The Apache Relay
Listen to Don't Leave Me Now
The Apache Relay was formed by chance in a Nashville college dorm when Michael Ford Jr. (vocals, bass) met Mike Harris (guitar, vocals). Ford Jr. happened to be looking for some musicians to help perform his own music live, when he heard about Harris' newly formed band, The Apache Relay. Ford Jr. hired the trio, which also included Brett Moore (keys, guitar, mandolin) and Kellen Wenrich (fiddle), to back him at a show and it was immediately evident that the four musicians had a unique chemistry and were on to something special.
The four-piece released their debut LP titled 1988 in 2009. Produced by Doug Williams, (renowned for his authentically raw approach with the Avett Brothers) the record was lauded by Paste Magazine as one
of "The Eight Most Auspicious Musical Debuts of 2009". The band’s ability to effortlessly blend acoustic sounds with ferocious rock anthem elements only hinted at the band’s capabilities.
Capitalizing on the initial success of their debut with relentless touring, The Apache Relay honed their sound and released their sophomore album, American Nomad, in April 2011 throughout the US, via indie stalwart Thirty Tigers. Produced by Neilson Hubbard, the collection of modern roots-rock tracks encompassed the eclectic range of influences the band meshed so well; a tinge of Bad Brains, some Suzuki training, jazz lessons, a lot of Beatles' listening, a knowledge of traditional mountain music, a worship of Phil Spector and the love for the complex but accessible layers of bands like Arcade Fire. A few months later, Ford Jr.'s brother, Ben, joined the band. The brothers had been harmonizing and playing together since the age of 12 and 13, so it was a natural fit.
Since the release of American Nomad, The Apache Relay, have continued their regiment of non-stop touring, amassing a fervent fanbase and performing over 100 dates a year including coveted spots opening for Grammy award-winning Mumford & Sons, and a breakout performance at Bonnaroo Music Festival.
2012 saw the band continue to tour in support of American Nomad, including stops at SXSW, Canadian Music Fest, and Newport Folk Festival. The band's first Canadian release, American Nomad EP, was released through Dine Alone Records on March 13, 2012. The EP includes selected tracks from the band’s previous US full-length release.
In early 2013, The Apache Relay headed west to Los Angeles to begin work on their new album. Produced by Kevin Augunas, the band recorded at Fairfax Studios, formally known as the legendary Sound City Studios in Van Nuys. The new record will be released in early 2014.
"They've got kind of an Arcade Fire meets boys raised on gospel and Bruce Springsteen approach to what they do, and they're called The Apache Relay. They're a fantastic live band." — Huffington Post
"The Apache Relay's American Nomad, is an excellent effort from a musically skilled group with evident appreciation for the rich, layered brand of American rock 'n' roll that pays homage to the road..." — Indie Shuffle