“All good things must come to an end.”
It’s an adage as old as time and, frankly, it’s one of the cornerstone stories for rock and roll. And thus, goes the tale of Cashroh.
Lead singer and songwriter Kerry Hartman has separated from his bandmates of the past near four years. He said it’s time to spread his solo wings. He’s coming from another history.
A lot of emotions go into a divorce.
“Looking back on the last few years, the growth, development and demise of a rock band is a somber experience,” he said. “Sometimes energies just cease to align, and the music suffers. And at that point is where I felt I needed to walk away and focus on new projects.”
Bassist and co-vocalist Ben Ellis said that despite the split, the former bandmates remain friends.
Distance grows once two now divided. To move forward, you have to fill in the space with your passion. That’s what artists and musicians do. That’s what these musicians did when they first joined forces.
Hartman said that the band’s origins with a tour in 2017 — “feels like merely days” — began with them leaving as four individual musicians as they embarked. He said that upon their return to Southwest Oklahoma, they’d become “an unstoppable force.”
For the next year, the sound developed between him, Ellis, drummer Nathan Red Elk, and Arthur Bass on lead guitar. It became a foundation that was built up when Bryan Bruner stepped in and drove the sound into psychedelic realms, he said.
“The show became full of energy and improvisational spunk that whatever the fuel driving it was pretty damn amazing on stage,” he said.
There were some steamroller moments of musical transcendence found in this musical brotherhood during this time. This is where their southern rock psychedelic sound began to really take form.
But when Bass and Bruner left the band, Hartman said it began a “slow fizzle towards its demise internally” and took Cashroh into unhappy places. It didn’t help that a booked tour through the Western U.S. slated for April that would have peaked with a performance at the legendary Whiskey A-Go-Go in Los Angeles, Calif, was scrapped due to COVID-19.
And now, Cashroh has reached its end. It was a musical journey that now reaches a fork for its players. The singer will take one route, his former bandmates will take the other.
“And instead of waiting round for it to die and suffer any longer, I just decided to move on to new projects and get back to the song being the song,” Hartman said. “I hold no hard feelings or ill will to the boys and wish them the best in their new endeavor.”
Ellis said that he, Red Elk, and lead guitarist Clay Commings, who joined in late-2019, will continue in the same vein under the name of Fildio.
“Cashroh is a name personal to Kerry and it wouldn’t be right to perform with it and not Kerry,” Ellis said. “Fildio has been an inside joke with the band for a couple years so it is fitting for us to take that name.”
The plan is for Fildio to continue playing the Ellis-penned songs, along the classic rock and psychedelic covers that they love to play. There’s a spot open for the right singer, Ellis said.
“We are looking for a new frontman that shares our love of this music and has to stage presence and voice to help us kill it on stage,” he said.
Ellis said that plans are ready to roll forward when a new singer is on board and the pandemic under control. Venues, festivals and rallies are ready to book the band as soon as the gates open. It’s going to take someone dedicated. Guitar or keyboard skills would be welcome but aren’t a dealbreaker.
“A new singer would need to be willing to take weekend road trips to Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and a really cool couple venues in Hollywood,” he said. “Also, if you are a songwriter, we would be willing to work in your material as well.”
You can contact Ellis via Facebook to inquire about the gig.
As for Hartman, he said he’s doing alright on his own. He’s got plans to focus on “a Jerry Garcia tribute, but more of a bluesy gospely improv thing” with one aspect of his musical direction.
Another project is going to encapsulate the best part of his life in Medicine Park. Always with big ideas and brash enough to follow through, Hartman said his heart is into this one.
“It’s a homegrown, down to earth Medicine Park movement with Sarah Wright and Rodney Whaley,” he said.
When the music keeps on keeping on, it can shake the mountains.
The splits keep on splittin’.
Another seeming casualty to the year of the pandemic is arriving in the new year. Following a New Year’s Eve show from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at Red Dirt Reloaded, 6425 Cache Road, the current form of DuPree will be calling it a day. After over 30 years on local stages, this classic blues/rock/funk combo has made its mark.
Keyboardist/singer Danny Cox said to stay tuned because after about 50 years as a performer, he’s not stopping yet.
Gannon Freemin & CCRev recently released their latest EP, “Okie Thump” and, man, does it live up to its name and then some.
Following the acoustic EP, “Shelter Sessions” earlier this year, this latest offering has the stomp and bite of its title and that the band has gained a name for — high-octane red dirt and roll. Produced by Terry Kimble, the album is replete with hallmarks of this ensemble's trademark sound. The first song,” Always Around” crunches and carries weight with Fremin’s country punk vocals that mixes a sneer and a silly grin, sometimes between stanzas.
Band lifers Tyler McCartney on drums and lead guitarist Travis Julian have grown with their lead singer as the group has grown from brash Southwest Oklahoma potential to regional heavyweights, both on stage and through records. It carries out strongly on “Rose Tattoo” that just screams to be heard over the airwaves in any way it can be.
The sneaky acoustic rhythm guitars of the verses let Fremin’s voice carry the weight of “Rock ‘n Roll” until the roaring chorus that has you ready to raise a lighter and sing out strong.
A reworking of “Too Fd Up To Drive” from “Shelter Sessions” closes this album with a punch. Although the earlier acoustic version strikes the heart, it really goes up a notch or eight with the full band accompaniment.
Gannon Freemin & CCRev’s latest EP, “Okie Thump” is available to stream or purchase on all online platforms. You’re going to want to hear what the hype is about with local artists who have made a couple of premiere albums in this weird year. They’re worth catching live when things get less strange. Until then, you can just crank ‘em up in your home and car.
For this week’s Songs for the Sequestration, I figured it might be time to start getting in the mood for the season. ... albeit begrudgingly. Maybe it’s the delirium from nearing the end of 2020 and the hopes for a bright future. But I want to feel like Buddy the Elf this time of year even if I don’t want to really.
Anyway, I always like to start off my rock and roll Christmas playlist with the original proto-punk snotty seasonal song. It’s message isn’t far off in this “satirical” song to Santa: •The Kinks — “Father Christmas” — https://youtu.be/fPPCPqDINEk.
This one feels like childhood to me in a lot of ways. Besides personally, it brings out a rage from the eldest kid who haaaaaaaates this band: •Pearl Jam — “Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmastime)” — https://youtu.be/po9NBBW3anQ.
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