The Apache Relay to perform new self-titled album at Gasa Gasa


Bess Turner, Staff Reporter

The Apache Relay, a Nashville-based band, will perform cuts from its new eponymous album 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at Gasa Gasa. The group is on a nationwide tour promoting standout singles such as “Katie Queen of Tennessee.”

The song has been featured on websites such as Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine and NPR, and marks the first time the band has employed a collaborative co-writer. They worked with Johnathan Rice, a singer-songwriter from Virginia.

“It was kind of like a Robert Hunter/Grateful Dead kind of scenario, where an outside source brought in some lyrics to go over melodies that were already there,” lead singer Michael Ford Jr. said.

“It evolved a lot, like a lot of incarnations, and that’s kind of how it ended up,” Ben Ford said. “I think it actually ended up being one of our favorite songs on the record as well.”

The album, which was released in April, also marks a turning point for the band’s sound. Once classified as “folk-rock” mostly due to tours with Mumford & Sons and Trampled By Turtles, the newest album carries more of a “retro-pop” feel.

“The band has never made two records that sounded alike, so I think we have a kind of constantly evolving situation,” Ford said. “With this new record it’s a 60’s pop feel for the most part.”

Ford Jr. was playing solo shows in Nashville in 2009 when he heard about lead guitarist Mike Harris’s acoustic group The Apache Relay. He called Harris to ask the group to back him up at some shows. They then released the album “1988” under the name Michael Ford Jr. and The Apache Relay.  They later dropped “American Nomad” in 2011, the first album under the current moniker.

“It was a slow evolution from pretty much just a solely acoustic Americana band to a rock and roll kind of thing,” Ford Jr. said.