Somewhere between performing live and occasionally sitting down for a bite to eat, Jon Worthy and his bandmates Luis “Slice” Echeverria (keys/guitar), Austin Mcfall (bass) and Michael Sandborn (drums) are in the studio adding the finishing touches to what will be Jon’s 4th CD release, titled “Something’s Gotta Give.”
As one of the hardest working bands out of Nashville, Jon performs as Jon Worthy and the Bends, and he is without a doubt, Nashville’s Rising Star. His songwriting is shaped by a myriad of influences, but rather than aiming at a genre and trying to break into its mold, Jon involves all those influences into what he writes and he creates a unique blend of music defined only as Jon Worthy. Self described as high-energy / indie-americana rock, for lack of a better characterization, listeners have identified his works as having a classic feel with a modern vibe. However you describe it, it’s caught on.
With upwards of two dozen, and often more, appearances in a month, the band has still found time to get into the studio to produce their forthcoming album. Of the forthcoming release, Jon shares,
“The amazing thing about this album is that we’ve never performed these songs out as a band, and I don’t know how much performing we’ll do with these songs. They aren’t our live thing, but they were song that needed to be recorded and shared.”
Where previous works recorded by Worthy have had a strong tie to the young indie market, with driving rhythms and a positive electric feel; “Something’s Gotta Give” offers infectious lyrical content with deep personal insights and a feel for Americana Pop; a juxtaposition between the heart of Nashville’s hometown feel and the hooks of John Mellencamp. Riddled with melody and cleanly recorded instruments, Jon’s voice pulls the listener into each song and states his case in under four minutes. You’ll feel that Jon’s speaking for you as you listen, telling a story you know from the life you’ve lived, in the words you would use to describe it. On this album, it’s like Jon wrote these songs, for you.
Historically, Jon comes to Nashville via Pittsburg, introduced to his potential at age 13 when he saw Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash perform on an episode of “Behind the Music.” He was inspired, and borrowed a relative’s guitar to begin his journey into songwriting.
A student at Penn State, Jon had a few lessons in putting a performance band together and the rigors of showcasing three hour sets for nickels, but it only made him work harder. Post graduation, Jon felt a call to the Nashville music scene and immediately formed a working group under the moniker Easy Roscoe. For four years he endured the worst and celebrated the best that an upstart band could be on the scene, but it came to an end. With a small catalog of written, but unlearned and unrecorded tracks, he set a new goal and gathered the best available talents to record a 6 song EP titled “Unconventional,” departing from the elements of his past band and recording songs that spoke of his own vision. Recorded at East Nashville’s legendary Bomb Shelter with Grammy talent and analog recording genius Billy Bennet, the resulting CD was well received and Jon began his career as simply, Jon Worthy.
Forming a new band with a consistent line-up, Jon filled slots on stage across the Southeast and began writing for what would be his first full length album release, recorded again with Billy Bennet. The ten songs released as “May You Live Happily Ever After” established Jon as a rising star. Through a short period of hard work and dedication to growth as an artist, Jon met and became friends with Cage The Elephant guitarist Lincoln Parish and in short order, found himself in the studio with Parish producing a second full length album titled “Only a Dream.”
The CD affirmed Worthy’s arrival when a multitude of major market FM stations from Tennessee to New England began to spin tracks from the album with listener support. Repeat requests proved that Jon was in fact worthy, and he built a permanent band called The Bends.
The Bends include multi-instrumentalist Luis “Slice” Echeverria on keyboards and guitar (but playing drums the night I first saw them perform.) Slice hails from Lancaster, California and was learned from an early age, studying under legends including Carole Kaye (Wrecking Crew) for guitar, Denny Seiwell (Paul McCartney & Wings) for drums, Bill Laurence (Snarky Puppy) for piano, Jeff Morrow (Vocal Producer for Fox’s Empire) for voice and Jacob Collier for arrangement. He has shared the stage with many notable and acclaimed musicians including Todd Rundgren, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Paula Cole, Jim Lauderdale, and WAR and is proud to call himself a member of Jon Worthy and the Bends.
Bassist Austin Mcfall arrived in Nashville shortly after his friend and fellow Pittsburg scene artist Jon Worthy, by more than chance, and has worked consistently with Jon in all his musical endeavors since starting on the Nashville music circuit. Austin’s music history includes warming the stages for national acts with a punk-esque group and writing and performing in a variety of other genres leading to his move to Nashville. He is the permanent bassist of the Bends.
Michael Sandborn comes to The Bends by way of Huntsville, Alabama. Sandborn spent years performing and working with southern based artists and worked as part of FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where he performed as a studio musician for several artists recording at FAME. Relocating to Nashville, fate put him together with Jon Worthy and he enlisted as the drummer in the band.
Releasing to global online consumption on June 28th, everywhere you listen to music, through CD sales and digital download; the new album promises another reflection of the thoughts and emotions that bring forth Jon Worthy’s songs. Well rehearsed, the band was able to lay out 11 tracks in just two days, ten of which will be available on the CD. For this recording, the band opted to work with Handmade Productions and brought in violinist Paton Goskie and Cellist Evan Breland.
Jon Worthy shares, “Paton in particular added another dimension to these songs with violin that emotionally speaks to the listener. Overall the style of the album contains a lot of similar loud-to-soft moments of our indie rock sound, but with a more acoustic feel. Think if Nirvana had a baby with The Lumineers. The songs reflect on love, heartbreak, searching for what you really want, and most importantly following your dreams.”
The first single from the album is track one, titled “Chasing Dreams,” street date April 12th. A second single is planned to follow with videos rolled out to support the songs.