Las Vegas, Nevada

Bobby Meader Music was just that: the singer-songwriter output of a Las Vegas native stretched over a series of self-distributed releases. The bold attempt to expand a thin, acoustic-based sound into something more substantial almost never materialized. “We didn’t finish the new album we were working on because the day we showed up in Fort Wayne – after touring a month to get there from Vegas after the holidays – our drummer told us he wanted to go home and he left us high and dry. And the drummer we had before that we had to kick out mid-tour in Grand Junction, Colorado because he started causing a bunch of trouble.” Whether or not the work-in-progress was named I Think I Learned the Most From You for either – or both – of the two ousted drummers is one thing. It’s another to guess that the Nevada four-piece has gained valuable experience from trudging through these issues without label or agent support. Meader has served as the madman behind this operation, but his intelligence comes through with his determination following suit. They have played such festivals as Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Launch Music Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as as well as unofficial SXSW showcases in Austin. They continue to relentlessly tour for 12 months a year, with over 300 shows scheduled for 2016. “The time had come to trade in my Prius for a fifteen-passenger Econoline and ask buddies to play and tour with me.”

With this upgrade in towing power seems to bring an overhaul in Meader’s main objective. While this new sound hasn’t been revealed in wider circles, small ripples across the United States have been receptive to what’s been teased. The response has sparked some unique, almost singular genre tags, with “angular bummer punk” and “folk doom” classifying the strange, but adventurous pull of his project’s new form. Despite what his friends may call it, Meader’s comments on the rebrand have been simpler. “I just call it ‘jams from the heart.’”

If that’s the case, then Bobby Meader Music has the same center with a matte-black veneer. Despite the full-band muscle, Meader’s output has always featured a lean autobiographical skeleton, with his gravelly, time-worn vocals coloring his stories. All that’s changed is the narrative arc. The author’s voice can most definitely still be heard, and for Meader, that’s what matters most. “At the end of the day…if people dig your music they’re gonna call it whatever you call it, like people already do.” Meader seems to call this rebirth a chance to grow and adapt his songwriting for a louder world. With plenty of people already giving him their own takes on this change, many more should follow.

-James Cassar