THE BAND: FlyLiteGemini

THE MUSIC: Rock influenced by folk, country and blues
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE BAND: 8 p.m. Wednesday (July 17) at SpeakEZ Lounge in Grand Rapids (album-release show); 9 p.m. Friday (July 19) at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo (album-release show)

When the successful West Michigan band FlyPaper – after playing upwards of 150 shows a year – fell apart some time ago, Kalamazoo guitarist Joe Chamberlin started the FlyLiteGemini solo project and eventually recorded an album with drummer and harmony vocalist Sam Rice.

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And that unexpectedly spawned a revitalizing new rock band adventure.

“What I thought maybe was going to be a musical epitaph for me became a musical rebirth,” Chamberlin said.

Indeed, that rebirth – with Chamberlin on guitar, Rice on drums, Zach Potter on bass and Nate Karnes on keyboards – has produced a new studio album, “Bigger on the Inside,” which officially gets released next week when FlyLiteGemini makes its Local Spins Wednesdays debut at Grand Rapids’ SpeakEZ Lounge.

In Studio X: Joe Chamberlin during Local Spins on WYCE. (Photo/Molly Long)

Chamberlin said the fruitful relationship between band members and the group’s chemistry actually has created enough songs for two more albums. “It’s really evolved naturally and organically,” he said.

The group counts everyone from Waylon Jennings to My Morning Jacket to Jimi Hendrix to the Black Keys as influences.

As Chamberlin puts it, he has “a little bit of musical ADD” spawning “all these different types of songs.”

Chamberlin, Rice and Potter churned out two of those types for this week’s edition of Local Spin on WYCE, performing the new songs “Sagittarius and Scorpio” and “Better Days” on the air.

Watch the video of their rendition of “Sagittarius and Scorpio” here, with the full radio show podcast below.

VIDEO: FlyLiteGemini, “Sagittarius and Scorpio” (Local Spins on WYCE)

Both Chamberlin and Rice write songs for the band, with Chamberlin insisting that his music is “very motivated by love – not just romantic love, but love as an ethereal force that makes you feel connected to something other than yourself, whether it’s a dog or a man or a woman or your 1981 G&L F-100 (guitar), something that makes you feel warm and connected.

“That, along with being out in the wild lands of the world, inspires songs.”

Band Chemistry: Potter and Chamberlin at WYCE. (Photo/Molly Long)

The band recorded the album with Ian Gorman at La Luna Recording in Kalamazoo(“Ian just gets me. His ideas, they feed us,” Chamberlin said) and plans to shop the record to small labels in Europe and the United States.

And while members of the band also perform in other groups (The Change, The Turnips), they’re committed to pushing FlyLiteGemini as far as they can, with hopes of landing a spot on tour with a high-profile artist.

“We just want to keep growing what we’re doing,” Chamberlin said. “I think we appeal to a wide age range and wide demographic.”


FlyLiteGemini
“Bigger On The Inside”

What Stands Out: The second recording from Kalamazoo classic/indie-rock outfit FlyLiteGemini explores themes that every good rock album should: love unrequited, stories from the road, the labors of playing music for a living, and even a ballad about California. Led by Joe Chamberlin, the 15-track album also features writing contributions from drummer Sam Rice (who also shares lead vocals on a couple of tracks as well as harmonies throughout), and oozes a solid classic rock setup and execution, with organ, bass, rhythm and lead guitar, drums and vocals. Each guitar riff and solo is carefully constructed to complement the melody and rhythm section, and these catchy originals have a serious feel-good vibe backing up each track. (The album also contains a cover of a Jimi Hendrix tune, “May This Be Love.”)
Digging Deeper: Although Chamberlin wouldn’t necessarily be considered the most versatile of rock vocalists, he lays out impressive harmony on almost every track and really stands out when he lets loose on songs like “Mountains Rise” and “Going Down.” Would have really loved to hear more bass presence on this album, too.
Perfect For: Fans of Dispatch, soulful folk and driving to the beach or a music festival on a steamy summer’s eve with the windows all the way down. – Megan Dooley
Website: http://flylitegemini.com
Upcoming Shows: 8 p.m. Friday at Final Gravity Brewing Co. in Kalamazoo
Listen: “Bigger on the Inside”

Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC

FlyLiteGemini
“FlyLiteGemini”

FlyLiteGemini’s self-titled debut release is nothing shy of ambitious. From the dissonant opening riff of “Row” to mock-fadeout of “Working Dead,” FlyLiteGemini – an offshoot of Kalamazoo’s Fly Paper – seems to have found a voice all its own. Singer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Chamberlin presents a distinct vision across the album’s 14 songs, accompanied by powerful rock ‘n’ roll drumming by Sam Rice. These guys certainly can play the blues, too, as heard on the speedy and aggressive “Love Sweet Love.” And amid all the lyrical expression and storytelling are hints of a folk sensibility, as heard on “Inside” and “Wild West,” which seemingly invite the listener to lean in closer … and the invitation is accepted. – Devin Anderson
Website: https://www.facebook.com/FlyLiteGemini/
Upcoming shows: Oct. 26 at Redwood Curtain Brewing Company in Arcata, CA.
Listen: “Love Sweet Love”

Social Media

YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIwn2qNkAX7XKRzALt45T5g Instagram -- http://instagram.com/flylitegemini Facebook -- http://facebook.com/flylitegemini Spotify -- https://open.spotify.com/artist/37DzAWa6A8p6TH1DXzO0E7 Twitter -- http://twitter.com/flylitegemini

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