ALO’s ninth studio album, Silver Saturdays, is not only the band’s first new full-length in eight years, but also celebrates 25-years since ALO formed as the dream of a bunch of kids who had been friends since grade school. With songs contributed by all four members, Silver Saturdays displays the diverse talents and styles of Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz (guitar/vocals), Zach Gill (keyboards/vocals), Steve Adams (bass/vocals) and relative newcomer Ezra Lipp (drums), in addition to the joy and camaraderie found in playing with your friends for decades plus the magic that can only be found in the intuitive connection between musicians who literally learned to play together as they learned to play. “We met at a time in our lives where we were coming of age and craving identity,” explains Lebo. “Music, and more specifically, our band, gave us a vessel with which we could ‘set sail’ on the ‘ocean of life.’”
The joy of reuniting for new work is littered freely throughout the album, starting with Gill’s opening track, “Make It Back Home,” a tune that celebrates endurance and resilience in work and life, and celebrated in his rave-up “Growing My Hands Back,” which was partially inspired by an old folktale called “The Handless Maiden."
“'Growing Your Hands Back' is about losing your wherewithal and through a process of revelation and self-discovery, growing it back," Gill explains. "It’s a song of finding your way back to the primordial campfire of joy and group revelry, after a long, hard time away."
To drive home the theme of ALO’s longevity, the first single, “Hot Damn,” is accompanied by a video by Animator and Director Deren Ney (Tom Petty, Grace Potter, Marcus King) that’s both fun and makes a point. Explains Ney, “The song explores the theme of digging around for the good stuff in life, so we reimagined the ALO origin story as a Goonies-style suburban adventure where the kids discover the greatest treasure of all: the power of rock and roll.”
The power of Rock and Roll currently has ALO playing out on the West Coast, with plans to get further out as the year progresses. In the meantime, Silver Saturdays is enjoying Triple A support from dozens of stations including WYEP, WNRN, WMOT, WFPK and KRSH.
Photo by Jay Blakesberg