Texas alternative rockers GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE are excited to announce their brand new full-length album "Fifteen," celebrating 15 years as a band! The band told LazyRocker.com: "We've been working hard in the studio, writing and recording this record. We are really proud of how everything is turning out and can't wait to share it with you."
The title of Fifteen, Green River Ordinance’s first studio album in three years, has a dual meaning for the hard-working quintet. In addition to marking the fifteen years that have passed since the five bandmates first began making music together, fifteen was also the average age of the band members when the group formed.
In the decade and a half since they first convened in their hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, Green River Ordinance—named after their home state’s law forbidding door-to-door sales—has built a potent body of effortlessly accessible, instantly memorable music, while winning the loyalty of a fiercely loyal fan base that’s stuck with the band through thick and thin. In the course of their journey, the five longtime friends have steadily evolved into a one-of-a-kind creative unit whose musical and emotional depth reflects the faith, integrity and mutual trust with which they’ve always approached their musical and their career.Green River Ordinance’s thrilling evolution continues on Fifteen, which matches irresistibly infectious melodies and insightful, forthright lyrics with rootsy, rousing musical flights and soaring vocal harmonies. Such catchy, upbeat tunes as “Always Love Her,” “Keep Your Cool” and “Red Fire Night,” and such intimate, personally-charged numbers as “Simple Life,” “Endlessly” and “Heart Open” offer an artful balance of electric and acoustic textures, and resonate with the singular mix of craft and heart that make Green River Ordinance a special band.
Fifteen arrives at a pivotal juncture in the Green River Ordinance’s career. Having achieved a hard-won mainstream breakthrough with their 2009 album Out of My Hands and the hit singles “Come On” and “On Your Own,” the band grew uncomfortable with the contradictions of a changing music industry and the compromises required by an outdated business model. Rather than continue on that course, the group opted to walk away from its deal with Capitol Records in order to conduct its career on its own terms.
“When we were starting out, people would describe us as organic, or talk about us being a grass-roots band,” bassist Geoff Ice notes. “We didn’t really understand what they meant at the time, but the meaning has become clear to us in the last few years, and we’ve realized that it’s one of our biggest strengths as a band.”
Indeed, Green River Ordinance’s enduring appeal has always been rooted in the five bandmates’ deep musical and personal bond. Their potent rapport was showcased in the band’s tireless roadwork, and on a pair of independently released EPs, which helped to win the band a recording deal with Capitol, which released Out of My Hands in 2009.
Out of My Hands won Green River Ordinance considerable critical acclaim and media exposure, with the album reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and the band’s songs appearing in more than 20 television shows. After spending two years on the road supporting Out of My Hands, GRO made the crucial choice to continue its career outside of the major-label machine.
Green River Ordinance’s decision to embrace life as an independent entity was quickly vindicated by the success of their self-released 2012 album Under Fire and the 2013 EP Chasing Down the Wind, both of which boasted some of the band’s most adventurous and eloquent work yet. Both were well-received by the group’s fans, with Chasing Down the Wind debuting at the top of the iTunes charts. GRO’s D.I.Y. approach was further vindicated when the Under Fire track “Dancing Shoes” became a substantial radio hit and one of the most popular songs of the band’s career.
“Looking back at our history, the songs that have really connected with people were the ones that we didn’t overthink or overanalyze,” observes frontman Josh Jenkins. “So with the new album, a lot of the challenge was trying to stop ourselves from thinking too much, and focusing on writing about stuff that matters to us. All you can do is try and remain present in the songs and stay in touch with the things that inspire you and move you, and have faith that that will connect with people.”
Towards that end, the band approached the making of Fifteen in a manner designed to inspire the band’s creative impulses. For some of the album’s songwriting sessions, they returned to the riverside cabin on the banks of the Caney Fork River in rural Tennessee, where they’d written much of Chasing Down the Wind. The band cut tracks for Fifteen in separate sessions with three notable producers—Paul Moak, Rick Beato and longtime GRO collaborator Jordan Critz—in three different cities. The band recorded many of its performances live in the studio, capturing the musicians’ vibrant chemistry.
Having come up with their most accomplished album to date, Green River Ordinance are looking forward to reconnecting with their still-rabid fan base and taking Fifteen on the road, strengthened by the lessons they’ve learned over the band’s eventful lifespan.
“Looking at the songs that we’re writing now, and then back on the songs that we were writing when we were kids, it’s interesting to see how much things have progressed,” says Geoff. “But in some ways, it’s still the same. We’re still in the process of discovering who we are and what we can be, and communicating that as honestly as we can.”
“Fifteen is a new chapter for us, and we’re gonna be out playing as many shows as we can and making an effort to communicate with as many people as we can,” Josh concludes. “I feel lucky to be in a band with these guys who’ve been my friends since middle school, and it’s a privilege to be able to keep making music with them.”
GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE is:
Josh Jenkins – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Jamey Ice – guitars, banjo, mandolin
Joshua Wilkerson – guitars, vocals, mandolin, piano
Geoff Ice – bass, vocals, harmonica
Denton Hunker – drums, percussion