Circles Around The Sun dropped by the newly opened Relix studio back in August for a fanless performance, a video of which is available now on YouTube. The six-song set saw the instrumental quartet mine its three-album discography.
Dropping straight into the jazz groove of “One For Chuck” off 2018’s Let It Wander, CATS immediately puts their feet up and got comfortable. The in-studio performance from August 26th marked one of the band’s first with guitarist John Lee Shannon, following the departure of Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead) earlier that month.
Up next was a (relatively) quick run through “Pete’s Jive”. Taken from Circles Around The Sun’s 2020 self-titled LP—featuring the group’s final recordings with founding guitarist Neal Casal, who committed suicide in August 2019—the track places the group’s dancetrumental prowess on full display. Shannon keeps a steady disco guitar pattern while keyboardist Adam MacDougall adds texture and color commentary.
Drummer Mark Levy counted off the slick slide into “Saturday’s Children”, the Casal-penned track from 2015’s Interludes For The Dead. The album—which was played during setbreak at the Fare Thee Well shows as Soldier Field in 2015—ultimately led to the creation of CATS. The song exemplifies the essence of what the group was founded on, delivering wide-open sonic spaces brimming with exploratory options.
MacDougall guided the group through a lengthy “Leaving (Rogue Lemon)”, with the keyboardist laying the groundwork for Shannon to build on top of. Moving through the punchy rhythm of “Halicarnassus”, the session finally came to a close with the infectious groove of “Babyman”.
Watch Circles Around The Sun’s full performance from Relix on August 26th, 2021. CATS are currently on tour, with a show tonight, November 13th, at Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville, FL. For tickets and a full list of tour dates visit the band’s website.
Circles Around The Sun Live – Relix Studio – New York, NY – 8/26/21
Circles Around The Sun will also perform later this year with Denver Comes Alive on December 4th, 2021 at Denver, CO’s Mission Ballroom.
The thoughtfully curated event features nationally touring acts Tank and the Bangas, Judith Hill, DJ Logic in addition to the debut of a new band, Ramble On Revival, featuring Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company), guitarists Steve Kimock (Phil Lesh & Friends) and Eric Krasno (Soulive), keyboardist Holly Bowling (Ghost Light), drummer Jeff Sipe (Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit), saxophonist Skerik, and vocalist/trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band). Tickets are on sale here.