Wow – talk about right place, right time. Greg and I walked into Treefort on Saturday wide-eyed, full agenda’d and ready to see all the bands. After a couple of shows and talking to some folks, we started trying to whittle down our list to a manageable itinerary to add in suggestions. One suggestion was “you should go see New Madrid put on their secret show at the Record Exchange.” So we ventured off to the local record shop to see what this quartet from Athens, Georgia had to provide.  If nothing else, we could knock them off the list at the Bouquet later that night and find another band to write about.

From the jump, the music was fuzzy and ethereal; it was experimental and contemporary.  We bobbed along for a bit, enjoying what we heard.

Then things got interesting.

After treating us to “Manners” and “Homesick” (I hope I’m right on those – take away my indie card if I am), we entered a bit of a dream state.  All those adjectives I listed earlier?  Ethereal, experimental?  They dialed all of that up past 11, maybe to 13.  Sitting slack jawed after the secret set, we looked at each other and said “we’re seeing them at the Bouquet later, right?”  We went from hoping to cross them off the list to wanting to see them twice in a four hour span.  New Madrid?  More like New MOAR!!!

Credit: Scott White/Treefort

Credit: Scott White/Treefort

Fast-forward those four hours.  We saw the same jaw-dropping performance, now complete with trippy light show.  Again, I was instantly wrapped up in Phil McGill’s haunting tenor and guitar riffs, Graham Powers’ guitar, Ben Hackett’s rolling bass, and Alex Woolley’s tight drumming.  Again, enter dream state.  Seriously, their music transports you out of time.  Their set wrapped and Greg and I glanced at each other and the clocks on our phones with looks of confusion.  Wait, what?  Had forty minutes really just passed?  It felt like a quarter of that.

Credit: Scott White/Treefort

Credit: Scott White/Treefort

No!  Come back!  We need more!

Left to collect our thoughts after that strange trip, we agreed that New Madrid was what we were looking for: that one find.  That one band that wasn’t the headliner but that you would be telling everyone about.  The only concern we had was that they wouldn’t translate to record.

Fast-forward a couple days later to download the album.  Oh yeah, it translates.  More on that later.  But this was the find of Treefort 2014 in our humble opinions.  This is the band that you need to go check out, that is, unless you don’t like time travel.  In the meantime, enjoy some studio music by New Madrid.




Clay is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot.  He lives in Denver, CO and is a husband, dad, amateur couch surfer and injurer of his own thumbs