"Roanoke creates a sound that’s both ageless and expressive, one that is so strikingly effusive it practically demands attention on the initial encounter." - No Depression
Meeting at a junction of Americana, indie rock, and folk, Roanoke first began their journey in 2014. Taking on Nashville’s music scene like many pilgrims before them, the core of Roanoke consisting of Taylor Dupuis (Vocals, Guitar), Joey Beesley (Vocals, Lead Guitar), Zach Nowak (Mandolin, Vocals, Guitar), Kyle Breese (Percussion, Harmonica), and John Fiorentino (Guitar) quickly grew into a close-knit musical collective after endless hours of rehearsal and miles on the road. In May 2016, the band released their debut, self-titled album Roanoke, which won the hearts of fans and words of critics at outlets like HuffPost, Bluegrass Today, and No Depression, who described their sound as, both ageless and expressive.
Having earned a reputation for spirited live performances, Roanoke has spent as much time as they can muster on tour. “I have fallen in love with being on the road, it’s been such a replenishing experience,” admits Taylor Dupuis. After the decision to embark on a new album, Roanoke took the time amidst a midwest run to get a little lost and see what they could find. The band ventured out to an isolated cabin in Harrison, Michigan, miles from the nearest paved road and cellphone reception, much less civilization. “A lot of my childhood was spent lost in the woods in Michigan, so spending a few days between the trees with my best friends/bandmates was an incredible experience that really helped us discover something new,” says Dupuis, who acts as one of the chief songwriters in addition to providing vocals. During their time in Michigan’s wilderness, the band spent their days collaboratively writing and demoing songs that would eventually become their forthcoming release Where I Roam
Lovingly dubbing them cabin sessions, Roanoke’s members took an interesting approach when writing Where I Roam —first, they separated into pairs, or even embarked on the process alone. Mandolinist Zach Nowak recalls, “I walked down a path for a bit, and when I came back, I had a song. It felt like it was waiting there to be found.” After hours of writing and exploring new sounds in new landscapes, the band would reconvene to marry musical ideas and creative visions.
“We arrived and had to get reacquainted with ourselves creatively,” said Beesley, “By the second day we were writing in a group setting. By the third day, we were full steam ahead and up until 3 a.m., bringing each other’s ideas to life.” As the days progressed, the members of Roanoke collaborated to create eight new songs. Beesley adds, “I would be lying if I told you that I knew we would come home with the amount of material that we did.
“The writing process for this record was a different experience for everyone. We took all our distractions away,” says Breese, echoing that Dupuis’ escapism appears to have been crucial to Roanoke’s most recent creative burst. “It's a very honest record because there was no end goal, we just wanted to see what we could come up with. Everyone contributed to lyrics, arrangements, melodies. Everything.”
Reinvigorated, not only did the band return with an expanded discography, but also gained perspective on writing and a distinct vision of their sophomore album. “Not all of the cabin songs made it on the record, but all of the songs we created at the cabin helped shape our new sound,” said Dupuis. Beesley adds, “I saw each one of us fall back in love with Roanoke by simultaneously understanding how crucial we as individuals are to the sound of this band.”
After returning back to their homes in East Nashville, Roanoke partnered with producers Jonathan Smalt and Jesse Thompson to record their highly-anticipated second album at Ten Four Recording Company. Where I Roam, released June 2018, draws fresh lines and offers listeners a glimpse of the songwriting magic that took place during the cabin sessions. With Dupuis and Beesley’s fated harmonies and the band’s refined instrumentals, Where I Roam consists of five tracks that explores varied landscapes and sounds; from the front porch of folk into the smokey parlor of rock, the core of the album remains true to the spirit of Americana, encouraging listeners to discover their own new paths and highways.
Where I Roam is more than a collection of songs —it’s an invitation to lose yourself and to keep searching-using those moments to remember where you once were, and to find home wherever you are.
"Blending the softer sounds of The Eagles with the breathtaking dynamicism of The Civil Wars, Roanoke embody a modern Americana sound full of dazzling harmonies and emotional nuance" ~ ATWOOD MAGAZINE
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