The Possibilities – To dream the possible dream
It’s possible you’ve been exposed to the Possibilities, or at least part of them, without realizing it. They were Jack Logan’s band when he toured in support of his 1999 release Buzz Me In, and they backed him on his more recent disc Monkey Paw. Drummer Matt Lane and bassist/chief vocalist Bob Spires were the rhythm section on half of 1998’s Little Private Angel, a collaboration between Logan and Bob Kimbell.
Lane was the original drummer in the Drive-By Truckers — that’s him on both Gangstabilly and Pizza Deliverance — and the Possibilities served as DBT leader Patterson Hood’s band for a few short tours before the Drive-By Truckers were formed. Finally, Scott McCaughey’s Stars R Us outfit the Minus 5 covered the Possibilities’ “You Don’t Mean It” on last year’s Let The War Against Music Begin.
Spires, Matt Lane, and Lane’s brother Kevin started playing together in high school, with the modest but admirable goal of playing only Ramones songs and tunes covered by the Ramones, before graduating to writing songs that sounded exactly like the Ramones.
In 1994, they left their hometown of Bainbridge, Georgia, a quiet burg (save the sounds of “Cretin Hop” echoing through one garage) tucked away near the convergence of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. “We decided to move out of the Deep, Deep South into just the Deep South,” Spires cracks of their move to Athens.
A pedal steel guitarist joined the relocated threesome, and they soon started playing shows with fellow Athenians the Dashboard Saviors. Head Savior Todd McBride introduced the band to Peter Jesperson, who, impressed with the quartet’s blend of pop and Uncle Tupelo-ish roots-conscious rock, offered the band a deal with Twin/Tone.
However, when the pedal steel player couldn’t resist the pull of his other gig in a country cover band, he hit the road and took the band’s signature sound with him. “He decided he enjoyed making $2,000 a weekend instead of $2 a night,” chuckles Spires. With that, recording plans were put on hold until the band’s self-titled 1999 release, which surfaced on local indie label Backburner.
The band’s new disc on Parasol, Way Out — featuring the band’s newest members, keyboardist Jason Gonzalez and second guitarist/studio whiz Chris Grehan — sounds nothing like the Ramones, the Drive-By Truckers, or Uncle Tupelo. Its closest kin just might be the progressive pop of the Minus 5, and it definitely showcases the versatility needed to hang with Logan’s genre-hopping compositions.
“Now And Then You Appear” sports the Brian Wilson-redux good vibes of Beulah, while “Braintree” could be a Chris Stamey-penned and sung dB’s song. And “Ticki Ball” takes the melody of the Bee Gees’ “Massachusetts” and transports it a half-dozen states South.