"Watching Sun Blood Stories is basically like going to the rainforest and taking psychedelics…so you should probably come check it out.". -- The Wax House
With a haunting and electric sound, Sun Blood Stories is the blues pushed into the red. And as big a wallop as the Boise band packs, the most standout part of its sound comes from its being started with the express intention of not being a band. After the demise of his previous project, Talk Math to Me, singer and songwriter Ben Kirby turned away the musicians that wanted to join him for his next project. Feeling that he had been hiding too much behind full instrumentation, he moved forward as a solo act to force himself into becoming a better songwriter.
It worked. The sparse and grungy solo slide guitar tunes about love and death gone horribly wrong that Kirby began crooning around Boise beer halls several months later were far darker, more structurally complex takes on the blues than previously seen in Idaho. And the time-warped tone of Kirby’s gritty baritone voice conveyed a haunting sincerity to his steadily growing audience.
After the release of Early Recordings of Sun Blood Stories, a solo effort Kirby recorded in his living room, Kirby recruited wailing saxophonist Andy Rayborn to join him onstage to perform at the inaugural Treefort Music Fest in March, 2012. After the gig, Rayborn returned home to Moscow, Idaho and set about the task of teaching himself bass guitar
Shortly after that, Kirby found himself drunk, wearing an animal costume, and jamming with a Bonham-style powerhouse of a drummer named Brett Hawkins. The two clicked instantly and all the work Kirby had put into being a better songwriter finally fell into place. Rayborn moved to Boise shortly after the animal jam and the trio began furiously rehearsing.
Performed with a power-trio, Kirby’s murder ballads took on massive new dimensions. Riffs and chords hit like a roundhouse kick and slide-licks became anguished wails of fuzz-tone. Topped with Kirby’s firewater voice and spooky honks of sax from Rayborn, Sun Blood Stories quickly became a major draw in Boise clubs.
On its debut tour in fall 2012, the band’s acting manager, Amber Pollard jumped in impromptu on percussion and backup vocals and never left, adding a muscular stage presence known to shatter tambourines and a vocal smoothness to balance the tone of Kirby’s vocals to the lineup.
Upon returning from tour, the now-quartet of a solo project immediately began recording its debut album in its Boise practice space to capture the energy it had found on tour. It’s name: The Electric Years.
Full of space and sadness, electric with energy and natural sound, The Electric Years is seven tracks of a band in the prime of its ascendency. The Electric Years has already generated buzz in local media and is set to be released in Spring 2013 with regional and national tours to follow