It took nearly half a decade, but The National Reserve frontman Sean Walsh said the band has found their pocket and they don't playing on straying from it.
The Brooklyn-based group will open for acclaimed indie rock band Low Cut Connie tonight at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem. Show time is 8 p.m.
"We've been playing a lot in Pennsylvania recently and it's been super fun," Walsh said during a recent phone interview. "It's been this lineup for about the past four years. I'm finally at a point where everyone in the band has their own voice."
The National Reserve is supporting their forthcoming debut album, Motel La Grange (due out May 11 via Ramseur Records). Walsh, the group's lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, said the band had already been playing the bulk of the material that make up Motel La Grange in concert, which made the recording process. It did not hurt that the band had spent the past five years cutting their teeth and winning over fans in and around Brooklyn.
"It gave us a chance to figure out where the songs should be musically. You can kind of do that in rehearsals but it's hard to tell if you are doing a good job unless you're in front of people," Sean said.
Walsh said the group's individual musical tastes has in turn created a melting pot of styles that is represented both on tape and on stage: a tapestry that stitches together threads of blues, soul, folk, and Southern rock. "We love The Band, we love old rock 'n' roll music, old soul music," he said. "I love a good shuffle, but I love really good church changes."
Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde is the spark, Walsh said, that became a burning desire to play music for a living. "That record kind of catapulted me on a trajectory that would guarantee I wasn't going to stay in college; it had a huge effect on my life," he said, chuckling. "It got me a the right age when I realized this music is a really powerful thing. I couldn't think of a more fulfilling thing to want to do."
The National Reserve performs tonight with Low Cut Connie at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem. Tickets cost $15-$20.