Endings and beginnings for Carbondale’s Let Them Roar
If You Go...
Who: Let Them Roar, Cat Toys Para La Gente
What: New Year’s Eve Masquerade
When: 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve
Where: Steve’s Guitars
How Much: $20
This New Years Eve is going to be a special one for Carbondale band Let Them Roar.
The group has performed each New Years Eve at Steve’s Guitars for the past four years, but this will be the last show that Frank Martin, guitar, mandolin and lap steel player and vocalist, plays with them.
“I’ve been struggling with hearing loss for probably close to 18 months now,” Martin said. “I’m just unable to perform where I want to perform. In a lot of the venues we play, it’s just too loud, and I can’t hear myself, and I can’t play it at a level where I want to play — with finesse rather than just trying to survive.”
While the other members of Let Them Roar — vocalists Olivia Pevec and Sophia Clark, guitarist Mateo Sandate, bassist Ashton Taufer and drummer Aaron Taylor — support Martin’s decision to take care of his health, they said the band will never be the same again.
“It’s going to be a completely different thing,” Pevec said. “We don’t want to try to recreate or hang onto what we built with Frank because we don’t think it’s possible. His sound and his style and his everything is not something that we’re going to find again, so it’ll be a different show altogether after he leaves.”
Martin joined Let Them Roar about five years ago at Steve’s Guitars during the band’s second gig. This year’s New Years Eve show will bring the band full circle before a new era begins for both Martin and Let Them Roar.
“I will continue to play solos or trios, probably smaller bands,” Martin said. “And I have a lot of songs that need recording, so it’s time to crank up the home studio and get that documented.”
To document this incarnation of the band, Let Them Roar spent six nights at Cool Brick Studios in Carbondale recording a six-song EP of some of their favorite tracks. The New Years Eve concert will serve as a celebration of this new record and the New Year.
“It’s going to be a masquerade party, so we encourage people to dress up and let go of inhibitions, and maybe think about embodying something they would like to be in the new year, or let go of,” Clark said.
A NEW YEAR FOR STEVE’S GUITARS
Steve’s Guitars served as the birth place for Let Them Roar and countless other bands. The venue, which has been around for 21 years, stands out because of its homey feel and its devotion to live music — and not much else.
“It’s the only place that I know of in Carbondale that has as its sole purpose live music,” said owner Steve Standiford. “We could be a bar, like most places that have live music, but it seems like it detracts away from the most important thing, which to us is the music. That makes us very distinct.”
Standiford recently sent out a mass email detailing his goals for the shop in 2015 and calling on the community for feedback or help. Some of his goals include setting up live web streaming of some of the more popular shows; sound, stage and lighting improvements; some basic retail and instrument repair services; and bringing back jazz nights once a month.
“There are always new things that it seems like I look to do every year,” Standiford said. “Last year around this time I was thinking it would be great to have a better sound system. Friends came and brought a nice sound system. So I think there is a little bit of visioning every year, but I think this is the most comprehensive that I’ve ever done. I think I just got on a roll and thought I’d put seven different projects out there and see who responds and see who wants to help.”
Steve’s Guitars is something special to Let Them Roar, and being able to ring in the New Year and celebrate Martin’s contributions to the band means a lot to them.
“To bring it full circle, this New Years Eve show is the end of an era of what we know of as Let Them Roar,” Sandate said. “The meaning is rich and thick. This New Year is the end of the year, and it’s a new beginning for both Frank and Let Them Roar and everyone else, individually and collectively, and it all is taking place where it all began.”
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