Basement Brew to celebrate new album ‘Big Damn Ocean’ Oct. 5

Basement Brew

An excellent Fayetteville band is set to release new music this weekend.

Local soul/folk “canoe rock” band (their words) Basement Brew, made up of Lee Zodrow, Patrick George, Gideon Haden, Will Eubanks, and Chris Fletcher, will release a full length titled Big Damn Ocean on Saturday, Oct. 5 with a celebration that evening at Smoke & Barrel Tavern.

A new project made up of Jamie Lou Connolly (Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo), Meredith Kimbrough (Lost John) and Christian Serrano-Torres will open the show.

We got in touch with singer Lee Zodrow from the band, and he was nice enough to answer some questions about the new record and release party via email this week.

Basement Brew Album Release

When: Saturday, Oct. 5
Where: Smoke & Barrel Tavern
Tickets: $5 cover
More info: Jamie Lou Connolly (Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo), Meredith Kimbrough (Lost John) and Christian Serrano-Torres will open the show

What have you been listening to lately?
Lee: Right now I’ve been stuck on that California/country sound that came about in the 60’s and 70’s and tracing it through the decades to where it is today. I’ve been listening to older artists like Gram Parsons, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds – and some of their modern counterparts like Jonny Fritz, Cordovas, Garrett T. Capps, and Zephaniah OHora.

You guys have been playing together for quite a while now. Tell us a bit about how Basement Brew came to be (and how you’ve kept it together over the years).
Lee: We have been together a long time! I believe we founded the band around ’08 or ’09. I met Patrick George the summer after I graduated high school and we started playing music together almost immediately. After playing in a couple bands together we decided to form our own, and Basement Brew was born. It hasn’t always been easy, but I think our friendships with each other and a true love of playing together have kept us all interested in making music as a group throughout the years.

We got a sneak peek at the record, and have been thoroughly enjoying it. Where/when did you guys record? How was the recording process?
Lee: Thanks! We did the initial tracking at Homestead Recording with Eric Witthans in 2016, and have been working on it ever since. Because Patrick is currently living in New Orleans, Eric and I rented out an air bnb down there and set up a mobile studio to record his guitar parts for the record. That was definitely one of the most fun recording experiences I’ve ever had. We also used the same mobile setup to record my piano parts on the Steinway grand piano that they have at KUAF. It has been a long time in the works, but our approach to the record was “it’s ready when it’s ready”. Now that we’ve been working on it and tweaking it for a couple years, we’re finally ready to release it!

I’m always curious about how bands who play original music write songs. What is the process like for you guys?
Lee: I’ve always enjoyed being in Basement Brew because we have multiple songwriters. One of us will bring a song or an idea to the group and then everybody will add to it. Most of the songs start out as simple folk songs written on an acoustic guitar or piano, and then after a couple hours at practice will take on a whole new life.

You guys are involved in several other projects around town as well. Can you give our readers a rundown of some of those?
Lee: Right now I think I’m the only one involved in other projects. I play keys for Lost John and Dylan Earl. Lost John has been mostly a local project, but I spend a lot of time on the road touring with Dylan. Playing with those two projects has been a lot of fun and I’ve had to add to my bag of tricks as a musician to keep up with them.

How do you perceive the music scene in Fayetteville right now? What are some other acts doing cool things that you guys are excited about?
Lee: The music scene in Fayetteville is robust with great musicians and songwriters right now. Over the years it seems to ebb and flow, as some people move away, or start touring, or as others move in to the area. I think with the addition of venues in Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville, it’s given all musicians in the area more places to play and the potential to make a better living at playing music full time. Some of the locals I’ve been excited about are Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo, Noah Richmond’s Little Monster, and anything Jesse Dean is a part of. Also, Backspace and all of the bands that play there regularly are an awesome part of the Fayetteville scene – Sad Palomino, The Chads and Mouton, just to name a few.

Tell us a bit about the release party this weekend. (who’s playing with y’all, what’s the cover, any special deal on records, etc).
Lee: The release party is this Saturday, October 5th, at Smoke and Barrel Tavern. Jamie Lou of Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo is going to open up the night. She’ll be joined by some friends, including Meredith Kimbrough and Christian Serrano-Torres. I’m really excited to see what they’ve put together. They’ll play from 10-11 p.m. and then we’ll play for the rest of the night, so it’s just a two band bill. We’ll have our new album and first album both available that night in CD form, along with T-Shirts. The show will start at 10 p.m. sharp and there’s a $5 cover.

After the release party, how can folks get their hands (or ears) on the new album?
Lee: After the release party the whole album will be available on all streaming platforms. It’ll be available for purchase from iTunes or from our Bandcamp page,