A quartet of veteran local musicians who have been playing together in various formations over the past several years has reconfigured once again.
Van Echo features former Ass Ponys bassist Randy Cheek, former Middlemarch guitarist Wes Pence, former Ray's Music Exchange and Sparrow Bellows drummer Brian Kitzmiller and singer/guitarist Ed Shuttleworth of Granville, Ohio-spawned Rock crew Black Owls. There's a lot of pre-Van Echo crossover amongst the members. Cheek, Kitzmiller and Pence played together in The Ready Stance. Kitzmiller was also a member of Black Owls. And the full lineup performed together as Red Skylark before launching Van Echo last year.
The band's official recorded debut is the fantastic "Nobody Else," an endearing slab of Power Pop-meets-late-’80s College Rock that is a part of a recently released vinyl 7-inch split-single with Columbus, Ohio band Closet Mix. Both tracks are available as free downloads on Closet Mix's Bandcamp page.
You can pick up your own hard-copy version of the single Saturday, Nov. 23 when Van Echo and Closet Mix perform a free show at The Comet in Northside. (Or at least try to — according to the Facebook event page, that still seems to be up in the air.) Chicago group The Safes are also on the bill for the 9 p.m. show.