CLOUDS & SATELLITES ARE such a creative band that one imagines they’d spend a ton of time together, working out arrangements and experimenting with recording. That’s largely what they did, until the pandemic forced them to put a pause on playing shows and keep a complete distance from one another.
For starters, co-leader Markus Kuhlmann spent two months away from Savannah with his son and mother, isolating but spending plenty of time recording. Eric Scott Guthrie, the band’s keyboard player, even had a bit of a COVID scare at one point (though he consistently tested negative). That all meant that the band’s triumphant set at Savannah Stopover in March was their last show. Until now.
On Sat., Sep. 12 at 8 P.M., the band will be partaking in a Quarantine Concert, the virtual pro-shot show helmed by the excellent Michael Gaster. They’ve now done nearly 50 shows since the pandemic began, and it will be Kuhlmann’s second after doing one with his other group Waits & Co. recently.
They just started rehearsing, and Kuhlmann says he felt like things really clicked as soon as Guthrie joined in after missing the first couple of get togethers.
“Before that, the four of us were together and it sounded great. But the last practice we had him come in and there were a couple of spots where his keys and background vocals hit. It was like, ‘Man, that’s how I heard it in my head.’ We weren’t thinking about what we were doing, we were just feeling it,” he tells Connect.
The concert will feature songs from the band’s last several releases, some of which are Kuhlmann’s and some of which were written by co-leader Tim Warren. There will also be new songs in the set, which will be featured on their just-completed EP.
“Tim has two new ones that are pretty awesome and fully fleshed out. So we’ll do those at this show,” Kuhlmann says. “We’re taking the Stopover set and adding some new stuff to it.”
Kuhlmann just finished mixing the band’s new EP, which he says was done energetically and swiftly and will be released via Bandcamp imminently.
“I’m working on it right now, so hopefully by the end of the day or tomorrow I’ll have something up,” he says of the quick turnaround time. It’s a real testament to the time we’re living in, when people can really do things however they want with no real rules for releasing.
“Tim has a song called “All The Storms,” and it’s one of those songs that you feel like has existed forever. I’ve dug into a lot of the keyboard stuff that has come out since the pandemic started, so I’ve been doing some synth stuff. So there’s been a newness to the way we’ve been creating. The finished product has been really fun to work on.”