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the thunderclaps

A sampling of some of KC's 2014 emerging artists

Here are some blurbs we wrote in 2014 on ten of our favorite emerging KC artists of the year:
Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear
Madisen Ward can write tunes that sound more seasoned than someone of his age should be able to do. Along with it, his vocal styling demands attention, ranging from serenely soulful to ardent and impassioned. Ruth Ward plays guitar effortlessly, as though it’s an extension of herself, and sings each note from deep within. The connection they share—both musically and as mother and son—comes through with the genuine delivery of each song.
Special congrats to them for their appearance this evening on The Late Show with David Letterman!

The duo was signed to Glassnote Records in 2014, and just released its newest single “Silent Movies.” It is now available on iTunes.

The Project H
Most people know that Kansas City is steeped in a rich jazz heritage that continues to this day. One of the groups that has helped carry on the city’s vibrant jazz scene is The Project H, who has taken the music’s tradition to a modern level. Though still tasteful to listeners of jazz standards, the band incorporates a range of influences and abilities, creating music that is relevant and colorful.
The Project H released its third studio album We Live Among the Lines in September 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
Katy Guillen & the Girls
Katy Guillen & the Girls' style is rooted in the blues but draws heavily from rock, flamenco, and jazz elements, performed by three musicians at the top of their craft. The group—led by Guillen's masterfully intricate guitar work and earnest songwriting—is propelled by the rhythm section of Claire Adams and Stephanie Williams, who adds crucial melodic accents to its signature style.
Katy and the Girls advanced to the finals of the International Blues Challenge in early 2014, and released its debut self-titled LP in September 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
Jorge Arana Trio
There’s something both soothing and jarring when you hear Jorge Arana, Jason Nash, and Josh Enyart share a stage together. They conjure up these wickedly rich, complicated rhythms and melodies that almost make you uneasy. It’s like when you snuck out of your parents’ house as a teenager to smoke cigarettes with your friends or make out with your crush—an innocent enough gesture, coupled with the exhilarating rush of rebellion and intensity. And every time the trio takes the stage, it seems like the perfect setting, be it in a dingy basement or a big venue.
The trio released its EP Oso on Haymaker Records in July 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.

The Blackbird Revue
The Blackbird Revue is a collaboration of Danielle Prestidge’s upbeat pop influences with husband Jacob Prestidge’s sincere folk approach, resulting in compositions that are simultaneously sweeping, delicate, and intriguing. The duo’s latest offerings have incorporated a multi-instrument approach, adding a momentous layer to its already purposeful music.

Danielle and Jacob released the music video for their latest single “Blueprints” in late 2014, and are currently working on a studio album.
Your Friend
(Photo by Lindsey Kennedy)
Taryn Miller’s project Your Friend was signed to Domino Records earlier this year. Her intelligent songwriting and entrancing music is making its way around, and for good reason. With her debut album Jekyll/Hyde, Miller constructs a simultaneously comforting and haunting atmosphere, fashioned around somber but colorful vocals.
Miller was signed to Domino Records in early 2014 and released the Jekyll/Hyde EP in February. It is available through Domino Records.
Miry Wild
(Photo by Zach Bauman)
Only a month after forming its full lineup, Miry Wild recorded its debut self-titled EP, a concise spiritual sojourn dotted with enchanting instrumentation and alluring vocal harmonies. The band’s natural chemistry and charm is apparent even from a cursory listen to the album. With this fairly new lineup and only a handful of shows under its belt, Miry Wild is finding its identity as a collective. Fortunately for the rest of us, they’re finding it through cohesive, tasteful songwriting.
Miry Wild released its debut self-titled EP in March 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
The Thunderclaps
Though the two have been making music for a number of years, Bryce Jones and Colin Blunt formed The Thunderclaps just at the beginning of 2014. A grimy garage rock guitar/drums duo influenced by the surf leanings of The Gories and the psychedelic offerings of Thee Oh Sees, the band delivers an undeniable lo-fi rock ‘n roll edge.
The duo released a self-titled EP in August 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
Admiral of the Red
In its short time together, Admiral of the Red has quickly evolved from a blues-based garage rock duo into a fully realized, dynamic rock band. The raw roots rock approach of guitarist Matt Hurst and drummer Tom Hudson, coupled with MB Hurst’s visceral vocals and a low-end punch from bassist Meredith McGrade creates the band’s primal, driving sound, reminiscent of The Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age.
Admiral recently released its single “Footbeats.” It is available on Bandcamp.
Hembree is picking up where Quiet Corral left off, but with a renewed vigor and sensibility. The group—who makes up five of the six members of now-defunct Quiet Corral—retains much of its former identity of compelling, captivating Americana, but with a pop appeal.
Hembree released its debut EP New Oasis last month. It is available on Bandcamp.
--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.  

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September Artist of the Month: The Thunderclaps

The Thunderclaps are our September artist of the month!
Though the two have been making music for a number of years, Bryce Jones and Colin Blunt formed The Thunderclaps just at the beginning of 2014. A grimy garage rock guitar/drums duo influenced by the surf leanings of The Gories and the psychedelic offerings of Thee Oh Sees, the band delivers an undeniable lo-fi rock ‘n roll edge.
Along with being our artist of the month, the band will be playing on INK’s stage at the Plaza Art Fair next weekend. We talked with Jones and Blunt to get a little more insight on what The Thunderclaps are all about.
The Deli: Down and dirty: one sentence to describe your music.
Bryce: It’s like a fried egg sandwich: nothing fancy, but it'll stick to your ribs.
The Deli: The Thunderclaps is a relatively new band. How long have you been together? How did it all come to be?
Bryce: We've made quite a bit of noise together over the years, but most of it has been for our own enjoyment and edification. The Thunderclaps got going when Colin tracked down a drum set and we tried our hand at thumpin' out tunes and filling them out as best as we could as a duo. We played to the living room for a long while before we decided to gig for a friend's New Year's gathering. Folks were dancing and having a good time, so we settled into the idea of trying to get out and play as often as we can.
The Deli: The Thunderclaps are a guitar/drums duo. Was this a conscious effort to conceive a certain type of sound, or have you wanted to add other instrumentation?
Bryce: The configuration was bred out of necessity in a way. I don't live in KC, so it streamlines the process a bit when I can make it to town. We can buckle down, get things moving, and flesh out ideas. From a songwriting angle it does provide interesting parameters within which to work. Certain ideas just aren't going to play, but other options that otherwise wouldn't even come up rear their head. We’ve kind of toyed with the idea of adding a bass player, but for right now it's enough of a good time that I think we'll roll with this instrumentation for a bit.
The Deli: What have been your greatest accomplishments as a band?
Colin: Honestly, being interviewed is pretty sweet. Being asked to play the Plaza Art Fair is a huge step forward as well. Then there was the time when we were asked to play at someone's wedding reception. That was real fun. The bride lived near where we practice, heard us from up the street, and the next thing we know, we're playing for a dancing bride and groom.
The Deli: You released an EP, Not Bad, August. What can we expect from it?
Colin: “Not Bad” is actually just kind of a placeholder name for the tracks we recorded on a cassette player a while back. And we didn’t really “release” them as much as we “put them on the internet.” But to answer your question, you can expect some lo-fi rumblings and a crocodile on the telephone.
The Deli: You guys are playing the Plaza Art Fair in a couple weeks. Who are you most looking forward to seeing there?
Colin: You know, to be honest, I haven’t heard a lot of the bands that are playing this year, which is really exciting actually. I like going to shows where you don’t really know what to expect and being pleasantly surprised. I anticipate I’ll have a few new favorite local bands after that weekend, but for now, I’ve heard a lot of good things about My Brothers & Sisters and Katy Guillen & the Girls, so that’ll be fun.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
Colin: Hangin’ with good people who appreciate making and enjoying music.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
Colin: Cadillac Flambe, Rooms Without Windows, and Making Movies are all amazing, but I’d say our new favorite is The Garage Kings—they make great music for ordering a hamburger, and even better music for eating a hamburger.
The Deli: Who are your favorite non-local musicians right now?
Colin: Oh man, where to begin. As far as classic stuff, Bo Diddley is the alpha and omega of rock and roll music as far as we’re concerned. Besides that, we also really like Thee Oh Sees, The Gories, JD McPherson, Thee Headcoats, The Oblivians, Reigning Sound, etc. Basically anyone who just brings the rock and roll and never looks back.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
The Thunderclaps: Realistically, any of the happenin’ flashback bands right now would be fun to open for. But ultimately, maybe we bring Phil Lynott back from the dead so we can open up for Thin Lizzy?
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
The Thunderclaps: Bo Diddley (because he’s a gunslinger), Fats Domino (because he’s the man), Link Wray (because louder is better), and Elmore James (just because). Can Teddy still hang around to class up the place?
The Deli: What other goals do The Thunderclaps have for 2014?
The Thunderclaps: We just want to keep on rockin’ and rollin’.
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web?
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
Bryce: If your toes start tappin’, tap ‘em. If your knees start shakin’, shake ‘em. And if your hips start movin’, by all means, groove ‘em.
The Thunderclaps will be playing on INK’s stage at Plaza Art Fair on Sunday, September 21 at 1:00 p.m. The stage is located at Ward Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue, next to Gram & Dun and Plaza III. Facebook event page.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.

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