Electro-Acoustic Duo THEY KNOW makes really good songs - a few great ones too, they hope. “2013 was breakthrough year for the band and our sound”, says singer-songwriter-guitarist Dan Ehart. "We got some grit back". Keyboardist-vocalist-songwriter Lee Raden continues: "We endured a long layoff while I recovered from a bone marrow transplant. During that time, we both wrote a bunch of new songs and also went through our personal archives and discovered a treasure trove of unheard material".
What does that mean for the rest of the world?
“We’re putting our music out there” says Ehart. "We’ve brought new life to our performances and have shared that at shows in small venues as well as at larger festivals.” The band also released a new single, The Farthest Shore” in May 2013.It received very positive reviews and got heavy Internet Radio airplay as well as some airplay by scattered local stations. In Spring 2013, drummer/percussionist Carolyn ( Cat) Burbage joined the Duo for their Summer and Fall shows. “Cat’s intuitive sense and skills fit naturally into our electro-acoustic sound,” says Ehart.
“People comment to us that they hear a lot of this influence or that influence in our music", says Lee Raden. "Within one or two songs there may be a passage that sounds like the Byrds or the Beatles, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Jack Johnson, Todd Rundgren - a Jerry Garica guitar lick or a Ray Manzarek organ riff. It's all in there", Raden continues. "Musically, we borrow from all our friends and heroes. Lyrically, we've got our own thing going".
Indeed they do. Raden's "Living Free" is a picture postcard hymn on the magic of Maui:
"The Islands call to me in slack keys
Black beaches after the rain.
It’s where I remain.” “No Twitters” contemplates the search for “ who we are” in a world of social media where people change identities by the second. Lee writes beautifully descriptive, emotive songs", says Ehart. "He can put across a deep spiritual message with style".
Ehart's lyrics tend more dark and are at times confrontational. "I am merely confronting myself", he says with a smile. "When The Blue Chips Are Down" is his blues for a Wall Street character who trades money and power for true love left behind, all set to a weirdly nostalgic Motown backbeat:
"You've got the perfect American life
The golden parachute the trophy wife
Little blue pills to keep the
Wolves at bay, hey hey"
"I'm not against money and power" Ehart explains. "It's just that I don’t have any!” He further explains: "I'm on the side of Love. Lee and I write songs that, at their peak, reach to the core of what we care about. There are some heavy and poetic lyrics set to what is essentially classic rock and vintage singer-songwriter music. It’s all filtered with our particular awareness of modern sounds, production and promotion".
"Dan would say that" laughs Raden, from his mountain home in the Poconos. "I've known him since our freshman year of high school. His "heavy and poetic" is offset by the earthy, sexy struts in tunes like "Louvers of Love" and the deep psychedelic textures and melodies in "Love Today". “I love the contrast." Raden finishes, saying: "Look for us to be releasing a lot of new material this year into next year. We just recorded a Live CD for release in early 2014. We are really excited to share the heart and soul of our music with the world.” Peace & aloha
Daniel Ehart - Guitar/Vocals ( Phoenixville, PA)
Lee Raden - Keyboards/vocals ( Dingmans Ferry, PA)
Cat Burbage - Drums/Percussion ( Canadensis, PA)