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The April Fools (Americana) $7
Saturday, April 1, 2017 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm UTC-6
The April Fools began as a studio project for singer/songwriter Brian Drake, who intended to record a batch of his songs with help from a wide network of players to flesh out the tunes. Guitar, bass, and drums would be augmented by horn players, strings, woodwinds, keyboards, vocalists, and more depending on the specific song. The songs themselves spanned a broad spectrum—rock to straight-up country to alt-country/Americana to blue-eyed soul to Brit-pop to folk to 70’s AM radio and more.
The four band members got together for their first jam on September 15, 2013 with the agreement that this was simply a project—a project with a beginning and an end. Then, a funny thing happened; they became a band. The ease of collaboration—the charmed chemistry that presented itself—was apparent almost immediately and they all knew, without saying anything about it, this was something they wanted to continue to do as an ensemble.
Finding a cohesive thread with which to bring together those diverse genres, they then began recording sessions for what would become their debut album. Fast-forward to April 2015 and here it is. Ladies and gentlemen; The April Fools.
Brian was a Rock and Roll convert from somewhere around the age of 7. When other kids were drawing pictures of Army guys, cars, cowboys and Indians, and space ships and flying saucers, Brian was drawing pictures of Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, guitars, drum sets, and amplifiers while singing along to every song on the radio. At age 12, along with the rest of America, he saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and it was obvious immediately things would never be the same.
The seemingly never-ending stream of British groups of cool guys playing cool music and drawing the adoration of screaming girls at every turn fired his imagination and has never let go. His first performance on a stage was at age 13 for a high school “fashion show” where he played drums in Ike and The Islanders. Shortly thereafter he got his first guitar from a mail-order catalog. He wrote his first song on a Sears Silvertone arch-top at age 14 and never looked back.
A fixture in the indie/alt Minneapolis music scene since the early 80’s, Brian previously fronted, recorded with, and toured with Idiot Savant, The Fontanas, 60 Cycle Hum, and The Hard Left.
Minneapolis native Clay Williams was bit by the rock and roll bug in junior high and hasn’t stopped picking since. A succession of bands followed. Notably, Sneakers, a hard rock band that opened for Pat Benatar on her first American tour, and The ‘Sota Band, a regional country act. Later, excursions into rockabilly with Lazy Ike and the Daredevils and his own trio The Dieselfitters. More twang followed with Jennifer Markey and the Tennessee Snowpants, and Roy Hubbs. Current endeavors include The April Fools, Katy Vernon, The Blackberry Brandy Boys, and Saddle Sores. When not out and about, he’s squirreled away in his underground audio bunker cooking up new tracks.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Ben Kaplan played in various local and regional bands. While playing the area clubs he worked with future Windham Hill guitar star Michael Hedges, and backed fiddle legend Vassar Clements. As a session musician and engineer at Blue Seas recording studio he worked with Lovin’ Spoonful bassist Steve Boone, Little Feat leader Lowell George, British rocker Robert Palmer, guitar legends Link Wray and Roy Buchanan, and Verdine White of Earth, Wind, and Fire. Since relocating to the Twin Cities in the early 1980s he has played with artists ranging from Mississippi blues legend Jessie Mae Hemphill to Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry.
Scott Hreha began playing guitar as an 8th grader in the 1980s in Racine, WI, but soon switched to bass when opportunities in both a pop metal band and the high school jazz ensemble presented themselves. After relocating to the Twin Cities in the early 1990s, he has played with numerous bands ranging in styles from straight-ahead rock (The Red Flags, The Unreasonables) to experimental improvisation (Incinarator). In addition to playing music, he has also done a fair amount of music writing over the years, with work published in Signal to Noise, Callaloo, the Minnesota Daily, PopMatters, and Pitchfork, as well as One Final Note—a jazz website he published and edited from 2000-2006.