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All Music Guide:
When a European record shop asked Appleseed Cast to give an acoustic in-store performance, frontman Christopher Crisci wrote a series of new songs for the occasion. Such material formed the basis of Old Canes, a lo-fi project spearheaded by Crisci and performed by a loose group of backing musicians. The band's debut album, Early Morning Hymns, appeared in 2004, and Crisci issued two albums with Appleseed Cast (2006's Peregrine and 2009's Sagarmatha) before putting the finishing touches on Old Canes' second release, Feral Harmonic.
Old Canes is a rock band from Lawrence, Kansas currently composed of front man Christopher Crisci (of The Appleseed Cast) on vocals and guitar, and a rotating cast of musicians. Because most band members - including Crisci - participate more notably in other bands, when on tour Old Canes is joined by other available musicians known to the band, including John Momberg (of The Appleseed Cast), Taylor Holenbeck, Sam Goodell, Rusty Scott, Kelly Hangauer (of Fourth Of July), Lucas Oswald (Minus Story) and Jeff Stolz, in what they call a "musical collective." Past members include Nathan Richardson (Casket Lottery), Jordan Geiger (Minus Story), Eric Verhar, Tyler French (Minus Story), Gabriel Booth, Kelsey Richardson, and Jon Anderson (Boys Life).
Officially formed in 2002, Old Canes bore its roots around October 2001, when Chris Crisci initially played a handful of solo acoustic shows. Playing an in-store show as part of a European tour with Crisci's primary band, the Appleseed Cast, promoters wanted the band to play acoustic. Having acoustic material written that was never previously pursued, Crisci performed three eventual Old Canes songs. After encouragement from supporters who appreciated the contrasting folk sound to the Appleseed Cast, he formally pursued the Old Canes a year and half later.
After releasing a demo in 2003, Old Canes released Early Morning Hymns in 2004, recorded in Crisci's home studio on half-inch 8-track tape. Although the band's label, Second Nature, encouraged Crisci to have an established producer to mix the album, he worked the album himself. Crisci envisioned a lo-fi sound, citing Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix as artists whose albums were not recorded with the pristine clarity of albums today, but sounded great.
Chris recorded the bulk of the album, singing and playing guitar, and recording most of the harmonica, banjo, percussion, and toy piano parts. Nathan Jr. played all of the drum parts, and Jordan Gieger played all of the trumpet parts, along with contributing some of the toy piano, bells, percussion, harmonica, and banjo. Kelsey Richardson doubled a saxophone over Jordan's trumpt on Blue Eleanor, and Eric Verhar played a cello line on Both Falling Bright.
In 2005 Crisci started recording the second record, Feral Harmonic. The first drum tracks were laid down by John Anderson Boy's Life Kelly Hangauer played the trumpet parts. A few more drum tracks were played by John Momberg. Lucas Oswald played a couple cello parts, and a dulcimer on Next flood. Several friends added some vocal harmonies. Everything else was recorded by Crisci. All guitar, banjo, mandolin, bells, toy piano, harmonica, percussion, some cello, and the drums on Under.
The record was finished in early 2009.