Whatever fate has in store for this promising young band, it's sure to make for a good storyâ€¦and an even better song. The Alternate Routes have never been afraid to roll the dice during their brief and turbulent journey, always relying upon their heartfelt brand of music to pull them through the ups and downs that come with the territory. It's a trait evident in their powerful Vanguard Records debut, Good and Reckless and True, a memorable, incredibly confident opening statement from a band that takes nothing for granted.
Over 100 tour dates later, their live act became convincing, and audiences were reacting. Their presence in Boston led to airplay on an influential radio station. A highly publicized gig in Nashville knocked a Vanguard executive flat. He grabbed a demo that night and spoke with management the next morning. The good vibes were mutual and the deal that followed is a hand-in-glove fit. After all that work, there was a ray of light.
Good and Reckless and True is the band's songbook so far and the culmination of years of hard work and belief in the cause. Produced by Jay Joyce (John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Derek Trucks), during a furious three-week period in Nashville, these are songs borne of experience, pain, personal tragedy, belief and ability, and they reflect passion, humor and desperation, their collective character. "The songs," explains Warren, "were born out of an optimistic struggle to try to understand what to do with yourself when you're left to your own vices, in a world that will still exist after you're gone."
The band has realized and exceeded the live potential of Good and Reckless and True thanks to the two most recent additions to the cast-Stephen Chopek, a motivated drummer with several years of touring experience under his belt, and Mike Sembos, an old friend of Donnelly's who had fronted bands of his own. Chopek's approach has inspired the band to move beyond the arrangements of the album and to seek new dynamics within the songs. A former music journalist and an accomplished songwriter in his own right, Sembos brings a unique perspective to the band, and another voice to the harmonies and vocals that have become an integral part of the band's live identity.
A classic example of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts, The Alternate Routes are now poised to spread the word and take on whatever new challenges come their way. "We always feel like we're at the beginning of something," says a determined Donnelly. "Even five years into this band, I still feel like we're at the beginning and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next."