By Jonathan Benton
The alternative folk rock group Linus Van Pelt began with guitarist/singer Zeb Wright and bassist Karie Duncan last October in Wright’s home in North Wilkesboro, NC. At the time Wright had been a solo artist. Soon afterwards Gwyn McGlammery, who was in a previous band with Wright, joined to play drums and Phillip Wyatt, who had been good friends with Wright and Duncan, played the glockenspiel, along with other instruments.
They produced five songs within a couple of months and proceeded to create their EP “Or am I a Nightmare?” during the following winter.
When I asked Wyatt about the experience he retorted, “We recorded the EP in like… 18 straight hours? We arrived at the recording studio… I remember getting back to Boone at 8 am the next morning. It sucked so bad, I fell asleep driving up 421 and woke up on the wrong side of the road. Everyone was just exhausted from the tedious process.”
The EP features Linus Van Pelts’ songs “Or am I a Nightmare?,” “Home,” “Try,” “I’m Awake Now” and “All The Letters” along with one of Wrights’ solo works, “Skin.”
When I posed a question about the sound of their music I was referred to this quotation: “A head on train collision of classic and alternative country with fire spreading to buildings constructed of smart indie rock.”
This quotation fits the music quite well, it is apparent that Wright wrote this about his band much like he writes the lyrics for the songs. I asked Wyatt to give me a couple of names where he derives his influence. Timidly he answered, “I wish Zeb was here right now… Langhorne Slim, Wilco, and The White Stripes.”
Recently Linus Van Pelt welcomed a new member to the band. Zach Jordan, now their lead guitarist, hails from Asheville, NC and knew Wright from childhood. Now with their two week old addition to the band, they are touring the southeast in preparation for recording their first full-length album.
Linus Van Pelt will be playing at The Guadalupe Café on October 3rd starting at 8:00 pm. Their schedule goes on to take them to Wilkesboro, Hickory, Boone and Charlotte through the next few months. Fans of alternative bluegrass, indie rock, and alternative country are sure to enjoy the sound frequencies that come from the instruments and voices of this impressive young band.