With a new album on the way, the West Michigan band unfurled new tunes for Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted tracks by Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, Elijah Russ, Zebra 3, Ajax Stacks and more.
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FlyLiteGemini’s Joe Chamberlin views the West Michigan band’s new album as a continuation of the “journey of the soul.”
With a bigger and deeper sound that showcases the “psych-post-blues-rock” band’s lush palette, “Time & Space” also reflects Chamberlin’s focus on love, perseverance and “taking time and space to be our best selves.”
“I honestly feel like we’re here to try to be the best versions of ourselves we can be,” the guitarist and singer suggests. “That happens through taking time to explore ourselves and explore the world around us, and at the same time, try to give ourselves space to do that.”
Created and recorded at Grand Haven’s Third Coast Recording Co. during the pandemic, “Time & Space” officially gets released May 1 at Bell’s Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo, followed by an album-release show May 7 at Turnstiles in Grand Rapids.
The band’s expansive rock approach is on full display with the new project, building on 2019’s “Bigger on the Inside,” which was recorded in more rapid fashion.
“This album took more time to make sure we were crafting the soundscapes we wanted for each song,” Chamberlin says of work with Third Coast’s Kevin Kozel. The album was mastered at Kalamazoo’s La Luna Recording and Sound.
Chamberlin debuted a new track from the album, “Lightning and Thunder,” for this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE. View a Dogtown Studio video of that song here and scroll down to listen to the entire radio show podcast, which includes the title track from FlyLiteGemini’s upcoming release.
VIDEO: “Lightning and Thunder,” FlyLiteGemini (Dogtown Studio)
Formed in 2016 as a spinoff from Chamberlin’s solo project, FlyLiteGemini now features Chamberlin, drummer Sam Rice (FlyPaper, The Turnips), keyboardist Nate Karnes (SoulPatch, The Turnips, UV Hippo) and bassist Dan Hildebrandt (The Ragbirds).
VINTAGE GEAR, VINTAGE SOUNDS
“We took our time with this record and used a lot of old gear to get vintage sounds,” Chamberlin says. “Stylistically, the band is moving into a sort of psychedelic, post blues-rock space that bands like The Black Keys and My Morning Jacket seem to dwell in or dance around.”
With influences that run the gamut – Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, Dominic Davis, Yes, Black Mountain, Led Zeppelin, early Genesis and others – FlyLiteGemini aims to bring its enhanced attack to Michigan stages with a ramped-up 2022 schedule that follows the COVID quarantine.
The May 1 Bell’s concert will also feature the KAR Songwriting Band; tickets are $8 in advance and available online here. For the May 7 Turnstiles show in Grand Rapids, Eric Engblade and The Junky Swinger will open.
Beyond that, FlyLiteGemini plays a host of Michigan venues this summer, along with festival appearances at Buttermilk Jamboree, Friendship Farms Fest, Dunesville and Cowpie Music Festival.
“Overall, it has been a great year of rebuilding so far. With our new bass player Dan Hildebrandt on board, we hope to keep making new music and playing new places and events,” says Chamberlin, who credited “greater unity as a music scene” in West Michigan for fueling the post-pandemic comeback.
In addition to showcasing FlyLiteGemini, this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which spotlights Michigan-bred music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – kicked off WYCE’s Spring Fund Drive with new music by Zebra 3, Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, Ajax Stacks, Brian Koenigsknecht and Elijah Russ, as well as tracks by Seth Bernard/Amber Hasan/Monica Lewis-Patrick (this week’s musician’s pick by Chamberlin), The Dangling Participles, Crooked Spires and Melophobix. Listen to the radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (4/22/22)
NOTE: WYCE is a volunteer-driven, listener-supported community radio station that airs more local and regional music than any other area station. Consider donating as part of the Spring Fund Drive online at wyce.org.
PHOTO GALLERY: FlyLiteGemini, Dustbus at Tip Top Deluxe
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker