My 2020 Studio Album

Yep, my band released our first full-length this year. We’d booked support dates around the southeast and had a true PR plan in place, but had to drastically change our strategy after COVID shutdowns and later, as more protests for social justice took place.

GFATS is a nine-piece band (horns, auxiliary percussion, keys + four-piece rock band) and the rock-focused album brings our big, live sound to the stereo. We tracked to tape (with some digital overdubs) and made other technical and artistic decisions knowing we’d release it on vinyl.

Overall, “southern, soulful rock” is probably the best description we got from press. We’ve been compared to The Dead, Peter Gabriel, Little Feat, North Mississippi Allstars and of course Phish. I like to describe us as a rock band branched from improvisational rhythm and blues music, as that tends to cover the overall sound.

You can stream it and read more about it here:

*N.B. - I chose not to further delve into how unbelievably terrible it’s been for local or unsigned musicians this year because I think we all are more than aware at this point, and it’s frankly depressing as hell.

Dude way to be man! I’ll check it out. I made an album too this year, but the profile is so much lower, haha. My PR plan is more of the untrue variety. I’ll make my own thread about it maybe.

You have vinyl going on? Wait, there’s six albums? Oh those others are singles but aren’t on the full-length, I see. I like when there’s a history you can observe.

The bandcamp page is pretty comprehensive credits-wise. I honestly don’t know which dude you are, I always feel like I should know everyone here better than I sometimes do. Also I can’t hear you at all over this Phish 2010 show that’s blaring off to my right.

I’m lucky (I guess??) in the case of COVID that I do not rely heavily on music for revenue. I defintely lost gig money but my expenses must be less I guess, I’m getting by right now somehow without the night gigs.

Thankfully the vaccines are rolling out and we can start to see live music returning soon, we’re all hoping. Best of luck to you in minimizing all the damage from the downtime.

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Okay wow it’s actually excellent, okay … I genuinely dig it.

Strong lyrics, strong songs - and that’s typically the last thing I expect when hearing something new because it’s kind of the rare and precious magic piece that you can’t just always conjure. Lots of great players playing nice music, but often I can’t get into the songlessness or the lyrics being a turnoff, and these tracks are refreshingly bereft of either issue, so thumbs way up.

I spent some more time realizing there’s an EP, and I listened to most of the full-length.

Recommended, and I’ll be revisiting.

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@hosemsasterflex - Thanks so much! Honestly means a lot and I appreciate you giving it a listen. We’re definitely at the place where we want there to be some humor and some lightness, but age and experience keeps us away from nonsense lyrics of our youth.

This is my main musical project right now; I’m the band’s namesake and “the strays” - however lame that sounds - is fitting for the rest of the band since we’ve come from all over. We also have slightly overlapping musical interests and aren’t a band full of Phish or Dead fans.

The music scene in Columbia is a little grouchy. The musicians who’ve played here since they were in high school don’t quite trust that a band can sound upbeat and look like they enjoy what they do on stage. Maybe they’ve been through more shit? Or maybe growing up listening to emo/punk/rock does that to you? I dunno. We just do what we do and gig where we can.

Really hoping 2021 can get us back on stage.