Cincinnati Garage Rock heroes The Greenhornes seemed headed for big-time success, a gradual build-up that ultimately found them recording for the V2 label with Power Pop cult fave Brendan Benson producing, having songs placed in Jim Jarmusch movies and playing to gigantic arena/stadium-sized crowds touring with The White Stripes.
But the band’s momentum was halted when Jack White decided their rhythm section (drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence) was so good, he’d like to work with them. The Raconteurs (with Benson) formed in 2004 and were hugely successful. Then, in early 2009, came The Dead Weather, featuring White, Lawrence, Dean Fertita and The Kills’ Alison Mosshart, which recently wrapped up the touring behind its second album, Sea of Cowards.
While his bandmates were away touring the globe, playing late-night talk shows and appearing on music magazine covers, singer/songwriter/guitarist Craig Fox kept busy with a variety of bands in Cincinnati, most recently Oxford Cotton (with former Heartless Bastards bassist Mike Lamping and drummer Andy Jody, a member of several local groups over the years, including The Long Gones and Pearlene), which has been working on its debut album and aiming for a fall release.
Through all of the White-related efforts’ success, many assumed The Greenhornes were finished, though no announcement was ever made and, in interviews, the members would occasionally hint at possible new Greenhornes material (they reportedly had an album in the can before The Raconteurs exploded) and shows. But it’s now being confirmed that The Greenhornes will be back with a new album and a string of tour/festival dates, the first of which is coming up Aug. 20 at The Comet. After a few more dates (Aug. 21 in Detroit and early September shows in Nashville and the New York area), the group plays the Jim Jarmusch-curated All Tomorrows Parties (ATP) fest in New York and, in October, the Scion Garage Fest in Lawrence, Kansas (alongside The Oblivians, The Gories, The Raveonettes and other Garage faves).
Lawrence told Billboard.com that a new album titled Four Stars (featuring the aforementioned songs the band sat on for the past several years) will be released in October through White’s Third Man label, making it the first full-length Greenhornes release of new material since 2002’s Dual Mono.
While he said further work with The Dead Weather is highly probable (and Benson just told the U.K.’s NME that The Raconteurs will likely reconvene at some point after The Greenhornes run), Lawrence — who relocated to Nashville — seemed excited to be coming “home.”
“Those guys are my brothers,” Lawrence told Billboard. “It's nice to come back to that first ‘home’ that you've had after all these years. We practiced last month at Patrick's place and it was … just really specially. I had a pretty big smile on my face the whole time we were playing.”
Expect the free Aug. 20 homecoming show at the relatively tiny Comet to be packed with fans stacked on top of each other to the ceiling. Can you camp out on Hamilton Avenue?