Chris Cann - Vocals
Chad Salls - Bass
Dean Truitt - Lead Guitar
Van Robbins - Drums
"I dont know what the day will bring/but Im glad to be alive," Chris Cann sings, while bassist Chad Salls and guitarist Dean Truit whirl like dervishes beside him and Van Robbins rides the backbeat. Its another night of Color onstage, delivering an uplifting sound that fuses guitar power and contemporary edge, soul-scorched vocals and irresistible melody. Unleashed in Austin, Texas, Color hit stage after stage refining a singular power. A power that echoes the perennial promise of rock and roll, updated and torqued, but grounded faithfully in the art of the song. Songs that communicate. Songs that matter. Are You With Me? encapsulates and expands upon that live energy. From the anthemic title cut that invites the listener in, to track after track of dynamic music, hook-filled and ear-grabbing, the album introduces a band of rare charisma and commitment. As the sound surges, it summons up Canns vocal command - that of a communicator capable of getting even the most jaded clubgoers to gather close to the stage. Gifted with the immediacy of a classic lead singer, Chris is the vehicle for Colors songs. He writes them with Chad Salls, a distinctively melodic bass player, who first comes up with riffs and motifs on acoustic guitar or keyboard. Salls and Cann then turn the ideas over to Truitt and Robbins - the finished products reveal Colors ensemble force.
It was this force that led the band to sign with multi-Grammy Award winner Matt Serletic (matchbox twenty, Santana, Aerosmith) and his newly formed Melisma Records. Color flew to Altanta to record the album with Serletic and co-producer Noel Golden. "When we went into the studio with Matt Serletic, we had no idea how-far and how-much he would push us," says Truitt. Matt gave us a new perspective when it came to realizing a songs potential."
"Alright," "What Good Is It," "Say Goodbye" and the rest of their debut reflect Colors passion both for driving, rhythmic assertiveness, and pops essential element, melody. Its the sound of a band who has absorbed and transformed their influences. Its big music, built to last. As Chad Salls says, "We want to be a band people will listen to not just 20 minutes from now but 20 years from now." And while, in range and ambition, it echoes the stadium-filling sounds the band grew up on, its intensely personal - the essence of its makers dreams and hopes. "Were not following in anyone shadow," insists Chris Cann, "were casting our own."
Formed in the late Nineties in the Lone Star States music hotspot of Austin, Color stood out from the crowd from the start. Amidst the cowboy hats of neo-country outfits and the thriftstore gear of faceless alt-rockers, this band was different. From the moment they began gigging, they envisioned something bigger - rock and roll of genuine, outsized inspiration. Impatient with meandering blues jams or monotone angst, they aimed to recapture a spirit of musical adventure and unabashed drama. "In a way," Truitt says of Colors early days, "we were outcasts, but that made us so much stronger - we worked so much harder."
The roots of that work go deep. Friends since their first day together in a Houston kindergarten, Salls and Truit formed their first band at the tender age of 14. Different high schools and musical tastes (Chad, Brit new wave, Dean, heavier rock) for a while drew them apart, as did Salls move to Austin and Truitts to L.A. In 1994, they re-united for a few years in the Austin band Seed, which received exposure on "Late Night with Conan OBrien" and MTVs "120 Minutes."
It was with Chris Cann, however, that theyd find their truest creative expression. Houston-born, San Antonio-raised, Chis hit Austin at age 10, becoming in time the frontman for local faves Mrs. Brown. After that bands demise and a stint driving blues-rock guitarist Jimmie Vaughans truck on tour, he joined Color. Completing the line-up was Van Robbins, an Amarillo-born ranchers son and drummer extraordinaire. Turning pro at 17, Van took to the road two years later with an all-black blues band. "I grew up on Motown," he says, "so I go for the groove - not fancy, but soulful as hell."
Its an apt description for the sound Color has developed. Soulful and skillful, rock and roll with a pop sensibility, Are You With Me? balances force and finesse. From Canns yearning vocals on the string-laden "Say Goodbye" to the way "Not the Same" begins as percussive thunder then swings into syncopation, to the funkified swagger of "Trick of the Light," a portrait of a femme fatale "sitting cross-legged like Buddha did." And even as Color unveils its debut, they aim to build on its promise. Committed to a life in music, Color continues to write, to polish their approach, to test their mettle in live performance. "We love to perform live," Truitt says, "we are inspired every night when we feel the energy of a new audiences reaction."
Color continues to form a bond and a following with the crowds who have seen them. Responding to the bands sincere passion to communicate, listeners embrace the message in the music, a message, Chris says, thats " about honest, everyday experiences. But its also about not settling for less. Its uplifting. Its positive." And as fans continue to pack Colors live shows, they sense theyre a part of something that aims for the extraordinary. Forged in the heat of the moment of rock and roll dreams and universal aspirations--Color is music whose time has come.