with The Prescriptions, Caroline Spence
Friday, Jun 23, 2017 8:00 PM CDT
(6:00 PM Doors)
3rd and Lindsley, Nashville, TN
Los Colognes dates back some 15 years, to Chicago, where Mortenson, Rutherford, and bassist Gordon Persha began playing both together (and apart) in a series of “church bands, punk bands, high school bands, and any other kind of band,” learning the language of playing music with other people from a young age. Mortenson and Rutherford eventually departed from Chicago to Nashville, in search of an atmosphere that supported spontaneous music creation, where oppressive weather and overpopulation wouldn’t make it difficult to get musicians in the same room on a regular basis.
“Jay and I decided to make the move to Nashville in 2010 in search of like-minded musicians,” Mortenson says. “The fact that we are big JJ Cale fans played into it. We were intrigued by his history here, and Emmylou Harris’, and John Prine’s. We figured there had to be ghosts still floating around here, their stories, and maybe players from those sessions.”
In Nashville, the rest of the band took shape, with keys player Micah Hulscher recruited in a piano boogie bar and Persha moving down from Chicago to join the group. The band’s history of playing in rotating bands proved useful as a number of Nashville singer-songwriters needed temporary backing bands for local gigs and tours, making Los Colognes “working musicians,” having graced the stage with the likes of Caitlin Rose, Nikki Lane, Kevin Gordon, Johnny Fritz and RayLand Baxter. With Rose, the band spent half of 2014 touring with her as both backing band and support, allowing them to showcase their original material to Rose’s dedicated audience.
“So many jam bands I encountered in high school were just stoner rock,” Rutherford says, “but there weren’t any songs there, and the lyrics were garbage. Give me Dylan any day. But now, taking these sort of Cale-like arrangements and opening up the songs live, not playing the same eight songs the same way every night... it is just having fun and not necessarily jamming for the sake of jamming.”
By putting songwriting at the forefront of their band, Los Colognes have put this philosophy into practice on Dos, making their upbeat anthem “Take It” almost self-referential when they sing “it takes a time or two… you better take it, before it takes you.”