Twang Tuesday: Ataloft
Twang Tuesdays feature the best in bluegrass, folk, Americana, roots & Appalachian music.
June 17, 2014 · 7:00pm
What began as a wintertime diversion for Frog Holler‘s Darren Schlappich, Michael Lavdanski and longtime friend Bruce Siekmann has evolved into Ataloft, an exciting new band whose self-titled debut recording is due out this April on ZoBird Records.
Recorded at Siekmann’s Amoeba Studio in Fleetwood, PA between 2012 and 2013, Ataloft presents 12 songs Schlappich penned outside of his main songwriting vehicle, Frog Holler. The singer and guitarist credits a series of life affirming events—the birth of his two sons, the death of three close family members and a major surgery—as both the inspiration and motivation behind the songs.
While Schlappich honed the lyrics, melodies and arrangements over several years, the album is the result of many short creative bursts and synergy between the trio. At the heart of each song is Schlappich’s rich, unmistakable voice and lyrical style. Lavdanski applied his broad skill set to the album’s sweeping musical sections with layered guitars, keyboard, ooohs, aaaahs and shoo-wops. Siekmann, who also acted as engineer, provided the final touches with bass, drums and flourishes of guitar, keyboard, percussion and sample manipulation.
To bring the album to life onstage, Ataloft has enlisted Nick Franclik on bass (Eric Steckel, Electric Farm), Cory Heller on keyboards and backing vocals (Neo-Trio) and Keegan Linder on guitar. The band takes its name from an imaginary pop group that Schlappich, his brother and a few neighborhoods friends formed as children in suburban West Wyomssing, PA.