Music Notes for June 14, 2012

No shoes required for old-time music outfit

For Weekly SurgeJune 12, 2012 

When I first met Hasee (pronounced Hazy) Ciaccio, she was a high school student at The Academy of the Arts, Science & Technology in Myrtle Beach, volunteering at a South By Southeast Music Feast at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot. Her family full of singers and music lovers, also at that show, clearly shaped her career and educational choices. Four years later Ciaccio is now a senior and part of the first class of baccalaureate students enrolled at East Tennessee State University to earn a B.A. in Old Time and Country Music – the first such major offered by a large university.

While at ETSU Ciaccio, who plays stand-up bass (among other instruments), met a few like-minded traditional music fans and players who were in an act that was beginning to earn some recognition. One year ago she was asked by the trio to become a permanent, fourth member. That group, The Barefoot Movement, will perform 1 – 4 p.m. Saturday at the Liberty Tap Room & Grill in Myrtle Beach for its annual Before Father’s Day Bar-Be-Cue, Beer & Bluegrass event. The Barefoot Movement performed there last year, and performed at Bourbon Street Bar & Grill last winter, too.

Catching up with the busy act was tricky. Earlier this week the band was in Nashville, Tenn. recording at the storied Sound Emporium studio, working on a still untitled full length project, its second. As part of a development deal funded by the TruLight Foundation, the project is designed to shop to labels, management and promoters.

The Sound Emporium originally dates back to the 1960s, and has been the home of virtually every major artist to ever record in Nashville, including: Kenny Rogers, Todd Rundgren, Johnny Cash, Don McLean, R.E.M., Robert Plant, Allison Krauss, and more recently the soundtracks for the hit movies “Walk the Line,” and “O Brother Where Art Thou.” Additionally, Old Crow Medicine Show, Uncle Kracker, Willie Nelson, Taylor Swift, and Kenny Chesney have also recorded at the landmark studio. So Barefoot Movement, needless to say, is thrilled with the company it’s keeping with the ghosts of traditional and pop music still echoing in the rafters.

“I just laid the fiddle track down for one of my songs ‘Too Long in One Place’,” said band co-founder, primary songwriter, singer and fiddler Noah Wall. “It’s a song about how much we love being on the road. We really do.” Wall, a North Carolina native, is a 2011 graduate from ETSU, where she majored in Broadcasting and minored in Old Time and Country Music.

The evolution of the band started some six or so years ago, said Wall. “Tommy [Norris, mandolin] and I started out together in high school. Quentin [Acres, guitar/vocals] joined us in the fall of 2009, and Hasee [bass/vocals] joined us about a year ago. We’ve got two sides of music that are important to us - we all really care about old music, but we have all kinds influences – the songs come out the way they come out, we don’t really have a set formula. We might fall some where between Old Crow [Medicine Show] and Nickel Creek, but we lean toward the traditional side. We split the vocals up between Quentin and I, pretty evenly. I always liked bands that had multiple lead vocalists – Like Fleetwood Mac. Hasse sings some, too. I love that.”

“It’s hard to fit us in a genre,” added Ciaccio, a slight girl who plays an instrument twice her size. “We have roots in bluegrass and old time music, and rock n’ roll. We’re more traditional than the The Avett Brothers, or Mumford & Sons, but we play groovier material. We cover song songs from the 1960s, like The Hollies. We all grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and other rock music, too.”

Blind Melon’s hit “No Rain” has become a signature cover song for the group, which caught the ear of Blind Melon’s bassist Brad Smith, who is the writer of the tune. Smith agreed to produce Barefoot Movement’s recording of the tune earlier this week.

“I’m not sure if [“No Rain”] will be on the record – a single for sure,” said Wall, “and it will be a promotional video. I’ve loved “No Rain” since I was four years old.”

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