The members of experimental rock group All Them Witches met in Nashville in the early 2010s. That may seem like a curious locale for a band whose music has more in common with the sonic experimentation of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” than it does the country garb of denim and rhinestones.
“Nashville has always had a really excellent rock and punk scene,” says All Them Witches guitarist Ben McLeod, who when he’s not touring with the band, makes a home in St. Augustine.
All Them Witches laid its blues-rock foundation on the periphery of Music City. And over the course of six studio albums the band’s core trio of McLeod, bassist-vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr. and drummer Robby Staebler have proven themselves to be an ever-shifting force, probing a vast expanse of styles, from conventional blues rock to kraut and prog rock, acid rock, post rock, psychedelia and more.
On their latest, 2020’s Nothing As Ideal, All Them Witches display both minimalist and maximalist tendencies, blending tape loops, effects and a whole host of atmospherics with busy drums to create sweeping, often cinematic, compositions. And, as per usual for the band, the new record features riffs for days.
Before their performance at the Bier Hall inside Intuition Ale Works on October 20 (tickets), the Jacksonville Music Experience talked to McLeod and asked him to share five essential All Them Witches songs that encapsulate the group’s incessant sonic explorations. Hit play below to hear McLeod talk about each song.
Five Essential ATW Tracks
Our Mother Electricity (2012)
“See You Next Fall”
Nothing As Ideal, (2020)
“Blood and Sand/Milk and Endless Waters”
Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (2015)
“The Death of Coyote Woman”
Lightning At Your Door (2013)
All Them Witches plays Intuition Ale Works on Friday, October 20. Tickets and more information here.