Comprised of founding members Jay Rutherford (guitar, vocals), Aaron Mortenson (drums, percussions) and Gordon Persha (bass), along with Micah Hulscher (keyboards), Chuck Foster (keyboards) and Wojtek Krupka (guitar), the Nashville, TN-based sextet Los Colognes can trace their origins back about 15 years to when Mortensen, Rutherford and Persha began playing in a variety of bands — from “church bands, shitty punk bands, high school bands, and any other kind of band,” learning to play and create music in an collaborative fashion when the founding trio was in Chicago.
Mortensen and Rutherford eventually relocated to Nashville in search of an atmosphere that they hoped would support year-long, spontaneous music creation. As Mortenson explains in press notes, “Jay and I decided to make the move to Nashville in 2010 in search of like-minded musicians. The fact that we are big JJ Cale fans played into it. We were intrigued by his history here, and Emmylou Harris’, and John Prine’s. We figured there had to be ghosts still floating around here, their stories, and maybe players from those sessions.”
While in Nashville, the lineup managed to take shape when Mortensen and Rutherford recruited Hulscher in a piano boogie bar and Persha moved from Chicago to join the group. With the founding trio’s history of playing in rotation church bands, they quickly became one of Nashville’s go-to backing bands for the city’s local singer/songwriters, and as a result they played with Nikki Lane, Caitlin Rose (with whom they toured with her as her backing and as her opener) and Rayland Baxter.
The band, then as a quartet released their debut effort, Working Together received attention when Matchbox Twenty‘s Rob Thomas tweeted that he was a fan and material from the album wound up on Starbucks‘ store playlists. The band’s recently released sophomore effort Dos reportedly still draws major influences from Cale and Prine but also reveals a band who has refined their sound as Foster, whom the group describes as an encyclopedia of Southern rock, and Krupka have rounded out the band’s lineup.
Dos‘ latest single “Golden Dragon Hut” sounds as though it could have been released in the mid-to-late 70s, as it sounds as though it draws from JJ Cale and Dire Straits and much like those songs it evokes bleary, lonely and fucked up nights at a shitty bar, drunkenly swaying in your seat to the music with your thoughts and regrets. Certainly, for an audience that’s largely unfamiliar with 70s AM rock, Los Colognes may introduce those folks to some of the period’s finest and most interesting songwriting — songwriting that manages to be relevant in an age where people feel dissatisfied and incomplete and can’t quite figure out why or how.
The band will be touring throughout the fall to support Dos, check out tour dates below.
9.11 – Chattanooga, TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
9.12 – Huntsville, AL @ Salty Nut Brewery
9.17 – Nashville @ Americana Fest (Mercy Lounge)
9.18-20 – Bristol, TN @ Bristol Roots & Rhythm
9.22 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
9.24 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe
9.25 – York, PA @ Sign of the Wagon
9.26 – Dayton, OH @ Oddbody’s Music Room
9.29 – Detroit, MI @ PJ’s Lager House
10.1 – Chicago @ Schuba’s
10.2 – Burlington, WI @ Tall Tales Music Fest