Experience not a rarity for this musician

    Chris Forsyth (left) and the Solar Motel Band. (Photo courtesy of Kait Privitera/No Quarter Records)

    Chris Forsyth (left) and the Solar Motel Band. (Photo courtesy of Kait Privitera/No Quarter Records)

    Live shows. Records. Teaching gigs. Session work. The life of an indie musician can be a patchwork quilt of plying your trade wherever it might fit.

    “Yeah, I’m the ultimate freelancer,” agreed guitarist Chris Forsyth. “Really, it’s just a hustle and trying to stay focused on the thing that you love.”

    Forsyth will show off two of those loves Saturday night at PhilaMOCA, when he and his Solar Motel Band perform to debut their new recording, “The Rarity of Experience.”

    Along with fellow guitarist Nick Millevoi, bassist Peter Kerlin, and drummr Ray Kubian (Steven Urgo on the album), they weave a live sound that’s at once tight and loose — tight interplay of the twin guitars and crisp rhythm section, but also a loose, wide-ranging sonic exploration of each piece. “The band improvises a lot, so the songs kind of expand and contract in a live setting,” he explained.

    Their choice of cover tunes on the album reflect that preferred approach: a long blues number from a 1970s documentary on the Rolling Stones and “Calvary Cross” by Richard Thompson, who also used it as a vehicle to stretch out in concert.

    Forsyth approaches both recording and live playing the same way.

    “I like to work really quickly and spontaneously in either setting,” he said. “In the studio, you’re kind of creating an illusion. What I try to do is to capture the energy of the live shows. We did the tracking real fast, in about three days. But then I sat with it and worked on it for maybe 10 or 12 months afterwards, maybe a little polishing here and a little addition there.

    “You see what you’ve got from the improvisations and build off those things. And then, hopefully, it still sounds like an organic, coherent experience on the record as well as it does live.”


    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal