A couple days before the concert at Great Scott to celebrate the release of their first full-length album, Martin Earley is meticulously folding his laundry. Upon completion, bandmates Devin Mauch and Calin Peters admire; Martin proclaims, “Rock ‘n roll life!”
Indeed, the days surrounding those three April nights of concerts were filled with the very opposite of the glamorous life associated with a traveling musician. After years of continual writing, performing, and recording, this weekend was a pinnacle—thusfar, at least. (A few months later, they would perform at Newport Folk Festival.) But this phase of the band’s life is barely sustainable: long-term growth demands that this be their only work, and even having an apartment is a luxury foregone. So with a devoted regional following, but not yet widespread commercial success, these musicians live and work without a home, relying on family and friends to provide temporary sleeping and showering arrangements, which can and often do change daily.
Besides their enterprising manager and friend, Eric Jones, the trio handles all business tasks themselves. Their world is an endless stream of packing (gear and clothing), inquiries, travel and transportation, social media, expenses, accommodations, food, merchandise, customer relations, et al. The expressly musical elements of composing and practicing are simply assumed, of course. The reality of their job (as they rightly identify it) is that a very small part is spent on stage.
Despite the mundanity, the absurd hours, and the nomadic existence, they remain focused and remarkably evenspirited. In Devin’s words, they are “business partners, artistic partners, and friends”; but even this description is inadequate to express the totality of their shared lives. How they toil, sacrifice, and even suffer for the sake of beauty makes their accomplishment all the greater.
And yes, the van broke down.