The Avenue

May 27, 2003, midnight | By Josh Gottlieb-Miller | 20 years, 6 months ago

Review: Talented but reserved guitarist Herndon has his perfect foil in charismatic and engaging vocalist Stamler. Together the two capable artists form an impressive musical act around solid country tunes. Herndon's heartbreakingly tender ballads and other consistently strong material are easily accomplished by Stamler's incredible delivery. Herndon and Stamler lack only in rollicking and hard songs, though those are clearly not part of their repertory for artistic reasons. Herndon's mature writing separates them from most other Blair bands and Stamler's voice gives Herndon's songs the heft they deserve.

Genre: Country bordering on folk.

Band Members:

Jake Herndon (Blair, junior): Guitar, back-up vocals
Jessica Stamler (Blair, senior): Lead vocals

Influences: Ryan Adams (to the max). Pavement. Modest Mouse. Whiskeytown.

History: "I was driving Jake home, sitting in silence [until Herndon asked]: ‘Do you know any girls who sing country?' I sing country," Stamler explains. The next day they started writing songs.

Albums: The Avenue: An EP

Website: None.

Best thing about being in a band: "It's really good to take credit for [Herndon's] ideas. You can do things together you couldn't do alone," Stamler says.

Worst thing: "Making sure you invest enough energy into the songs so they're always meaningful to play," claims Herndon.

Best Song: Sweet Town.

Worst Song: "We put so much effort into all of them, but we probably have a worst song. Someday," according to Herndon, "because some people don't like it. I do, just not as much as the others."

Reaction from other Blair musician: "They are to music what Elmer Fudd is to cartoons. The heart and soul." (Ben Martinez, Culo Balena)

Quotable: "We try to [sound like] country," according to both Stamler and Herndon separately. "We're Ryan Adams plus girl," claims Stamler.

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