Uncle Ben’s Remedy Releases ‘Easy Ways To Here’
“We’re all going to be okay.” That is the overarching message of Uncle Ben’s Remedy’s latest single release “Drink To Remember.” The song is a toast to good times, as well as to the friends who have come and gone. It is unapologetic of the less-than-sane things to which we may have been instigators, bystanders, or participants.
Those are the things we remember, the things that brought us together, and are responsible for the bonds that we share through time as we take a breath to reflect on them all. We don’t drink to forget the painful experiences laid in our path; instead we raise our glasses together, wherever we may be, to celebrate those moments, those people, those adventures and hope for the best for one another in the days ahead.
“Drink To Remember” was recorded, mixed, and engineered at GCR Studios in Buffalo by Justin Rose, and mastered by Randy Merrill at Sterling Audio. It is the first release ahead of the fourth album by Uncle Ben’s Remedy. “Easy Ways To Here” will include this single along with ten other tracks laid down over the last 10 months, and is due out Dec. 18.
The sound of Uncle Ben’s Remedy is rooted in the small towns of Western New York, where community still matters and music is a part of every event. Uncle Ben’s Remedy is Shawn Huestis, Ben Westlund, Jimmy Royce, Brendan O’Connor and Harmony Griffin.
In all, 11 tracks fill “Easy Ways To Here.” It began with writing session immediately in the wake of the release of “The Things That Bring You Back,” UBR’s third full-length recording. Ben Westlund, the band’s frontman and lead songwriter, finds inspiration in the movements of everyday life. Westlund’s phone is filled with partial ideas– lyrics, melodies, chord progressions — which he brings to the band for revisions.
Among the five members, it becomes a group endeavor. Songs are tried out at Headquarters, the band’s undisclosed practice space, and in the course of a session may sound and feel completely different from the time they were brought into the room. They are recorded on the fly then sent through the members’ phones for each musician to listen to in their own space. At the next rehearsal, all ideas are heard, in order to continue crafting the songs until they are ready to be recorded.
In early January,UBR recorded many of the tracks and by the middle of March all the future dates were suspended. The band congregated on online social meeting apps like Facetime, Zoom and House Party, and watched other close friends make music on Facebook Live and Instagram, and tried to make music of their own on A Capella, but nothing quite replaced the energy of face-to-face interactions. They kept in touch via text and email.
With the tracking of instruments completed, the solitary work of mixing, editing, artwork design and formatting became a lot easier. UBR enlisted the help of Huestis’ long-time friend Merrill to master “Drink to Remember.” Brad Lauchert of Bad Tone Productions was hired to master the rest of the album.
The album will be available on Dec. 18 through Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, YouTube, iHeartRadio. Compact discs are also available.