Words by Christopher Ellis. Photo by Lily Chau.
The band November Guest stopped in and played live at the Radiator on May 23rd and I was lucky enough to have a chat with them. The group of guys, who all grew up in New England, met in the late 90s while attending Vermont Tech. More recently they got together to make some authentic Americana Rock / Vermont Lifestyle music, with harmonizing vocals and instrumental solos that anyone can kick back, relax, and relate to. The songs have a broad array of themes, from romance stories to drinking, to weather, to driving around in cars. “Basically, whatever goes through Shane’s head, which is a lot.”
November Guest’s songwriting process is unique. Singer/lyricist Shane Clarke from the Northeast Kingdom comes up with all the lyrics in his head. “My songwriting style is very melodic… I get some tune going in my head and play with it from there. It’s not guitar driven at all; I just get hooked on something and then it starts getting to the point where it drives me nuts. I find if I don’t write it down and do something with it, it’s kind of consuming,” Shane Clarke says with a chuckle.
Along with him, the band includes Bill McGrath. Bill started playing the drums at the age of ten. Troy Dare performed the mandolin live in the Radiator studio at Big Heavy World, but learned the guitar at the age of twelve. Scott McGrath plays the bass; he does a lot of the production work with his brother for the band as well. They also said that they are very efficient when it comes to writing a song. They will start with basic chord progressions and melodies and they build upon that.
They have a wide variety of influences that they would call a “salad.” Some specifics include the Counting Crows, Steely Dan, as well bands from the 80s, like AC/DC and Guns ‘n Roses. November Guest would classify themselves as Americana Rock. Something most impressive was that November Guest records in their project studio with professional quality. It now has turned into a “giant monster” where they record other local bands.
The album titled “The Island Pond Connection” was released in 2010 and November Guest has an upcoming show at higher ground Wednesday, June 6th, 8:30pm. For more information see www.novemberguest.com
Be sure to check back for the latest live performances we have at the Radiator 105.9.
The Rocket Shop Playlist:
November Guest, “Heroes”
November Guest, “Fear In My Heart” (Live)
November Guest, “John Mike Taylor” (Live)
November Guest, “On My Way” (Live)
November Guest, “Summer Makes Me Feel” (Live)
November Guest, “Louise”
November Guest, “Swim the Seas”
Rocket Shop playlists are logged with RadioActivity.