they are coming to Mainely Brews on Saturday, June 18. Seeing I’d never heard them before, frontman Jake Irish sent over some links so I could listen to what his duo sounded like before he called me on May 27.

Q: How long has Between Dead Stations been around?

Irish: We’re going on seven years now.

Q: Thanks to the links you sent, I got a chance to check your band out; so it’s just the two of you — guitarist/vocalist and drummer?

Irish: It’s the three of us — we’re a three-piece. We were a duo when we won the blues competition a couple of years ago because our bass player has some issues that he had to take care of. But we do a lot of duo shows and we do a lot of trio shows, as well; plus I do a solo act thing myself, also. So we’re all over the place.

Q: Now you’re coming into Mainely Brews mid-month, correct?

Irish: Yes, on June 18 — we’re playing in Old Town tonight.

Q: Have you played in that Waterville venue before?

Irish: Oh, yes. We play there usually every two months — we’ve been doing that for two years.

Q: Do you have any albums out?

Irish: We do, we have an album called “No Words.” It’s a digital release only — the hard copy’s been put on hold. We’ve been thinking about taking some of the tracks off that and putting them on this hard copy that we’re getting ready to record next. The next CD we release will be a five-song EP and directly after that we have a 15-song CD coming out.

Q: When is all this going to happen?

Irish: Before we go to Memphis, so within the next eight months. The recording process is a tricky thing to nail down, you know? Being in the studio things can change, so we didn’t put an exact date on it just yet, but it is in the works.

Q: All originals?

Irish: All originals, yeah. We’re an original band; we do not like playing covers, and the songs we do cover are done in our own Between Dead Stations’ style. We definitely put our own twist on things.

Q: Where did the name of your group come from?

Irish: Well, we think of commercial radio as “dead stations” so we’re “between” dead stations. We identify more with the underground radio stations that play only local music.

Q: Will your show on the 18th be a duo show, a trio show or a solo performance?

Irish: It’ll be a trio show.

Q: Would you tell me the names of the other two members of BDS?

Irish: Sure, there’s Mike Constantine on drums and James Morang on bass.

Q: And you are the lead vocalist and guitarist, right?

Irish: Right.

Q: Do Mike and James help out with vocals?

Irish: Well, they do from time to time. They do some harmony here and there, but mainly it’s just me. Our P.A. is just set up for one vocalist, but if we’re at a venue with their own P.A. and they have a couple of extra mics, we’re not afraid to throw the boys on the microphones because they do do a good job. We’ve been practicing our harmonies a little bit, but they are a little timid when it comes to the microphones. I usually have to force it on them pretty hard (laughter).

Q: Earlier you mentioned a new CD recording session coming up — any chance the folks at Mainely Brews will hear some of those new songs?

Irish: Oh, definitely yes. We are pushing all our new material; in fact our opening set is all new songs.

Q: How far afield does Between Dead Stations get, tour-wise?

Irish: This past year we’ve just been playing local shows — I say “local” but the state of Maine is local for us, anywhere in the state. But as far as New England goes, when we did the Memphis trip, we played some shows in New Hampshire and we played a Nashville show. We played other Memphis shows as well, besides the blues competition. Before we won the first time in Memphis, we had played all over the U.S. We went clear to Wisconsin, then we traveled down to Oklahoma and we played back this way, hitting quite a few venues. We’re looking to get back to the national touring thing, but it takes a lot to set that up, and we all have full-time jobs so that makes it hard, too

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?

Irish: Basically, just the pushing of the new album. It’s a very high-energy, soulful album that we’re going to be making — we have around 40 original songs right now. We’re also the type of band that will get on-stage and play exactly what we feel, and some nights we will write two or three songs off the top of our heads. We’ll take those songs to the next show and perfect them as the nights go on because we’re all very professional musicians; we work together so well and love to improvise as we play.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 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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