All Good Presents Twiddle & Andy Frasco & The UN
With 12 years of relentless touring behind them, Vermont-based rock band Twiddle has built an impressive resume spanning Red Rocks to Bonnaroo, and multiple sellouts of historic rock venues including Port Chester, NY’s Capitol Theatre, and Washington D.C.’s 9:30 Club. And with the second half of the band’s third studio album, PLUMP, on the horizon, the band’s career continues to catapult forward. Buoyed by the generous support of 359 Kickstarter donors, the 27-song album does more than showcase the group’s beautiful music, but also tells an important story, comprised in PLUMP Chapters 1 & 2.
Recorded during a two-year span with legendary producer Ron St. Germain, PLUMP serves as a reflection of four brothers’ triumphs and struggles, both individual and as a whole. On Chapter 1, songs like “Lost in the Cold” and “Every Soul” detail what it’s like to hit rock bottom and how to rise back up. “So many fans have shared how these songs carried them through very difficult times, and that alone makes this all worth it,” said Brook Jordan, Twiddle’s percussionist and vocalist.
Comparatively, Chapter 2 contains genre-bending instrumentals, as well as mystifying epics like “Nicodemus Portulay” and “Orlando’s.” More than ten years later, these songs mirror the earliest Twiddle arrangements of 2004-2005 when Mihali Savoulidis and Ryan Dempsey were collaborating in their freshmen dorms at Castleton State College. The completion of PLUMP is timely, coming at a moment when the band’s fervent fan base is at an all-time high and expanding rapidly.
In the live setting, more and more people are invigorated by Twiddle’s community, promoting positivity and the band’s skillful improvisational music. So many like-minded people believe in the greater good, and they find that good in Twiddle.
Twiddle is comprised of Zdenek Gubb on bass and vocals, Ryan Dempsey on keyboards and vocals, Mihali Savoulidis on guitar and lead vocals, and Brook Jordan on percussion and vocals. A more detailed biography of each band member, along with upcoming tour dates and updates, can be found at TwiddleMusic.com
2007 manifested Twiddle’s debut release, The Natural Evolution of Consciousness. This breakout album showcased the band’s eclectic inspirations, imaginative lyrical abilities, and superb instrumentation. Twiddle’s sophomore production, Somewhere on the Mountain (2011), delves into the human spirit, speaking to our ambition, grief, and love. Live at Nectar’s (2014), is a double disc live album recorded in August of 2013 at Burlington, Vermont’s Nectar’s. Live at Nectar’s truly captures Twiddle in its element, the live experience.
Born and raised in California, Frasco’s first exposure to the music industry came not onstage, but rather in an office. As a young teenager, he worked with legendary indie label Drive-Thru Records and helped book bands like Hello Goodbye, and by the time he turned 18, he’d already moved to New York City for a gig with Atlantic Records. When the job fell through, though, Frasco made a leap of faith and decided to launch his own career as an artist, taking everything he’d learned working with other bands and applying it to himself.
Initially, Frasco hired local pickup musicians off of Craigslist to back him for gigs, but soon he put together a steady(ish) lineup, and Andy Frasco & The U.N. began taking the world by storm. The group would release a series of acclaimed records, share bills with the likes of Leon Russell, Galactic, Gary Clark, Jr., The Revivalists, and Marcus King among others, and slay festival stages everywhere from Mountain Jam in the U.S. to Rock am Ring in Germany and COTAI Jazz & Blues in China (this summer, Frasco will perform at multiple summer festivals including Summer Camp, FloydFest and hopefully many more to be announced). NME hailed the constantly evolving group as “party-starting touring stalwarts,” while Relix praised their “raucous energy,” and Clash lauded their live show as a “nightly high-octane experience that doubles as a celebration of life and music…energized by a powerfully entertaining multi-cultural soundtrack that will shake the foundations of all nearby structures.”
Every party has to end sometime, though, and while it seemed Frasco was living out his rock and roll dreams on his 2019 and early 2020 tours, he was facing an internal darkness few knew about.
“I hit a breaking point,” he explains. “I was sitting alone in my van, and I realized that I didn’t know who my friends were. Worse, I didn’t know who I was. I was drinking too much, I was addicted to cocaine, and I was dealing with really heavy depression. I even contemplated suicide, but I decided that if I’m fortunate enough to leave behind a legacy, I didn’t want to be remembered just as some good-time party guy. I wanted to show people that I’m more than the crowd-surfing, Jameson-drinking maniac they see onstage.”
Frasco began writing poetry that eventually became songs. He wrote about despair and anxiety, about friendship and growth, about accountability and potential, transforming the poems into defiant rock and roll anthems. These songs became his most recent album ‘Keep On Keeping On’ released at the beginning of the pandemic in April of 2020.
Like many, the pandemic hit Andy hard. He was once again feeling that ‘breaking point’ and he quickly transformed his high energy road show into a year long digital blitz of new music, a 33 episode variety show (Andy Frasco’s World Saving ShitShow) which garnered 20 millions views, a highly attended digital Dance Party and Andy further developed his already successful and compelling podcast (Andy Frasco’s World Saving Podcast). His variety show and podcast included interviews and musical performances by many notable guests such as Tony Hawk, Kurt Vile, Nathaniel Rateliff, Kamasi Washington, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and more. Additionally, Frasco recently scored ‘The Great Depresh,’ an HBO documentary about Gary Gulman exploring the comic’s struggles with depression that was produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Mike Bonfiglio)
For more info on Andy Frasco, visit www.andyfrasco.com