The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Rising Sons 2016 Gulf Coast Tour

Local trio shares stories from the road

6 years ago

Pictured: Jackson Anderson, Spencer Davis, George Eichenberg

By Richelle Braswell and Evan Paul

Local band, Rising Sons, is comprised of Spencer Davis, George Eichenberg and Jackson Anderson. The three juniors at Vanguard set off on their first tour Friday. Childhood friends Jackson and Spencer befriended George at Waco Montessori School. Although Spencer learned classical piano, he soon preferred playing jazz on the keyboard. Jackson taught himself guitar for several years before he became serious and took lessons, which later allowed him to show George the basics needed for bass.

Wacoan interns Richelle Braswell and Evan Paul called Rising Sons while the trio was on tour. They discussed the band’s history and what it’s like being on tour.

WACOAN: When did you form Rising Sons?

Jackson: The very beginning of it was created in Steve Dansby’s music class [at Vanguard]. We were the only ones who took it seriously. The big band [with a drummer and a singer] was formed in that class in the 7th grade. That died off, because they weren’t as focused as we were. We [then] formed Rising Sons.

WACOAN: How did you decide on Rising Sons?

Jackson: We had a really good friend of my mom – named Brad Vaughn, the former president of the Music Association of Central Texas. He came up with Rising Sons and it stuck.

WACOAN: Y’all are doing instrumental music, right?

Spencer: We’re mainly instrumental, but Jackson and I are starting to work on singing.

WACOAN: Why did y’all decide to start with instrumental?

Spencer: Mainly because we weren’t really comfortable with singing, so we perfected just our instruments and the way we play the music.

Jackson: In the big band, we had a singer. George, Spencer and I were the real meat of the music, so that’s what we focused on. It’s kind of what came natural from doing the big band for so long.

WACOAN: Why are you now getting into vocals?

George: I think having vocals in our set list makes us more bookable for different venues. Adding a singer makes us more diverse.

WACOAN: How did you set up your tour?

Spencer: We have a house in Seaside, and we normally go there every summer, but this summer we thought that on the way there we could do a road trip. We booked some gigs on the way [to] get the experience of playing outside of a small community. We could branch out, show off our skills in other states and make memories on the way there.

“Lots of young musicians grow up dreaming about being rock stars and going on tours. We’re not living the rock star life by any means, but it’s fun to go on the road with your friends, make memories and play good music.” —George Eichenberg

Jackson: [We’re] experiencing firsthand loading and unloading the gear in the rain, trying to dodge thunderstorms and taking wrong exits from the highway.

WACOAN: What are some of your favorite memories from being on tour?

Spencer: We were playing Girl from Ipanema at a [really laid-back] coffee shop in New Orleans. A person in the audience stood up and said, “I brought a trombone if you want me to jump in.” We were like “sure,” and then he pulled out his trombone and started playing with us. It sounded amazing.

Jackson: We were in Mississippi playing at this mall. One guy enjoyed us so much that he paid us 25 bucks to play Cruise from Florida-Georgia Line. And then 10 or 15 minutes later he came back and gave us 30 bucks to play Thinking Out Loud [by Ed Sheeran]. Our tip jar was filled with this dude’s money.

George: Last night, we played at this place in Mobile, Alabama called The Listening Room. It’s this place where people come just to listen to the bands that are playing, so it gives the band a unique opportunity to have a real audience.

Jackson: They focused only on us, and that made us play so much better than I think we’ve ever played before.

WACOAN: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Jackson: I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea that we don’t enjoy playing for our Waco audience, but this was a great opportunity for us.

George: Yeah, and I think I speak for all three of us when we say that we really appreciate all of the support that everyone from Waco has given us.

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