Founders Brewing Company is pleased to present
Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers (Detroit)
The Hand Grenades (Detroit)
Are frontmen made or born? The six members of Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers are in the perfect position to answer that question. Four of them have fronted other projects, but during the past few years they have united under first-time bandleader, Hertler, to create sublime folk tinged with Motown, funk, and pop. “When we met Joe,” says bassist and producer of Hertler’s first album, Kevin Pritchard, “He was a weird dude with sideburns hiding behind an accordion. Now he’s a confident front man with a flower on his head and a mic in his hand.”
The essence of Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers is the energy they bring to their live performances. “The live show is the purpose of the band. This is why we make music. Playing music is a symbiotic process, and without a crowd it is just a bunch of guys jamming,” says Hertler. “We believe that performance is not a High Art operation, and that you should do anything you can to ensure that the crowd is having a good time. From pinatas to confetti, to fog, to flowers, to drum solos, to strobe lights, to Thor, to showinford battles—literally anything goes.”
Their upcoming album and video release, Live at Russell, recorded and filmed at Detroit’s Russell Industrial Center, is a testament not only to the band’s live vibe, but also to their impeccable musicianship. Without the brief interludes, the five track album could easily be mistaken for a studio recording. The lead track, “Garden,” with its simple, beautiful harmonies and its sonically dynamic nature brings to mind Mumford & Sons or The Lumineers. “Your Story” builds to the kind of sneaky hook you don’t even realize you’ve internalized until you’re singing it during a quiet moment. Hertler’s passionate vocal delivery, combined with the band’s judicious use of tasteful percussion and piano tempered by sweet guitar, make this song a clear hit. The Live at Russell sessions were also video recorded, providing a true look at the way Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers play together. Intimately shot and featuring candid moments in and around the worn yet charming Russell Industrial Center, the video captures both the hard work and play that makes this band what it is.
Joe Hertler started as a successful solo artist, and then formed a duo with guitarist Ryan Hoger. That duo expanded when they caught the eye of Pritchard, who asked them to do a special performance in Bigger Brush Media’s Quilted Attic. Soon, drummer and life long friend of Pritchard, Rick Hale, joined the band, bringing his jazz-trained services into the mix. After the release of the first Rainbow Seekers album, On Being, which has sold an impressive 1,400 copies to date with no outside help, the band grew again. Keyboardist Micah Braken and saxaphone prodigy Aaron Stinson joined, giving the group a decidedly classic turn. Live instruments, live musicianship, and live energy became the creed of The Rainbow Seekers and led them to the live recording at The Russell.