The four-piece indie Americana band Yarn returns to Richmond. (Photo by Todd Chalfant)
Go searching for information on the interwebs about Yarn, the New York-based indie Americana band and you will find very little. The band’s website, yarnmusic.net has a biography section but it is sparse, mainly waxing on about the band and its hard touring schedule — that’s indisputable (more on that shortly) — and how lead singer Blake Christiana writes and interprets his music (the bio also has a bit about their "new" album that came out in 2013). If you search deeper, it seems that Christiana is the only band member who speaks publicly. But that’s not a bad thing.
Christiana is laid back when we chat. He’s just coming off a weekend of “not touring, but gearing up for touring in May when the new record comes out.” His definition of not touring is a little laughable. The band, whose members live in various places all over the East Coast, just did a stint in West Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina and is headed to play in Richmond on Saturday at The Broadberry. “We are taking it easy right now, [spending time] with our families in March. We really get to it in May,” says Christiana.
The band, which formed in 2007, is a serendipitous group of players. The four-piece started on a whim playing Monday nights because the group really enjoyed making music together. “I had this band called Blake and the Family Dog. It was kind of a bar band but original music, a “blow-off-steam-weekend-warrior” kind of thing. And then I started writing these twangier, ‘country-er’ tunes. They didn’t feel like the right fit for the band I was in. So I started this other project, Yarn. We played on Monday nights on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village at Kenny’s Castaways. So every Monday night, a group would come together and we would play these sounds. After a few months, we locked in a band. I mean, our base player, Rich Bugel, came because the original guy had to sub out the gig and he never left,” says Christiana.
The group of four that stuck has two Grammy nominations for past albums “Empty Pockets” and “Almost Home.” And they’re releasing a new album in May. Christiana says it is the best record they’ve done. “We don’t get to listen to the record like a fan putting it on in their car would listen to it. It gets picked apart. There are days where you are kinda indifferent and there are days where you are excited because you are so close to it. There is this song ‘Love Hate’ that was born in the studio — we put it together in the studio, which hasn’t been the case before. The song is usually already there by the time we get to the studio. The song is this dance song, in a way. It is just great,” says Christiana.
He says they are happy to be back in Richmond and really have found a sense of community here.
“We have been playing [Richmond] more often than we used to. It’s just that the fans are amazing, so the demand is there, so we will just come back,” he says. “I mean, as long as you’ll have us, we will be there.”
Yarn plays The Broadberry on Saturday, March 5, with James Justin and Co. opening. 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 the day of the show. 353-1888 or thebroadberry.com.