Army Of Summer, The (The Army Of Summer)
Denver, CO, USA (Inactive)
Back in 2008, Tommy Ventura had a plan. He’d started wood-shedding several song ideas in the late 90’s, his post-college years in Urbana, IL, while playing in a band called Jagtown with drummer Mike Ricketts (of Planes Mistaken for Stars). That outfit, though, wasn’t exactly the right home for these particular songs, and life continued. Skipping ahead to 2001, Tommy relocated to Denver, CO and within a couple of years he’d joined the local music scene as the bassist for Ghost Buffalo, reuniting with Mike along with guitarist Matt Bellinger, both of whom having migrated with Planes from Illinois to Colorado, to conquer the West and the world beyond. After a demo, a debut album, and a couple of short tours with Ghost Buffalo, Tommy felt the pull to devote energy to his own material. The body of songs he’d been sitting on had grown, and he wanted to figure out exactly what they were meant for and what he was meant to do (in life, that is). It was Spring 2008: he would either try to make a new life outside of Colorado or stay put to nurture the roots he’d begun to plant. The excellent friendships he’d made over the years would prove pivotal to this story. If he was going to leave town, he’d have to leave something behind. A plan had formed: finish arranging the songs with an ensemble of his favorite musicians, play a show or two, and make a record. The project was meant to start and end over the course of that summer. Tommy’s stint in Ghost Buffalo and his relationship with Planes connected him to a vibrant community of Denver artists and musicians. He was rich in talented friends and the lineup of 8 members came together quickly: the Army Of Summer was formed. Once in place, the band brought the songs to life, achieved its modest goals, and came to a close in 2009 – later than expected – as members moved on to other projects and adventures. The recordings made the rounds on burned CDs among friends, and was a very fond memory, both for those involved and for those who followed the group from inception to retirement. Life, once again, continued and Tommy wisely chose to stay in Denver, where he still writes songs and plays in bands. So here we are in 2021. SLN head honcho and one-show, fill-in drummer for The Army Of Summer, Chuck Coffey, was chatting with Tommy and wondered aloud about the whereabouts of the original recordings that he himself had on an aforementioned burned CD. The original engineer, Trevor McMorris (multi-instrumentalist in TAOS – are you sensing a theme here?) still had the files. It was Chuck’s opinion that the recordings needed a proper release and Tommy agreed. They selected four tracks to brush up with some light remixing and mastering. The result is a stunning display of pseudo-progressive indie rock that leans heavily on Americana while incorporating the brighter elements of baroque pop. What does all that really mean? It means the music is timeless. With the song germs dating back 22+ years, yielding a final product that still sounds as fresh and relevant as it did in 2008, timeless isn’t even remotely hyperbolic. Now any interested party can finally hear the music that was a lifetime in the making. It’s going to sound just as good 22+ years from now, as well.