by Paul Kowert, February 2014
We're 27 now. We met each other when we were about 20 at various musical gatherings (festivals, camps). Hearing and playing with each other was quite a thrill, and we instantly liked hanging out as well. Brittany was at Princeton, I was in Philly at Curtis, and Jordan was at Towson in Maryland... and had a car. Jordan would pick me up (the bass rides shotgun in a sedan) and we'd head out to Princeton to crash Britt's dorm room (we were surprised to find tom quads for her school's marching band there). Among our first gigs were a Princeton fundraising event and a (newly created) Curtis Square Dance.
When graduation time came, Britt joined the band Crooked Still, I joined Punch Brothers, and Jordan moved to Boston where there were many people to collaborate with and write for. We continued playing together in different combinations (Jordan's 2012 record "The Secret History" features me and Simon Chrisman, Brittany's 2012 record with Dan Trueman "Criss Cross" features Jordan, etc), but it wasn't until early 2013 that we reconvened as a trio. We started by playing the tunes that we used to play, and a lot of Jordan's material that he had written when we first met (stuff that ended up on "The Secret History"). We jumped in Britt's mom's car for a west coast tour, Jordan's parents' car for an east coast tour, and trains for gigs around NYC. It quickly became clear that we needed to write new material and make a new record, so we started putting blocks in the calendar to stay in Brooklyn and work on new music together, rather than hit the road and make some cash. We're glad we did.
"You Got This" includes two tracks written by Brittany, two by me, and five by Jordan, although none of the tracks would be anywhere near the same without the collaboration. We pitched in on each others' writing and arranging each in our own different way. The result is a rich and varied sound and a strong presence from each individual.
This story leaves out a lot of beer drunk, bass cases slept-on, late drives from Boston to NYC, and general goofing off. More on that later.