Proctors is taking audiences back to the future with a night of classic songs from 1969 performed by up-and-coming Capital Region bands.
Sunday’s Capital Records Live! event is part of a relatively new tradition. Earlier this year, it brought to the stage Wild Adriatic, Eastbound Jesus, Girl Blue and Let’s Be Leonard, among others, to play a mix of songs from The Beatles.
This time around, the event is focused on music released in 1969, bringing in Dark Honey (formerly One Red Martian), The North and South Dakotas, The Sea The Sea and Bad Mothers to perform some of the year’s hits.
“Luckily, it was a really good year for music,” said Jimi Woodul, lead vocalist of Dark Honey.
The Albany-based group is more than a band. It’s a family, made up of the three Woodul brothers, Jimi, Ben and Joe, and longtime friend Dan DeKalb. They’ve been playing together since they were teens. Growing up, the Woodul family was all about music.
“My family was really musical,” Jimi said. “My dad was a musician.”
Everything from The Beatles to soul music was played around their home. The brothers were also into dance from a young age; Jimi admits he really wanted to dance like Michael Jackson.
“Instead, we ended up starting a rock ’n' roll band,” Jimi said.
While they initially started playing when they were in high school in Newport, Herkimer County, the brothers moved to Texas after Jimi graduated. Their father had moved there, and they figured it might be a good place to start touring. They were right, and quickly gained a following, playing around Dallas as “teenagers who thought they could do anything.”
They also began recording, spending $12,000 on a record they were hoping would get them signed to the perfect company. Instead, they got burned out.
“For the band to survive, we needed a fresh start,” Jimi Woodul said.
They took nearly a year off. Jimi Woodul moved back to his hometown, while his brothers remained in Texas. But with music in their blood, they couldn’t put it down.
They decided to make a new home in Albany in 2014. Jimi, who is now nearly a full-time musician, said it’s been a good place to set up because of its central location and how vibrant the music scene is.
“The quality of musicians in Albany is really high,” Woodul said.
During the next few years, the band shed the name One Red Martian and took on a new one, Dark Honey, which seemed a better fit. They also worked and reworked their sound. Their latest songs, such as“The Moon,” have a few light electronic details that seem to float with Woodul’s voice.
“I wrote that song two years ago,” Woodul said. “I had just injured my hand and couldn’t play guitar.” Instead, he began dabbling in a more electronic sound via the Garageband app, and also working on the piano.
Lyrically, Woodul said it’s about how life doesn’t happen the way we think it’s going to.
“Things did not turn out the way I thought they would, which I think is common for anyone living on planet Earth,” Woodul said.
As a songwriter, it’s part of his job to analyze and see personal experiences through a universal lens, translating life into music. Lately, that’s been a lot easier.
“I’ve figured out my voice as a songwriter,” Woodul said.
Over the past few years, the band has invested in recording equipment so it’s not reliant on a recording studio, which many other local bands are doing, according to Woodul. It gives them greater control over their sound and their schedules.
Though they won’t be playing their own songs at Capital Records Live!, they’ll bring their own sound to classics such as “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King, “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by The Band.
Other local bands, like The Sea The Sea, will also be taking their sound to the stage. Based in Albany, The Sea The Sea toured for years with founding members Mira Stanley and Chuck E. Costa, and are known for their incredible harmonizing. In the past few years, they’ve added members Cara May Gorman and Stephen Struss, and have expanded their sound, which audiences will hear Sunday.
The North & South Dakotas, a five-piece band, will be bringing a sound rooted in old-time Americana and mountain folk music to the stage. Since coming together in 2011, the band has opened for and played with bands such as Deer Tick, Floodwood, The Mallett Brothers Band and others.
Finally, Bad Mothers, out of Albany, has perhaps the most hard-rock sound of any on the ticket. The four-piece band describes its style as groovy grunge, which seems to fit perfectly with the theme of Capital Records Live!
Capital Records Live: Music of 1969
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14
MORE INFO: proctors.org