Check out the video premiere of the very timely ‘We’ll Soon Be Together’ from Jefferson Berry & The UAC. It’s cleverly and beautifully animated by Ciro Ayala, who really captures something of the pain of the past year and the collective joy that awaits us. Visually and lyrically, there is much here that listeners will relate to, the detail of those personal quarantine experiences sits alongside broader social commentary as Berry sings: “Misinformation messing up expectations // In a world at war with the truth.”
The pandemic certainly had a great impact on the band, who released their third album, ‘Double Deadbolt Logic’, in spring 2020. The timing brought many obstacles, including the need to embrace performing live shows on social media and for online audiences. Jefferson explains: “Releasing an album in the middle of the pandemic has had its challenges. We scheduled a bunch of record release parties, but we got to play one, March 5th. Five months went by without seeing the band. I got my neighbours to agree to a block party, only to have the city turn us down for all the right COVID reasons. Too many outdoor events had turned into drunken, virus-spreading bacchanals. Once we committed to a six-camera stream on YouTube, Facebook and TikTok, the key to the show’s success was to grow the production. Drone and hand-held cameras. Top shelf live sound. A documentary still photographer. A catered lunch for the band and the neighbours, everyone masked up. It was going to be a blast, but was the show going to be any good? With no rehearsals? What else could go wrong?
When the day came, we had some rain to deal with. Our drummer felt it was going to be too risky, COVID-wise. So, Uncle Mike (Damora) got Caleb Esty to do the show. He did some serious woodshedding on the set. I only met him the day of the show, but he killed it.
The biggest takeaway from the show was the performances of Bud Burroughs, Dave Brown and Marky B! (Berkowitz). So many of my songs are written to what these comrades do. These guys are the best soloists in town and it showed that day. With no rehearsals? I think it came out great, no?”
Like many artists, they can be applauded for their ability to adapt and innovate. ‘We’ll Soon Be Together’ is the first single from forthcoming album ‘Soon’, due out on 23rd April 2021. Jefferson explains the new record’s clear theme: “What families, lovers and communities have been going through during the plague has been unnatural. Surreal. The only thing that has managed to keep us sane is the notion that this will be over Soon.” Once again, the Philadelphia-based group deliver a jam-band brand of folk-rock, heartfelt, rhythmic and melodic. Check it out.
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