Roman CandleView in iTunes
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The alt-country/indie rock quintet from Chapel Hill had its roots in bandmembers (and brothers) Skip and Logan Matheny's childhoods in Wilkesboro, NC, where they grew up with a great-grandfather who took them to the Grand Ole Opry and a high school band director father who also performed in R&B bands and took his family to Merlefest, an annual musical event held by Doc Watson to remember his son. In 1997, when Logan joined his brother at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the Mathenys formed an unofficial band (with Logan on drums and Skip on guitar and vocals), having friends and acquaintances sit in to fill out the sound. Within a few years, they had a consistent lineup and were playing around town regularly. The band, called Roman Candle, was put on hold, however, when Skip and his wife, Timshel (who played Wurlitzer and Farfisa with the brothers), moved to Oregon and took more regular jobs. But when Broncos defensive end Trevor Pryce, wanting to start a label, approached Skip with the possibility of a contract, Roman Candle reunited (guitarist Nick Jaeger and bassist Jeff Crawford rounded off the band) and their debut, Says Pop, was recorded and released in 2002. Wanting better promotion for the album, Pryce and Roman Candle went to Hollywood Records, and although various options and contracts were discussed, nothing ever materialized. By this time the bandmembers were back in North Carolina, where they met producer Chris Stanley, with whom they reworked the songs on Says Pop, and in 2005 they signed with V2 Records, which released the new version of their first album (with a new title, The Wee Hours Revue), in 2006. The well-regarded Oh Tall Tree in the Ear arrived in 2009. ~ Marisa Brown