Photo by Andrew Bennett
Edison Chair is the kind of band you can’t forget after you catch them live. They seem like a legacy despite their youth, their charming affect and seamless musicianship shining through in their countless original songs. Perhaps it’s because the members have been performing together in various configurations since childhood, the culmination of their musical pursuits being Edison Chair. When the band hits the stage, it feels like you are peering into the living room of a massive musical family gathering, fully equipped with candid banter and mind melting indie-pop sonic vibrations. Edison Chair’s performances are more than just your typical rock show; they bring a unique level of professionalism to their musicality while simultaneously seeming completely at home in any venue.
Edison Chair is a sort of ‘large ensemble’ rock band. With six members sprawling across the stage at every show, their sound is nothing less than monumental. Martin Aker is the lead guitar player, providing a distinct individual style steeped in amazing blues rock riff-age from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Additionally, he performs lead male vocals with striking character and strength. Rachel Thompson and Ellen Gruber front the band with powerful, unique vocal harmonies. Rachel’s abilities are immediately impressive, displaying operatic vocal prowess in an outward hard rock style. Ellen is her perfect match, bringing a robust yet agile soprano tone to their harmonic relationship. Wes Armstrong is the tightest drummer in Austin, livening songs with auxiliary percussion and low, lush harmonies. Wes Ballew tickles the Nord Electro and adds yet another vocal layer. His expansive chord progressions and complex solos add warmth through the massive Leslie speaker that accompanies him. Jacob Draper is the glue that holds the band together, laying down insane bass lines and deeply fattening the group’s catchy songwriting with his virtuosic playing style. The band heightens their ’60’s influenced sound by playing through vintage instruments and amps, channeling what feels like the female lovechild of Big Star and The Beatles.
If you have yet to hear or see Edison Chair, you should remedy that issue immediately. If you like magnetic live performance, undeniable chemistry, masterful harmonies, and songs that will forever be stuck in your head and heart, Edison Chair is your band.