Since their first show on Anzac Day in 2010, local outfit the Seals have rapidly gained a following with their neo-bluegrass sound and now they’re set to celebrate their new EP, Ruckus Juice, with a trademark high-energy hoedown.
Releasing their self-titled debut EP last year, they have since played at the West Coast Blues ’N’ Roots festival and Wave Rock Weekender, and even convinced Bridgetown’s most famous spoon player, Deb “Spoons” Perry, notorious after spooning along with the Black Keys’ Lonely Boy on a YouTube video, to join them on stage.
Ruckus Juice continues the band’s obsession with roots and bluegrass from the southern States of the US.
“Ruckus juice is slang for moonshine or cheap whiskey,” informs grizzled banjo plucker Tom Gourley. “It comes from an old Memphis jug band song from the 1920s or 30s. That kind of music is a big part of our influence.”
Their first EP saw the band huddled around one microphone during the recording sessions, while Ruckus Juice sees the boys in more of a professional environment with Pete Grandison at Kardinya’s Shanghai Twang overseeing proceedings.
“Mostly it was recorded live in the studio, with a few vocal overdubs afterwards,” says Gourley.
“Pete has recorded a lot of bluegrass and roots music, like Ian Simpson and Bluegrass Parkway, and he was also clued in with the acoustic music vibe we were going for. It wasn’t a single mic recording like the last one, but it was done all live in the studio.”
The band saw their fans crawling through windows to get into their packed-out last launch, and the fans also helped shape the songs that made the cut on Ruckus Juice.
“It was a response to requests actually, so we were pretty happy to lay them down,” says Gourley.
“We had recorded some of these songs before, but they were from our initial recording so we were pretty happy to lay them down again with a fuller sound.”
The Seals launch Ruckus Juice at Amplifier on Saturday with Boom Bap Pow, the Chameleon Brass Band, and Victoria’s The Davidson Brothers.