Investigative Journalism: J Roddy Walston & the Business

Findings from exhaustive research about the Baltimore band, J Roddy and the Business

20130823-jroddy-x600-1377280543When this week started, I figured I’d be spending the bulk of my time listening to the new Arcade Fire album.

I was wrong.

And I was wrong for two reasons.

The first is that the new Arcade Fire album is just okay and fails to hold my attention. I forget that it’s on. I’m not disappointed though, because for some reason, I think it’ll either grow on me eventually or my relationship with Arcade Fire will start and end with The Surburbs, something I’m totally cool with.

The second reason I was wrong was my discovery of J Roddy Walston and the Business. Their new album, Essential Tremors, has taken over my week and has been the only thing I’ve been listening to besides anything I can find on ESPN Radio that even remotely involves the Red Sox- the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

But I don’t know anything about this band, J Roddy Walston and the Business. All I know is that they sound like a dust-up, after hours rendezvous and meeting of the minds involving the Black Keys, old Kings of Leon, Jack Daniels, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Band of Horses.

EGO-2-popupSo I did some digging.

Here are some things I learned:

The first thing I learned…

Essential Tremors is the band’s third album and the title of the album comes from a disease front man Walston suffers from.

The second thing I learned…

The band is originally from Tennessee, but relocated to Baltimore in 2004.

The third thing I learned…

The band tours in an old church van. They bought the van for four grand and never bothered to remove the lettering on the outside of the van.

The fourth thing I learned…

The band once tried to play 60 pianos that were placed around New York City in one day. The pianos were placed as part of an art installation by artist Luke Jerram. They didn’t make it. They fell short by two pianos. NYC traffic ain’t go no love for art.

The last thing I learned…

They’re awesome.

Essential Tremors is a flat out barn-storming rush of an album. Banging pianos, stomping beats and flying high choruses populate nearly every song. Highlights are “Heavy Bells,” “Marigold,” “Black Light,” and “Boys Can Never Tell.” I haven’t listened to either one of their earlier albums, but I would bet cash money the sound is similar and they’re just as good. Essential Tremors is most likely their “slightly more polished/stepping it up” album, so for all intents and purposes, it’s a good place to start.

Give Essential Tremors a listen…


Live shot: Matt Wignall
Van photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Band photo: ATO records

  1. “Don’t Break the Needle” to me is just as good, but “Essential Tremors” will probably be looked at as a step forward for them as a band. Do whatever you have to do to see them live. They’re unsurprisingly amazing. Saw them in Atlanta at a festival in May in the pouring rain. It was one of the more fun shows I’ve ever attended. I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow’s show in NYC for quite some time now. Hopefully, more people will make the same discovery you did. Good article.


  2. […] The Hold Steady “Pretty Green” White Denim “Take It As It Comes” J Roddy Walston & the Business “The Prowl” Dan Auerbach “Sundown” Spencer “Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake […]


  3. […] This might be my favorite song of the year. It’s definitely in the top 5. And because I’ve already written a post about Mr. Walston and his Business, I’d suggest taking a quick break from reading and watch […]


  4. […] Rogue Wave “Taper Jean Girl” Kings of Leon “Take It As It Comes” J Roddy Walston and the Business “Out on the Tiles” Led Zeppelin “Rock Like War” Rustic Overtones […]


  5. […] to a Spotify recommendation, based on my frequent playing of Essential Tremors by J. Roddy Walston & the Business, I checked out the Sheepdogs. Their name sounded vaguely familiar. Couldn’t place it, though. […]


  6. […] Haerts: no really, spell your name correctly J. Roddy Walston & the Business: my shit Those Darlins: not mine Deafheaven: no Lake Street Dive: this week’s favorite band St Paul […]


  7. […] favorite bands, the Black Keys and what got me hooked on one of the newest bands to enter my orbit, J. Roddy Walston and the Business. If you’re playing super-charged, spirited rock and it sounds like it was recorded in some of […]


  8. […] – Circus” Tom Petty “To Be Young” Ryan Adams “Full Growing Man” J Roddy Walston & the Business “On with the Business” The Hold Steady “That Kind of Man” The Heavy […]


  9. […] This wonderful song by one of my favorite new bands, J Roddy Walston and the Business… […]


  10. […] Man’s Death” J Roddy Walston & the Business “Blackberry” The Black Crowes “Supersonic” Pearl Jam “Get […]


  11. […] Sir Sly “Take It As It Comes” J Roddy Walston & the Business “Long Black Road” Electric Light Orchestra “Lady Luck” Richard Swift […]


  12. […] Days” J Roddy Walston & the Business “I Want Some More” Dan Auerbach “Gang of Thieves” State Radio […]


  13. […] then don’t microwave them Little Dragon: still dangerous Holy Child: Who is Jesus Christ? J Roddy Walston & the Business: bosses Big Gigantic: […]


  14. […] most recent episode of Austin City Limits, featuring two of my favorite bands, the Black Keys and J Roddy Walston and the Business. Screw you pregame nonsense, bluesy rock ‘n roll made much more […]


  15. […] “Easy Morning Rebels” My Morning Jacket “Don’t Break the Needle” J Roddy Walston & the Business “Let the Good Times Roll” J.D. McPherson “Travelin’ Band” Creedence […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: