I’ve seen a lot of bands in my time diving deep into the DC music scenes, and there’s no mistaking that The Beanstalk Library is the friendliest. Bandleader Ryan Walker exudes natural charm and enthusiasm when performing that follows him offstage into post-show mingling. He’s also the rare example of a frontman lending his talent to other bands, playing with Justin Jones and Andy Zipf’s Cowards Choir. The Beanstalk Library’s lineup of keyboardist Joel Hicks, guitarist Brian Pagels, violinist Erin Ryan, bassist David Gassman and drummer Adam Neubauer have an affectionate performing chemistry that’s rare to see.
Apart from a one-off single “Whiskey Mountain” honoring the late Sean Meyers of Norman Rockwell, it’s been a couple of years since we tasted and digested the full length album The View From Here. After many months road-testing new material, TBL is nearly ready to drop a new EP, and Hometown Sounds is tickled pink to premiere the first single from it.
“Big Dumb Hooks” is a classic pop song with a driving beat and singalong chorus. Walker knows the power of a catchy melody and well-placed ooo’s, and this song really will sink its hooks into you as advertized. TBL makes well-crafted pop-rock music with deft songwriting, hard-hitting drums, full guitar/bass sound and flourishes from violin and keys for a mature sound that’s criminally underrated in DC these days.
As we mentioned on yesterday’s episode of our DC music podcast, The Beanstalk Library kicks off a show this Friday night September 25th at Iota, playing with a band from Boston called The Lights Out. Lead guitarist Adam Ritchie played in high school bands with TBL’s Brian Pagels and they haven’t shared a stage since 1999. Funk & soul party band Precautionary Measures finishes up the night. As with almost all Iota shows, tickets are only available at the door, so get there early!