SCHENECTADY -- Arthur's Market has been home to great food, entertainment, and community for years. Leland Sundries, an indie rock and roll/Americana band, will be heading up from Brooklyn next week to become a part of that community.
Nick Loss-Eaton, the musician who formed Leland Sundries, often tells stories through his music, but some of the most moving stories aren't explicitly told through his lyrics.
It was a death in Loss-Eaton’s family that brought Leland Sundries, to life. “There hit a point ten years ago . . . my grandmother, who I was very close to passed away. She was a visual artist -- a sculptor and painter -- very prolific and left behind this incredible body of work,” Loss-Eaton said, “I remember thinking, ‘What if she had said, ‘I’ll get around to this later’?”
Thus, Leland Sundries, a New York City-based indie rock/Americana band, was born.
Loss-Eaton has always worked in the music industry. He played as many instruments as he could growing up near Boston, majored in American culture during his years at Vassar, and made a career promoting bands and festivals. But he often put his own work on the back burner.
His grandmother, Bernice Loss, inspired him to stop waiting for the right moment to get started.
“She was always working,” Loss-Eaton said.
Since forming his band in 2010, Loss-Eaton has been trying to do just that. Working with several different musicians, he’s recorded two EPs and two albums and toured everywhere from Mercury Lounge in New York City to festivals in Massachusetts.
While many of his songs tell a story, his newest album tells the most intense story of Leland Sundries discography.
“The story of getting sober feels like it creeps its way into the songs. It’s only stated, I think, once on the record, but it’s in the subtext on a number of different songs. The story of heart surgery is not told in the music as much as it was just a part of the experience,” Loss-Eaton said.
Even as Loss-Eaton was working on his first album, "The Apothecary EP," he was struggling with alcoholism. It isolated him socially from the people he cared about, made work difficult and made him feel like he was losing control of his life.
On “Music for Outcasts,” his latest album, there's a mix of songs that were written while he was an alcoholic and while he was working to get sober.
“Greyhound from Reno” . . . when I sing that one these days it sort of feels like a letter from my bottom, from a much darker time,” Loss-Eaton said.
After a few months of being sober, Loss-Eaton's life was turned upside down again. During what was supposed to be a routine physical, Loss-Eaton's doctor told him he had a serious heart problem and would need open heart surgery. Recovering from the surgery was painful and he had to take some time off from singing and performing.
“It was physically . . . tough, but I was finding in my sober life that I was getting a lot of support from family and friends,” Loss-Eaton said, “So it was kind of amazing in that sense and I think part of that was because I was sober at that point.”
Through the blues style singing found in “Freckle Blues” and the optimistic melody of “Maps of the West,” Loss-Eaton tackles learning to live sober and looking at life as though we don’t have much of it left.
“I think the thing that brings to the music is the sense of immediacy, of trying to make more of a rock and roll record and more of a record that’s more in the moment with the audience, where there’s a gratitude for being alive . . . and that we can’t take that for granted,” Loss-Eaton said.
He’ll be taking his songs and stories to Arthur’s Market on June 8, along with bandmates Dan Knishkowy on drums, Will Evans on bass guitar, Ryan Masterson on lead guitar, and Delaney Parker on vocals.
What’s in a name?
Leland Sundries is a mashup of southern influences that Loss-Eaton picked up during a long road trip through the South. “Sundries” is from a billboard Loss-Eaton saw in Memphis and Leland comes from Leland, Mississippi.
WHEN: 7 p.m., Thursday, June 8
WHERE: Arthur’s Market 35 N. Ferry Street
WITH: Patchwork Symphony
HOW MUCH: Donation