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Aug 31, 2012 3:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Inda And Co. Get Ready To 'Go West'

Sep 3, 2012 11:46 AM

It’s the afternoon after the “Go West” tour kickoff concert at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett and Inda Eaton and the boys in the band are tired.

Gathered around Ms. Eaton’s dining table just off the kitchen in her Amagansett home, the musicians—percussionist and drummer, Jeffrey Smith; guitarist and singer, B. Rehm-Gerdes; and bassist and singer Curt Mychael—are “bone-tired and weary,” Ms. Eaton said last Thursday, but otherwise in excellent spirits.

The Talkhouse concert the night before had been an emotional one, she added, because so many of the band’s fans and supporters turned out to see them off for their upcoming month-and-a-half-long tour in support of the “Go West” album.

The house was packed, Ms. Eaton said of the show, which was emceed by Bonnie Grice. And the musicians who came to share the stage with Ms. Eaton and the band on Wednesday night included locals such as Caroline Doctorow, Nancy Atlas, Joe Delia, Scott Hobson, Lee Lawler of Mamalee Rose and Michael Pour.

“It was an incredible outpouring of love,” Ms. Eaton said. “And the perfect send-off.”

Tired or not, the show must go on. And after a couple more gigs here on the East End, the band will pack up their gear and load it into Delmer—“You can’t have a vehicle like that and not name it; to call it an RV would be demeaning,” Ms. Eaton said of the band’s mode of transportation—and hit the road. The “Go West” tour will take them to Los Angeles and back, returning home in time for a gig at Guild Hall in East Hampton on October 26 with Ms. Atlas and Ms. Doctorow.

The purpose of the tour is simple, Ms. Eaton explained. To take their music on the road—stopping off in different small and large towns along the way, sometimes playing house concerts and sometimes playing significant venues, while dropping in at local radio stations too—building communities with each stop.

“What we’re doing, I believe, is a real throwback to how the music industry got started,” Ms. Eaton said, her soft but husky voice filled with passion. “I feel that’s the way we gonna do it; we gonna get the music out. This is about one community at a time, building it from the bottom up.”

The places the band visits on their trek out west are significant, the singer/songwriter/guitarist reported.

“We want to hit the communities that have participated in this project,” she said.

The “Go West” album—which contains 11 songs and includes background vocals by Los Angeles-based producer and pianist Eve Nelson, was engineered by Cynthia Daniels and includes Ms. Atlas, Ms. Doctorow and Ms. Lawler as guest vocalists—was released in June and is all about capturing “the optimism of the American dream,” according to Ms. Eaton’s website.

The first stop on the more than 5,000-mile national round-trip tour will be at The Bitter End in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday, September 5. Ms. Eaton and Mr. Smith, who have played music together for approximately 15 years, have played the famous Bleeker Street club in the West Village before. But for Mr. Rehm-Gerdes and Mr. Mychael, Wednesday’s gig will be their first time on the 50-year-old stage that has hosted everyone from Arlo Guthrie to Lady Gaga.

“Cross that off the bucket list,” Mr. Rehm-Gerdes said with a smile.

“Its a New York City staple,” Mr. Mychael added. “To play at that historical place is to play America in a way.”

After that, the band will hit Philadelphia to play a house concert on Saturday, September 8. Other stops will include Mikey’s in Milwaukee (“Curt and Jeffrey live there,” Ms. Eaton explained), the Hard Rock Café in Phoenix (“B. lives there,” she said), house concerts in Boulder, Colorado and Casper, Wyoming (a significant spot for Ms. Eaton, who not only recuperated there after contracting cerebral malaria on a trek through Africa but also gave a sneak peek of “Go West” there in May), a stop at an Arizona Diamondbacks game to sing the national anthem, and wherever else the spirit might take them.

“We’re going to cut through St. Louis and Kansas to hit the barbecue situation,” Ms. Eaton said. “We’re going gonzo ... That’s how this is rolling.”

Turning philosophical, the singer said that she had the title for “Go West” picked out about a year before she and the band even began recording last September. The album, which the liner notes says is “a deliberate journey with imagined destinations and unintended results,” is a “driving record,” and contains songs such as “Hold On,” “The Road to Arizona,” “Long Way Home,” “Things Change,” and “Jump In.”

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