For some people, without music, life would be meaningless. For Graham Peacefull, music had filled his youth but as he grew up he believed he should take on more regular, real life, perhaps even grown up goals that didn’t follow his musical dreams. But as luck would have it, real life didn’t seem to mesh with Peacefull and he learned growing up didn’t necessarily mean he had to give up his artistic ambition.
Once he came to this epiphany, Peacefull embarked on creating a band that would fuel the creativity and levity that made life so worth living. It’s that love and laughter that shines through the music of Blind Mule – and with their new eponymous CDEP, Peacefull and company want you to celebrate their new music and life in general.
“When Blind Mule started about five years ago, it was just to start something new,” recalls Peacefull. “I had hung up my guitar in pursuit of testing the waters on what would seem to be a real life. Working jobs I wasn’t happy with for way too many hours, buying houses, and trying to grow up. I was in my twenties. I was confused that it had to be one or the other.
“Five years ago when that typical grown up life ended I got in touch with Joey Balducchi, whom I had played with years ago in the Sonic Unyon band ,Golden Lake Diner,” adds Peacefull. “I wrote a bunch of songs, Joey put his guitar parts on them, and we headed out to tour Canada over and over again. We really had no goal of making a lot of money, or becoming rock stars. It was simply to go on an adventure, forget the world, get drunk, have fun, and sing our hearts out. Then we slowly put together a band.”
Peacefull and Balducchi would remain at the core of the band with a myriad of members fleshing out the sound and lending different perspectives on the music – each time helping to refine the music.
“We went through many players, all great I might add, and tried the band out with many different styles,” says Peacefull. “We’ve gone from our friend, Hachey, beat boxing, and Loreto Mancini playing percussion. A list of drummers followed: Nick Burson, Shea O’Brien, Max Wray, Eddie Max, Vince Waters. We had Tyrone Ramsey–Porter on bass. John Kirby played bass on tour, and Adm Sheddan on violin. All the different experiments were a lot of fun, but it is now that we have really got the sound that we are most pleased with. Our present line–up includes Josh Snively on drums, Jon Edwards on keys, banjo, accordian, organ, and vocals, Joey Balducchi on lead guitar, Jonny Kerr on bass, and myself, so far, doing the majority of the song writing. The sound breathes so nice now. The dynamics are sounding great, and having nearly everyone in the band singing just pulls so much out. It has gone from just playing music and getting drunk to being part of the music, and not so focused on just the party. There is limitless possibilities with this group. I am so excited to have these people.
“Everyone is getting into the writing process with their own music, and we all produce the hell out of everything,” adds Peacefull. “Our ears have come a long way. Our style has gone from more of a roots band to a mix of reggae, ska, bluegrass, storytelling, jam band. Very interesting things going on. We’re very happy about this Blind Mule self–titled EP release. You can almost feel the story of the band through the recording. You’ll hear where it’s come from and where it’s going within six songs on the EP, and even more of our direction will be shown at our CD Release show.
Now with a collection of songs – recorded originally by themselves at a farmhouse and later mixed by Sean Pearson (Boxcar Recording Studio), and mastered by Noah Mintz (Lacquer Channel) – Blind Mule’s musical journey winds through different styles and stories offering some thinking man’s electic roots rock with a neo–psychedelic flair. Their travels and life lessons are embodied in their disc but it’s those live shows where the music trancends and becomes a true celebration of life.
The band continues to hone their craft via live performances and have learned well from the road – it’s something that they hope to exemplify for their CD release. And while expressing themselves in song is what they are compelled to do, Blind Mule would like to encourage more people to follow their own muse.
“The best part of the road is that there is no break – you are forced to get tighter, and more entertaining,” offers Peacefull. “It isn’t the life for everyone. You need the right skin. But we have toured quite a bit, courtesy of our own Joey and his booking agency, Spherical Productions, and will do more in 2013 and beyond. It is always a new experience on the road. Touring forces you to get people interested in you. Personality has so much to do with it. Make people laugh, play well, and have a good time, and the night will be a success.We put on a very entertaining show for everyone. It’s always different, but you can roughly always expect fun, funny, serious, daring, jamming, interesting, deep, and mysterious elements.
“On a personal note about my own journey: I have done a lot with Blind Mule and its music,” adds Peacefull. “The name came from a story about a 90–year–old lady who claimed to be a ‘blind mule’ or ignorant when a policeman found her trunk filled with cocaine. The name, to me, now means something more like dealing with the emotional baggage that we all have, but don’t realize that we’re still carrying it. Blind Mule is a band that acts as a creative vessel for all the members to express themselves. But it’s not so easy for everyone – I have met so many people that really want to play music, or do something creative, but just don’t seem to have enough courage to do so. Please remember that you should feel no judgement, and the shock of stage fright and being vulnerable decreases the more you do it. As you encourage yourself to be expressive, also encourage others to do so as well. Our society is much too anxious – and we don’t need to be.”
Blind Mule play Thursday October 18 at This Ain’t Hollywood with Must Stash Hat and Planes & Trains. Doors are at 9pm and cover is $10. www.blindmule.ca V