Colorado-based psychedelic jazz quartet The Jauntee is kicking off their 21-date fall tour next week. The band—comprised of Caton Sollenberger (guitar), Tyler Adams (keys), John Loland (bass), and Scott Ferber (drums)—will embark on a nationwide tour spanning 13 states over the next three months playing alongside Sinkane, Kung Fu, Pink Talking Fish, and Melvin Seals & JGB.
A lot of preparation goes into such an extensive tour, and Live For Live Music’s Mikala Lugen chatted with guitarist Caton Sollenberger to discuss the band’s upcoming trek, tour necessities, music on the road, the jaunts of our lives, and new upcoming tunes.
Live For Live Music: So you guys are originally from Boston. Just out of curiosity, when did you guys relocate to the Denver, Colorado area?
Caton Sollenberger: We all met and formed the band there. And then we moved out to Colorado to a little north of the Boulder area pretty much exactly two years ago. We had been touring for a couple of years, based in Boston, and we’d always had a good time out in Colorado. It seems like kind of the Mecca for the jam band thing, you know? So we wanted to come out here, and it’s also a lot less daunting to get to the West Coast from midway through the country.
L4LM: So your 21-date tour starts next week! Have you guys gone on such an extensive, nationwide tour like this before?
CS: Yeah, I think one of the first tours we did, we were out for like nine weeks or something like that. So we’re not strangers to the road at all. I’d say a month is pretty average for us.
L4LM: What are some of the shows that you’re most excited for?
CS: Well, we’ve never played in Saint Paul before, and that’s right near the beginning. So that should be a nice way to kind of kick it off. We’re excited for four shows with Kung Fu, who are also some Northeast guys that we’ve played with a long time ago. And then the Pittsburgh venue, Thunderbird Music Hall, seems to be recently remodeled. We’re also playing a “secret location” at a warehouse in Philadelphia for the Umphrey’s McGee after-party. You can find out where that is when you buy a ticket. So, that’s exciting.
L4LM: As you prepare to be head on the road for this extensive tour, what are some of your tour necessities?
CS: I think a good set of headphones, so you can kind of get in your own world a little bit. It’s really important. Kind of separate yourself from the situation when you need to. And then as a guitar player, I always try to stock up on as many strings as possible so that I don’t have to go to the music store every other day. And then besides that, just the right mentality. [You] just have to remember that you’re going to be out there for a while and it’s kind of taxing on the body and on the mind. But if you’re with your friends and having fun playing the music, it usually all just falls into place.
L4LM: What kind of music do you find yourself listening to on an average day, especially while on tour going from city to city?
CS: We all like a big variety of stuff. So it’ll go anywhere from hip-hop to classical music—when we have listened to all the CDs, throw on the NPR, you know? We all really like the funky jazz stuff, like Herbie Hancock and Robert Glasper, all that kind of stuff. Kind of nice to listen to, more focused and structured improvisation. And then [we use] those ideas to go into the more free improv realm, which is what we do. We listen to some random pop and stuff like that, too, and then kind of tease some of that in to give us some fresh music ideas to bring out at certain shows.
L4LM: Sweet! Variety is always good to draw inspiration and new surprises into shows. Does The Jauntee have anything new in the works or something planned for your New Year’s Eve show with Melvin Seals & JGB?
CS: New Year’s Eve will be a party in Frisco for sure. We’ll bring up our organ and all kinds of cool analog keyboard gear for him and his band to use. We’ve written a lot of music on this little break that we’ve had since our last tour, so fans can definitely expect some fresh tunes and big jams. We’ve got around four or five tunes that we feel pretty confident on to debut this tour. And then a few more that will hopefully get tightened up by the time New Year’s rolls around.
[Photo: Lindsay Adams]
L4LM: Speaking of new tunes, you guys recently dropped a live album, Jaunts Of Our Lives, earlier this year. Love that name…
CS: We’ve been saying that for years, like when something random happens on the road, it’s the ‘jaunts of our lives.’ So it just kind of worked out for that. If we can pull enough high-quality recordings in the future, then we can continue that kind of series, which was a compilation of a couple shows in the Northeast earlier this year. It’s always nice to have good-quality tunes that you can put out. It goes hand-in-hand with things we experience on the road, and they just keep happening. The jaunts of our lives…
L4LM: Want to share a tour ‘jaunt of our lives’ memory with us?
CS: Technical issues at a show are always just the worst. One time we had to get three new tires on our trailer in a week. But the positives always outweigh those times or we wouldn’t keep doing it! A lot of the funnier stories aren’t all exactly, um… G-rated [laughs]. But we always have a lot of fun on the road, never a shortage of laughs. One of my favorite things about touring, in general, is running into the friends we’ve made all over the country and feeling like no time has passed since the last time we were there.
L4LM: Totally. I’m sure there’s never a shortage of memories on an extensive tour across the country. You just jammed two weekends ago with Dopapod & Friends at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in Denver. How was that?
CS: That was a blast. I’ve played with them a few times and I’ve known those guys for a while. A couple days before the show, [Dopapod drummer] Neal [Evans] hit me up and was like, “Would you want to play?” I said, “Yeah, just let me know a tune.” All the other times I played with them, it’s always been like a random cover or something, but this time they asked me to learn one of their tunes, “Bahbi”. That was a fun new experience for me. I had never really delved into learning any guitar parts on their stuff, but they definitely gave me a tough one; very, very complex. But I had a great time learning it, and I was glad that they trusted me with one of their tunes. Jamming with those guys, they’re really top notch.
L4LM: That was a fun night of jamming with a bunch of Denver-based musicians. Will you guys have any guest sit-ins on tour?
CS: Yeah. We’re always up for that. We have a pretty big song list including a lot of covers, so if the people are down to learn a tune we’re always down. We had Rob [Compa] from Dopapod on an original before. If we run into a friend on the road, we’re always happy to collab.
L4LM: That’s exciting! Plenty of fresh new tunes and collabs getting underway for this tour.
CS: For sure. For the fans that can’t catch us on the road, we upload pretty much every show that we can. You can keep up-to-date with our archive and you’ll be seeing new shows and some new tunes pop up. We also have a fan-built website called thejauntee.net and it’s kind of a reference sheet with links to all of our archived shows. So get your stats up!
Tickets for The Jauntee’s 2019 fall tour dates are now on sale via the band’s website.
See below for a full list of the band’s 2019 fall tour dates.
The Jauntee Fall 2019 Tour:
10/5 – Breckenridge Brewery Hootenanny – Littleton, CO
10/5 – The Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO~
10/25 – The Bootleg – St. Louis, MO
10/26 – Big River Pizza – St. Paul, MN
10/29 – Martyrs’ – Chicago, IL
10/31 – Private Event – Urbanna, VA
11/1 – River City Roll – Richmond, VA
11/2 – Jus Glo Studios – Philadelphia, PA*
11/6 – Thunderbird Music Hall – Pittsburgh, PA^
11/7 – The Ludlow Garage – Cincinnati, OH^
11/8 – Woodlands Tavern – Columbus, OH
11/9 – Otus Supply – Ferndale, MI^
11/12 – Barley’s – Knoxville, TN
11/14 – The Hummingbird – Macon, GA
11/15 – Pisgah Brewing Co. – Black Mountain, NC
11/16 – Vinyl – Atlanta, GA
11/18 – Howlin’ Wolf – New Orleans, LA
11/20 – Deep Ellum Art Co. – Dallas, TX
11/21 – One-2-One – Austin, TX
12/14 – Summit – Denver, CO&
12/31 – 10 Mile Music Hall – Frisco, CO%
~ w/ Sinkane
* Official Umphrey’s McGee Afterparty
^ w/ Kung Fu
& w/ Pink Talking Fish
% w/ Melvin Seals & JGB