Uncle Son is a rock & roll band in a country town. Formed in Nashville, the group occupies the middle ground between psychedelic rock and song-based pop/rock, drawing influence from groups like the Kinks, Big Star and the Grateful Dead along the way.
Band leaders Chad Stuible and Grayson Downs previously performed together in several Tennessee-based bands, backing up frontmen like Allen Thompson with their vocal skills and multi-instrumental chops. With Uncle Son, the two shine a light on their songwriting abilities, as well. Joined by guitarist Miles PRice and drummer Brian Kotzur, Uncle Son made its Nashville debut in 2017 and began expanding its touring operations into neighboring cities throughout 2018, all the while putting the final touches on a debut record.
Scheduled for release during 2018’s second half, Uncle Son’s first release is a contemporary rock album inspired by the sounds of the band’s collective past. There’s an emphasis on hooks, vibe, and volume, with arrangements that nod to several decades worth of music. Songs like “False Sunrise” are sweeping, swooning tracks that nod to Pink Floyd’s hazy epics, while “Fallible Me” takes a trippy turn, thanks to a Beatles-worthy chord progression that shows the full reach of the band’s influences.
“It all fits under a rock & roll umbrella, but there’s a lot of diversity beneath that umbrella,” says Downs, who plays bass for the group. “Everyone in the band lives in East Nashville, and we’re proud of that community. Nashville’s music scene may not be based on rock & roll, but we’re taking the great songwriting that happens in this town -- and the great playing that happens here -- and putting it into a rock & roll context.”
With songs that spin stories of psychedelic experiences, personal growth, and East Nashville character studies, Uncle Son’s debut record is as diverse as the band itself, its sound rooted in amplified guitar crunch, vocal harmonies, kinetic keys, and a shared songwriting attack.