Heron proudly calls itself a band from the Pennsylvania wilds. It’s an apt description, as – sonically speaking – their music is akin to a solo sojourn, deep into the woods.
While listening to the band’s 2017 record, You Are Here Now, along with an advance of Sun Release, the band’s new release set to drop in July, I found myself forgetting about where I was, transported from the four walls around me to wide open spaces, forested trails, or high mountain tops. The instrumental nature of the Heron’s music offers a nearly transcendent experience. Not encumbered by lyrics, I got lost, nearly hypnotized, but the music.
It was intoxicating.
Heron is a band that just recently crossed my radar, so I reached out to learn a little more about this Pennsylvania quartet. Guitarist Boyd Lewis was kind enough to get random with me and share some insights on both himself and his band mates.
BRO – Something you always have in your fridge?
BL – Straub beer. They have all the flavors, of course, but my favorite is the lager pounders in the returnable bottles. It’s the kind of beer you’d drink while you power wash your siding or stock the fridge with for a few days-long session at the Goo Goo Doll’s recording studio, GCR Audio, in Buffalo. I have done both of those things and it’s delightful. Straub is one of America’s oldest family owned breweries, and we are very spoiled to have them less than an hour away in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. Also, salsa and Red Hot. Unrelated to the beer, but always in there.
BRO – Last TV show you binged?
BL – The OA. Season two came out of nowhere! I’ll be sure to not throw out any spoilers for those that have not indulged. My wife, Kristin, and I got about halfway through the first episode of season two and gave each othter the “I dunno . . . should we???” look. Happy to say that we persevered!
BRO – Favorite movie about music?
BRO – If money was no object, what instrument would you buy?
BL – I went there on instruments already. Spent a long time on the decision and grabbed a Fano JM6 Alt de Facto guitar a couple years ago. Haven’t even looked at guitars since. But I would dive so much farther into all of the effects pedals if money was not an object. No big surprises here. Strymon. Meris. Chase Bliss Audio. There are a lot out there in the world that I don’t already have, existing in their compact foot-switchable forms, and I want them all. The top two on my list of must-haves at the moment are the Volante by Strymon and the Enzo by Meris. Look those up if you get the chance. They’re incredible.
BRO – Favorite place to disappear in the Pennsylvania wilds?
BL – Between the four of us and our families, we’re all over in this place. I’d dare say we are collectively in the woods more often than almost any other band. Not always as a band, but every now and then for sure. It’s a challenging place in terms of being an instrumental/post-rock group in a rural region, but it is a massive inspiration for what it is that we do at the same time. One of my overall favorite places to go is the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, which is located in Leonard Harrison State Park. Day to day, though? I am on my cyclocross bike whenever I possibly can be. Roads? Trails? Yes, please.
Heron’s touring schedule is relatively quiet right now. Until they hit the road again, and until you can grab Sun Release this summer, I highly suggest giving You Are Here Now a spin, tossing it on repeat, and letting it become the soundtrack for your day.
To grab that copy, or to stay tuned for Heron’s touring schedule, be sure to get over to their website.
And be sure to check out “Splashdown,” along with tunes from Adam Carroll, Jimbo Mathus, Will Kimbrough, and Head For The Hills on this month’s Trail Mix.