Two popular local groups, Key of V and Clawfoot Slumber, recently took it to the road for the "Treacle Dream" tour.
The Key of V sisters, Erin and Val LaCerra, have been steadily making a name for themselves since 2006, while Clawfoot Slumber, featuring Erin, Alex Callenberger, Colin Beatty and Dan Weber, recently hit the music scene in 2010.
Although both bands are notable for frolicking through a myriad of genres during performances, Key of V is self-described as "a low-fi, psychedelic, acoustic duo," while Clawfoot Slumber may be described as a psychedelic, folk-rock, noir four piece.
"The Treacle Dream tour has been a long-awaited goal both for the siblings of Key of V and the group Clawfoot Slumber," Erin said.
The sisters, however, were required to postpone the goal four years as they focused on completing bachelor's degrees in human services at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Post graduation in May 2011, the sisters were able to start planning for an upcoming tour. According to Erin, Callenberger, songwriter for Clawfoot Slumber, has proven to dream big like both sisters and made an excellent candidate for partnering on the tour.
"The name of the tour is a combination of Key of V and Clawfoot Slumber's most recent album titles, 'Things We Drew for the Treacle Well' and 'Silly Little Dream,' respectively," Erin said. " ' Treacle' is sugary nectar used to sweeten tea and is stored in a receptacle called a treacle well. The Door Mouse in Louis Carrol's 'Alice in Wonderland' speaks of a treacle well during the tea party scene with the Mad Hatter and March Hare. The group felt the word combination 'Treacle Dream' became synonymous with the popular adage 'Sweet Dreams.' "
According to Erin, it was a natural fit for those involved to hit the road together. Val, Erin and Alex have a history of planning large events and pulling them off without a hitch, such as the Absorb Williamsport Music Festival, which was successful for three years thanks to the help of friends and volunteers. Absorb, Erin said, taught the trio how to effectively plan and carry out the tour.
"Both groups have always been very inspired by each other's creativity and were eager to combine their musical influences on stage," Erin said. "Members from each band would often sit during each other's sets while on the tour. One song, in particular, was executed relying primarily on the vocals of all six musicians. The song, 'Just a Little Time,' by Clawfoot Slumber, demonstrated the power of both bands when they came together in harmony. The song was often used to close shows while on tour."
The trip, which was scheduled to last about three weeks, began Oct. 14 at Goodbye Blue Monday in New York City, and took the musicians from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Asheville, N.C. The main goal of the tour, Erin said, was to establish a tour network with new venues and audiences up and down the East Coast.
After a second show at the Crimson Frog Coffee House in Camp Hill, the group met its first roadblock. The transmission in the bands' newly bought 1991 Chevy mini Blue Bird tour bus nearly blew up about three hours from their next destination in Pittsburgh.
"After calculating that we could not make it to Pittsburgh in time to play our show driving 30 miles per hour in second gear, we canceled the show and called Chelsea Mcbee, who we were to play with the following night in Shepherdstown, W.Va.," Erin said. "Interestingly, we were closer to Shepherdstown than Pittsburgh, so we putted along and made it there late in the evening. We spent the next week living in a one-room cabin and working on a nice little family farm while the bus was serviced. That week was the most incredibly humbling to us all. Nevertheless, we were able to pick up some gigs at some wonderful venues, like Jack of the Wood and the Firestorm Cafe in Asheville, N.C., that typically have long waiting lists for new musical acts. We were also blessed with making the acquaintance of new friends and fans that will remain in our hearts forever."
The bands were pleasantly surprised to be overwhelmingly embraced by communities in towns they had never visited before. Some, Erin said, were even sad to see the five move on.
"On tour, we received feedback such as 'your sound is unlike anything I've ever heard before - in a good way!"
It was witnessing the genuine kindness of those who helped the bands through their most difficult times on the road that was, perhaps, the best part of the tour, Erin said, as well as "experiencing the resilience and strength of each other as tourmates, as professional musicians and as people."
"We are also incredibly thankful to our local fan base for their support during our pre-tour and primary tour," she said. "Their support made it possible for us to take our dream on the road. Further, their support helped us stay on the road, even when our bus had other plans. In short, the tour would not have happened without our wonderful community."
Key of V and Clawfoot Slumber plan to play often around the area while planning for their next tour.
In addition, mini tours will take them to regional venues in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
For booking information for Key of V, email email@example.com. Email sydbarrett27@ yahoo.com to book Clawfoot Slumber. Both bands also are on Facebook.
For more information about either band, including music and press kits, visit reverbnation.com and bandcamp.com and search for Key of V and Clawfoot Slumber.