Aurelian Blue and Ashland’s DIY Music Scene

Image Credit Aurelian Blue Instagram

Live music is back in Ashland! Actually, it has been for a little over 2 weeks. 

Just after 7:30 pm Friday, October 22nd Aurelian Blue, an up and coming Ashland band, opened their home on B st. to friends old and new, as long as they could show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken 48 hours prior to the show.

Supported by Portland locals Spoon Benders, and The Macks, Aurelian Blue played one of the most intimate house shows that I have ever been fortunate enough to witness. There was a light mist outside contributing to the ethereal vibes, and the house was full of people stoked beyond belief to be gathered once again at a house show in Ashland. Walking through the rain past the front door and into the crowded living room, I could feel the energy of every person in that room. It felt like everyone was both Christmas-morning silent with anticipation, and screaming at the top of their lungs. We can pin point these things, moments when our lives change, and It was at that moment that I felt like I finally belonged in Ashland-I knew I was in for one of the best nights of my life.

Aurelian Blue is Nina Myers on vocals, guitar, and keys, John Mangiola on guitar, Jerry Burke-Perez on bass, and Joey Natiello on drums. I met with the band recently to recap the night and ask a few questions.

How was playing live again? What was your headspace going into it, how did you feel after your set?

This project is still very new, but we’re all seasoned musicians and are very excited to be playing live shows again this year. We were a bit nervous hosting the show because of Covid, which is why we decided to add the vaccine card requirement earlier that week. We really missed the special energy and intimacy of a house show and wanted to bring that back for our friends, but wanted to keep everyone as safe as we could. The set was a blast, and afterward we got to jam out with two amazing out-of-town bands. So many friends came out to support and we were all very grateful to revive the Ashland house show scene after so long being quarantined/socially-distanced.

Any upcoming shows?

The only confirmed show we have at the moment is March 18th, 2022, playing with The Shaky Harlots and an awesome Chicago band called North by North at The Black Sheep in Ashland. If other opportunities present themselves, we’d love to play sooner. In the meantime, we’re focusing all our time and energy on recording our first album.

When can we expect new music?

The next few months will be dedicated to recording, mixing, and designing album art. We’re hoping to have a full album release show in early Spring 2022, with a single or two released prior.

Who are some of your influences?

Nina: Regina Spektor, Ben Gibbard, Elliott Smith

John: Elliott Smith, Johnny Marr, Kevin Shields

Joey: Nate Smith, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hiatus Kaiyote

Jerry: King Crimson, Jack Bruce, Frank Zappa

Are there any bands/artists you think more people should know about?

Nina: Sir Chloe, Adrianne Lenker 

John: Mr Twin Sister, iSOLA, Grouper

Joey: lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to

Jerry: Johnny “Guitar” Watson

What’s your 5 year plan?

Record a moderately successful first album, catapult to success with our sophomore release, get dragged into the dark depths of the show biz world, become disillusioned with the industry/society as a whole, buy a farm and live the remainder of our days as grizzled recluses who only listen to avant-garde jazz and drink homemade pear wine.

Aurelian Blue is a breath of fresh air on a smoky night, and I’m forever grateful that I followed a friend’s advice and allowed Nina, John, Joey, and Jerry to be my introduction to the diy Ashland music scene. Check out Aurelian Blue’s Bandcamp for recordings that provide “chill vibe after chill vibe”.

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