Free to Keep Growing

Category: music 259

Free To Grow will celebrate the release of their sophomore full-length album on May 11 with a performance at Grimross Brewing.

Matt Carter

When Jeff Patch decided to put a band together, he had a pretty specific vision in mind. He wasn’t interested in spending his retirement making music with ‘the boys’ on Friday nights. He wanted multiple guitar players, backing vocalists, soloists, and maybe most importantly, he wanted dedicated musicians interested in making bold, original music. So that’s exactly what he did.

For more than four years now, Patch and his bandmates in Free To Grow have been writing, recording and performing around the city and the province.  Now recognized as one of the most unique ensembles playing music in the Greater Fredericton Area, the band’s ever-evolving Jethro Tull-meets-Iron Maiden-meets-Pink Floyd sound seems right on track for what Patch had in mind from the get-go. While musicians have come and gone over the years, the original core players remain focused and determined to see just where this band and its music will take them.

“The concept was to have a band that had multiple vocalists and backup singers,” said Patch. “To combine that with multiple guitar players to facilitate more interesting arrangements was likewise a part of the plan. We have had a couple individuals graduate from university and move away, and a couple of others who have left the band to pursue other projects and interests. That being said, Amanda Moss (lead singer), Catherine LeBlanc and Susan Thompson (Backup Singers), Joe Bonnell (lead guitar) & myself (mostly rhythm guitar), plus Katherine Moller (strings) were all present from the start and on the first album. The initial idea of creating an ensemble to be a vehicle to record and perform original music has not changed.”

This month, the band will release their second full-length album, Time To Rise.  To celebrate, Free To Grow will be hosting an album release show at Grimross Brewery on May 11.

“We call ourselves folk rock and consider our influences to be classic rock,” said Patch. “I think this album ventures more into the rock end of the spectrum than our first album did. A significant difference is the addition of wonderful tunes from Joe Bonnell. The first album was essentially Jeff Patch penned songs. This change has diversified and enriched the album.”

Time To Rise was over two years in the making and is comprised of material that will be both new and familiar to some listener’s ears.

“I think we did a better job in both vocal and instrumental arrangements,” said Patch. “While some of the songs are more recently penned, we have been playing others in our live shows since right after the first album, so the songs have been test driven and have had a chance to mature and evolve.”

There are also several guest performances on the album, with friends of the band stepping in to share an occasional lead or chorus. Local musicians Paul Campbell, Tina Gaudreau, Colin Fowlie, Mark Currie, Vaughan Evans, and Quinn Bonnell will each make guest appearances at the May 11 show.

“We were inspired by our friends in Sleepy Driver, who have had guests on their albums and shows,” said Patch. “Collaboration has been great fun. The pulling of more players into the mix for the show will allow us to better perform the album along the lines of how it was recorded.”

Free To Grow – Album Release Show | May 11 | Grimross Brewery | 7:30 p.m. | View Event

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