2008 Best Music Poll Winners

Roots Act

The 'Mericans

Chris Daltry and his band, the ’Mericans, explain how everything fell into place this past year. “The whole thing started because we were really proud of the last record,” he says, citing ’Merican Recordings. “It became something we wanted people to hear, so we worked really hard, getting out there, and we played more shows than we had in a while.”

The exertion paid off. The ’Mericans, a low-key but dependable act on the Providence scene, surged to prominence, culminating in their BMP win. “Purple Ivy Shadows won an award over 10 years ago, before e-mail and the Internet,” says Daltry, referring to his original, fondly remembered group. “So it’s really nice that people still care about what we do. It makes us all feel like we’re doing it for a good reason.”

The ’Mericans, also starring Michael Bolideau, Michael Moore (both ex-Pollinate), and Boston drummer Mike Savage, figure a new album into their plans this summer. That creative focus will likely take them out of gigging for a while. “Playing shows is a distraction from the process,” says Chris. “I don’t like being rushed. We like diving in, experimenting and paying a lot of attention to texture and detail.”

Those textures and that detail are playing a larger part of the band’s sound. After Daltry and PIS disbanded, he made a conscious effort to undress his sound, to simplify it and create something less arty. But since those days, he and the ’Mericans have come full circle. “My strength is and has always been the moody and the spacey,” he admits. “It’s who I really am. So I’m starting to embrace the arty again and incorporate that into the ’Mericans. I’m glad to go back where I came from and it suits our playing well.” (The ’Mericans will be at the Blackstone on May 10 with Sleepyhead, a rare appearance by the band formerly on Homestead Records. Call 401.726.2181.)

— Bob Gulla

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