The band has had many lineup changes over the past 20 years, but continues to revolve around band founder, Eric D. Johnson, who was also a member of indie giants, The Shins. Johnson also plays in the supergroup Bonny Light Horseman, who recently garnered two Grammy nominations for Best American Roots Performance (“Deep In Love”) and Best Folk Album (Bonny Light Horseman). Fruit Bats have noted influences that include Supertramp, The Byrds, The Kinks and pop radio from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Fruit Bats’ 2021 release, The Pet Parade, received positive remarks including a headline from Pop Matters calling the album “a Cure for Winter’s Long Grayness.”
PRESALE: Limited Logjam presale tickets for both shows will be available online only from 10am to 10pm, Thursday, November 11th. A password will be provided via email after completing the Logjam Presale sign up form where it says GET TICKETS below. PLEASE NOTE: Logjam Gift Cards cannot be used for presale purchases. Learn how to purchase tickets with your Logjam gift card here.
PUBLIC ON SALE: Tickets for both shows will go on sale to the general public Fri, Nov. 12th at 10:00am, and will be available at the Top Hat in Missoula, online or by phone at 1 (800) 514-3849. Visit the specific event page below for tickets and more info.
*With high ceilings, ample space, and some of the best ventilation systems in the state, the Wilma in Missoula, MT as well as The ELM in Bozeman, MT provide unique opportunities for the Montana community to support the arts in a spacious and more comfortable environment as we move into the colder months.
About Fruit Bats
Fruit Bats’ eighth LP opens with this invocation, this call from an isolated vocal room to your headphones somewhere out in the world. It’s a beckoning for your trust and attention, but also an assurance in lonely times—a distillation of melancholy wrapped in a danceable waltz.
“The Pet Parade,” the title track to Fruit Bats’ newest album, might be a surprising opening track for longtime fans of Eric D. Johnson’s beloved indie folk-rock project. The six-and-a half-minute tone poem smolders and drones over just two chords, inspired by the strange and silly community events that he saw growing up outside of Chicago, in La Grange, Illinois, in which people dressed up and showed off their pets. Decades later, The Pet Parade emerges in troubled times, living within what Johnson refers to as the beauty and absurdity of existence.
While many of the songs on The Pet Parade were actually written before the pandemic, it’s impossible to disassociate the record from the times. As an example, producer Josh Kaufman (The Hold Steady, Bob Weir, The National, and Bonny Light Horseman, in which he plays with Johnson and Anaïs Mitchell) was brought in for his deep emotional touch and bandleading abilities. However, Johnson, Kaufman, and the other musicians on The Pet Parade—drummers Joe Russo and Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Fleet Foxes, Muzz), singer songwriter Johanna Samuels, pianist Thomas Bartlett (Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens), and fiddler Jim Becker (Califone,Iron & Wine)—were forced to self-record their parts in bedrooms and home studios across America. Still, says Johnson, “The songs have enough intimacy that it doesn’t sound like it was made a million miles away.” Continue reading…