Backroads With Phyllis: Episode 12: Captain Ivory

Captain IvoryWritten by Mel Says

The World Wide Web is a place of infinite opportunities for musicians if they can figure out a way to break through all of the “Listen to my band” clutter that floods every avenue of social media each day. Whether by luck or strategy, Captain Ivory were able to catch our eye in such a way that we just had to check out their live show as soon as possible. Lucky for us, the band was promoting their upcoming Saint Andrew’s Hall gig on Reddit that day so we didn’t have to wait long. What caught our eye was the part where they were giving away free tickets to celebrate the release of a new single. We like free tickets.

Upon arriving at the venue that Friday evening, we noticed that we, along with the members of the band, were some of the very few attendees without retirement on the horizon. Captain Ivory was set to open up for “The Ultimate Johnny Cash Tribute: Terry Lee Goffee,” which pretty much explained the lack of usual suspects at St. Andy’s. Once Captain Ivory took the stage, the reluctant crowd started to inch forward and by the end of the second song, all eyes and ears were on the stage instead of focusing all efforts on beating Level 97 of Candy Crush. When we asked about their followers, none of the guys could really pinpoint who a typical CI fan is but that’s not a bad thing. They have fans young and old that come from genres all across the musical spectrum and if they continue to market themselves in creative ways like the one that connected BackRoads with Phyllis to them, they will have no problem getting people in their own age bracket to shows.

Hailing from Ypsilanti, Captain Ivory is a humbly talented five piece that can be described as Motor City Rock n Roll with just a dash of Southern spice. Frontman Jayson Traver set the tone on the Saint Andrew’s Hall stage that night with the way he sang and played guitar as if no one was watching. Playing almost the entire set with his eyes closed, we could still see the focus and passion in Traver’s face that the rest of the band, and crowd, seemed to feed off. Traver, along with Robbie Bolog (lead guitar), Steve Zwilling (piano), Alex Patten (bass) and Justin Leiter (drums), have only been playing together for the better part of a year but it is obvious that each member has been committed to the task of finding and perfecting their collective sound. Their live show can only get better as they continue to play shows and festivals across the Midwest, becoming more comfortable and confident on stage and connecting with their growing fanbase.

As a band with a knack for marketing, Captain Ivory is already making the right moves by releasing a handful of live performances from Detroit’s Groovebox Studios; A production company based on the idea of recording audio and video in a single take to capture the raw emotion of the music. The design is simple, professional and just looks badass.

Captain Ivory is definitely one of BRPs’s “Bands To Watch” so don’t be surprised when they’re playing on your favorite Spotify channel soon and you remember reading this feature. (PS-we will accept all forms of payment as thanks for getting you ahead of the game)

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