Review Fix chats with multi-instrumentalist Sierra Blanca who discusses his upcoming EP, Honorable Mention.
About Sierra Blanca:
Jethro Gaglione, aka Sierra Blanca, is a self-taught, multi-instrumentalist, who began playing music as part of the worship group for his parents’ missionary team in Mexico. They traveled all around the country living in old re-purposed school buses and putting up tents for “church” meetings. Starting with keyboards, Gaglione added bass, guitar, and drums to his repertoire and started jamming with local bands upon moving to the US in 2002. He started a project called “A Main Street Marvel” from 2007 to 2015 and changed the name to Sierra Blanca when he relocated to Nashville in 2015. Refining his live performance with shows across the Southeast, Gaglione cites Louis Armstrong, Fleetwood Mac, and Amy Winehouse as influences on his hybrid of indie, folk, soul and pop. His sound has been compared to that of Feist, David Ramirez and older Death Cab for Cutie.
Review Fix: What makes this album special?
Sierra Blanca: It’s the first record I’ve written and recorded since moving to Nashville and starting a new chapter in my life. I feel like I’ve grown quite a bit as a songwriter and musician in the time I’ve been living here, and the new EP shows it. It’s also a bit of a change of style from the stuff I normally write and compose.
Review Fix: What track are you most proud of?
Blanca: I wouldn’t really say there’s just one. I’m proud of the whole thing and since I put a lot of time, work and passion into it. My favorite song to listen to or play can vary from day to day. As of now I would say it’s “Book,” since i get to play some fun ruffs on an electric guitar instead of acoustic!
Review Fix: Is there a story behind it?
Blanca: “Book” was the last song I wrote for the EP. I literally finished writing the lyrics in the vocal booth as I was recording it. It’s one of the very few songs that I’ve written that carries some political undertones. I recently filmed a live video for it in the woods with a few good friends of mine!
Review Fix: What are the goals with this album?
Blanca: Just to put it it out there for people to hopefully relate to and enjoy.
Review Fix: Bands often give their albums nicknames, like the Eagles call “The Long Run,” “The Long One,” because of all the time they spent in the studio on it. What would you guys nickname this one?
Blanca: Maybe the sad one, haha. The writing is definitely more heartfelt and authentic – sort of a heart-on-your-sleeve record.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
Blanca: This record definitely has some singer/songwriter influence with a lot of acoustic guitar. It also has some soulful rhythms with more complex harmonies and guitar parts that are somewhere in the realm of indie/americana. The writing is definitely authentic and honest.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why must someone listen to this album?
Blanca: I feel like it brings some originality to the table in contrast to a lot of other music in the same group of genres.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Blanca: A lot more playing and writing. Hopefully starting work on a full length record at the beginning of 2018 with more of a focus on the instrumentation and composition. I’ve always wanted to make a big production and just go all out with every instrument. This feels like a good time for it.