Andrew North & The Rangers
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Andrew North & The Rangers

Concord, New Hampshire, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Concord, New Hampshire, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
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"Review: Andrew North and the Rangers Phosphorescent Snack"

Where do we look for good music? We mean “authentic, for the love of sharing art with the world” kind of good music. It’s rarely on the radio anymore. Streaming services can help give musicians bigger platforms, sure. But passion, talent and fun? It feels harder and harder to come by these days. Enter Andrew North and the Rangers.

If you want that real good music, go take a trip to the local dive bar and catch a cool set. Or maybe meet a new local talent at a coffee shop open mic night. If you’re lucky, you just might bump into this group.

Good music where you least expect it.

With a love of music, and a sense of humor that masks itself behind seriously good blends of jazz and rock, Andrew North and the Rangers have released one of the most fun underground records of the year in Phosphorescent Snack.

The band hails from Concord, New Hampshire and is filled with four small town friends who possess nothing outwardly in common. Different ages, hometowns, and even music backgrounds. When these four artists connected while searching for real good music at a local joint, they decided to join forces to create some of their own.

This record, which is their first widely available album, is filled with jams spanning 12 songs and over one hour in length. It’s nice, but it doesn’t cut as deep as it could. However, it’s the originality blended with likeable inspirations that keep it focused.

When we think jam bands, it’s classics like Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews. Have you ever heard a jam band use saxophone and keys in rotating fashion like a revolving door while still feeling like rock and blues? This is not just a good jazzy type group, its a band that leaves few elements untouched.

Phosphorescent Snack‘s first tune is called “Down the Pipes” and it opens like a concert which brings a sense of excitement. Slow piano touching all the high and low tones rattle off into catchy drums that sound like the curtain raiser to a real classic rock show. You may be surprised when horns, keys and bass greet you instead of guitar. It’s a catchy foot tapper but seems a touch too familiar like a song from a coffee shop soundtrack. In the end, it is still solid.

Listen to Phosphorescent Snack on Spotify:

Then there’s the tracks that surprise you with electronic fusions like “Chicken in the Backyard.” We are not exactly sure why Andrew North and the Rangers are talking bout fowl, but the lyrics are interesting to say the least. The track really does pick up with a cowbell and a sax solo that feels like riding a slip and slide down a rainbow. The layers all meet up and the drums carry into a slow bass riff. When the horns come back you are so glad because you never wanted them to leave. Keyboards also make this track feel like a classic song to feel in your soul. Like others on the album, it makes you want to dance.

The production is also a standout on this record. “11 at 11” sounds like Emerson Lake and Palmer met Boston, and that is hard to pull off without the proper equipment. As the band recently told us here at Beyond the Stage Magazine, they were glad to finally put these tracks together professionally.

“As soon as we could scrape together decent recording gear we started tracking this album in our drummer’s garage,” they said. “It was incredible to hear the full studio arrangements take shape after playing these songs out live for years. Tank Recording Studio in Vermont did such an outstanding job with the mix and master and really took the project to the next level. We are just blown away by the results and so happy for our fans to hear it!”

The result is a satisfying magic show of sound as exemplified on “Smoke and Mirrors,” which really shows that these guys know how to play music, really really well.

Andrew North and the Rangers may not play the most appealing music that mass audiences want. That’s fine though. The people who really appreciate strong talent will. These are the bands you see around town. They are inviting, and they are good. Not only that, but they have fun lyrics that don’t try to be incredibly serious. Sometimes that’s okay in good music, because its clear the emphasis here is on their instrumentation.

It’s a sound so familiar but original at the same time. That makes it easy to listen to no matter who you are. So go down to your local dive, get a pint, sit back and relax. It’s a good spot to hear real good music.

Andrew North and the Rangers Phosphorescent Snack – 7/10 - Beyond the Stage Magazine


"Andrew North & The Rangers Release Debut Album ‘Phosphorescent Snack’"

New Hampshire-based jammers Andrew North & The Rangers today released their debut full-length LP, Phosphorescent Snack. The 12-song release showcases the band’s genre-bending style and whimsical sense of humor.

“This album has been a long time coming,” North stated. “I’m so excited about the music that we’ve been making together and I think our fans, old and new, are going to love it.”

Phosphorescent Snack is available now on all streaming outlets, and features Andrew North (keys and vocals), Dale Grant (drums and vocals), Chip Spangler (bass and vocals), and Rob O’Brien (brass). The record was mixed and mastered by Tank Studios in Burlington, Vermont.

Andrew North and the Rangers are small-town friends brought together by an adventurous approach to music. The quartet spans different ages, hometowns, and musical backgrounds, but they hit it off quickly at local open-mic nights. Over three years together they have honed their craft, drawing from the technical fireworks of classic rock, the spontaneity of jazz, the light-hearted fun of the jam scene, and even the intricate passages of classical composition.

The album captures the diversity of the band’s styles, from instrumental jazz (“Smoke and Mirrors”) to straight-ahead rock (“Electrostatic Chills”) and funky jams (“Chicken in the Backyard”). It’s off-beat but accessible and fun, and it’s clear that these are serious musicians that don’t take themselves too seriously.

“We made this on our own in a garage,” North said. “We are just having so much fun right now, and that really comes through in the tracks. I took a long time off from making music, and I never thought I would get a band this good together and put out an album like this. It’s just so awesome!” - JamBase


"Exclusive Premiere: Stream Andrew North and the Rangers’ New Single “Chicken in the Backyard”"

Emerging rock/jazz/jam band Andrew North and the Rangers is back with their new single “Chicken in the Backyard”, which you can stream exclusively via Aesthetic Magazine below.

“I used to have a couple of backyard chickens,” said North. “It was awesome and I always wanted to post pictures about them on Instagram so everyone could see how cool I was. This turned into a song idea that was stuck in my head for a long time. It started out as a commentary on internet culture and the performative nature of social media, but that felt a little “on the nose” for my taste and I had fun stretching the lyrical ideas out until they were just right. This song is whimsical and funky and has become one of our absolute favorites to play as a band. I love that it gives every band member a chance to really shine!”

A sneak peak of their upcoming album Phosphorescent Snack, the group writes songs on their own terms…the only way they know how. With jam band elements, the group brings a vibrant sound that is filled with playful lyricism, smooth harmonies, nostalgic keys and vibrant lead vocals. Adding a little Jazz flavor into the mix, the song will have you moving and grooving within every listen.

The song builds up to a catchy groove and more layered instrumentation, almost as if to gently transport the listener to the full flow of the track. Bright horns add to the uniqueness of the piece as Andrew North and the Rangers bring a good time right into your home.

Andrew North and the Rangers are small-town friends brought together by an adventurous approach to music. The quartet span different ages, hometowns, and musical backgrounds, but they hit it off quickly at local open-mic nights. Over 3 years together they have honed their craft, drawing from the technical fireworks of classic rock, the spontaneity of jazz, the light-hearted fun of the jam scene, and even the intricate passages of classical composition.

Andrew North and the Rangers create a bold vision that will have you coming back for more each time. Their debut album out this July, Phosphorescent Snack, showcases their genre-bending style and whimsical sense of humor. It’s a reminder that amazing things can come from unlikely places. - Aesthetic Magazine


"Wide Ranging - Concord NH Band Celebrates Debut Album"

For Andrew North, the stage and the studio are two distinct places, with the latter a place for adventure. Phosphorescent Snack, the debut album from North and his band the Rangers, is a multi-tracked gem, with elements of funk, soulful pop and progressive jazz. It's Steely Dan meets Frank Zappa at a 1969 Chicago Transit Authority listening party.

"Electrostatic Chills" expresses a solid groove intention, while the instrumental "Epiphone" showcases the four band members' prowess: North on keys, drummer Dale Grant, bass player Chip Spangler and horn wizard Rob O'Brien. That the song is missing the instrument it's named after is not lost on North.

"Yeah, there's no guitar on the album, which has kind of become a point of pride for us," he said in a recent interview. Other standouts include "Down the Pipes," with its echoes of Dixieland jazz, the can-do anthem "Dig Deep" and "Aditi," the latter sounding like an unmistakable nod to a certain Vermont jam band.

"It's hard to admit, because when we say we're Phish-influenced, the reaction can go either way," North agreed. "But there's no question I've soaked up so much of that over the decades, and it comes across in what I do. ... I've stopped trying to downplay it."

The connection is understandable; North moved from Burlington, Vermont, to Concord five years ago, bringing the energy of his first home along with him. Andrew North & the Rangers is a multigenerational ensemble; Grant has played drums for close to five decades, including sessions with members of Yes, Survivor and Cheap Trick, while the younger Spangler's resume includes work in far-away places like Alaska.

Like many bands, the quartet planned to complete its debut disc in 2020, but when the pandemic ended live shows, time was used to polish it a bit more. O'Brien, who plays an electronic Roland Aerophone he affectionately calls Dustbuster that can emit a multitude of sounds, opened his laptop and created walls of horns that would please Earth, Wind & Fire.

"Covid-19 gave us a good chance to sit down and work the tracks up with some overdubbing," North said, "and obviously, if you let Rob loose with a chance to take more than one pass at a song, he'll take full
advantage."

North and his mates marked the record's release with an August show at Area 23, a Concord haven for original bands like theirs.

They'll appear at Newmarket's venerable Stone Church on Sept. 2 "I was in a jam band in like 2006, and we were dying to get a gig at Stone Church," North said, "and they never gave us the time of day…. so I may be irrationally excited about that one."

On Sept. 4 they'll play a late set at the Keene Music Festival, a massive outdoor showcase of regional bands on multiple stages. - The Hippo


Discography

Phosphorescent Snack - Debut LP, July 30, 2021

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Bio

“It's Steely Dan meets Frank Zappa at a 1969 Chicago Transit Authority listening party.” - Michael Witthaus, The Hippo

Andrew North and the Rangers are small-town friends brought together by an adventurous approach to music. The quartet span different ages, hometowns, and musical backgrounds, but they hit it off quickly at local open-mic nights. Over 3 years together they have honed their craft, drawing from the technical fireworks of classic rock, the spontaneity of jazz, the light-hearted fun of the jam scene, and even the intricate passages of classical composition. Their debut album, Phosphorescent Snack, showcases their genre-bending style and whimsical sense of humor. It’s a reminder that amazing things can come from unlikely places.  


At first, it was just Andrew North, a a prolific songwriter, composer, piano player, and singer living in Concord, NH. He loves improvisation and he wears the same shoes to every gig. He’s played in numerous bands, has released 4 solo albums, and has performed on stages large and small. He has opened for 3 Dog Night, shredded keys with Dizzy Reed (Gun n’ Roses), and even bluegrass jammed with Mike Gordon (Phish). He needed a band, and one-by-one they appeared to join in on the fun.


The first to come along was Dale Grant, a drummer of 49 years (he started very early in life), with roots in drum lines, jazz, classic rock, new wave and metal. Dale has played and sung in bands in six states over the years.  He has been very fortunate to meet and jam with several well-known musicians such as Tony Kaye (Yes), Stephan Ellis (Survivor), Tom Peterson (Cheap Trick) and Craig Thomas (Jim Messina).  He has also played in bands that have opened for the Coasters and Charlie Daniels  He does not wear the same shoes to every gig.


Next on the scene was Chip Spangler, originally from Maryland, where he first started learning bass guitar.  Having played with several different bands throughout the years, including as far  away as Alaska, and making a habit of dropping by open mic nights to jam with whoever was around, he's learned many useful things along the way.  Chip wears ordinary shoes at gigs, because his feet are too big for cool shoes.


And then there is Rob “the Mysterious Stranger” O'Brien.  He is an amazingly talented sax player who shows up to gigs with a Roland Aerophone (affectionately referred to as the dust buster). It can sound like just about anything.  He arrives dressed in whatever style struck his fancy that day and.... Shoes?  What are shoes?


Together, Andrew, Dale, Chip, and Rob are Andrew North & The Rangers, an adventurous piano-rock quartet delighting crowds with their upbeat energy and offbeat sense of fun.

Band Members