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PERFECT HARMONY

For The Sweet Remains, voices and personalities are a nice fit

Sweet Remains.jpg

When solo singer/songwriters Rich Price and Greg Naughton would team up to play an occasional show, they often wondered how good their vocal harmony blend would be with a third singer.

During a cross-country tour in 2007 with acquaintance Brian Chartrand, Price felt he had found the right guy.

Excited by his gut feeling, Price called Naughton and asked if he could meet him and Chartrand in Rhode Island. Naughton arrived around 5 p.m. at the hotel where they were staying, and the brand-new trio quickly worked up a few songs for that night’s show.

“It was really meant as sort of a one-off, fun side project,” Price recalls. “But I think each of us felt something special when we were singing together, and even more than that, it was just a ton of fun. So this side project quickly fell together and became a priority for us.”

The end result is Laurel & Sunset, the debut album by the trio, collectively known as The Sweet Remains. Initially, the group recorded four songs in New York with Andy Zulla, and the plan was to release them as an EP.

But with so much material written, they decided to record more tunes, this time at Price’s loft apartment in Los Angeles.

“We worked 120 hours in six days, but we had a blast and were really proud of how it came out,” Price says. “It has a real do-it-yourself, organic vibe, and it was all us making the decisions on the arrangements and then recording [the songs]. I think maybe we surprised ourselves. I think we were thinking of doing another three or four tunes, and we ended up coming up with a full 12-song record.”

Early on, Price, Naughton and Chartrand had a discussion about focusing on the best songs for the project. Without really trying, Price says, the three singer/songwriters have developed an easy camaraderie.

“We’re all pretty normal guys,” he says. “I’ve been around bands where there are lots of egos and conflicts, and that just doesn’t exist in this band. We had a show in New York [recently] where we kind of got into it, and it was a little surprising because it doesn’t happen to us very often. But within five minutes, we were hugging it out.”

— By Chris M. Junior

The Sweet Remains on tour (schedule subject to change):

* Nov. 15: Canal Room – New York
* Nov. 18: The Bitter End — New York
* Nov. 23: Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, Mass.
* Nov. 29: Club Passim – Cambridge, Mass.
* Dec. 12: Mesa Arts Festival – Mesa, Ariz.
* Dec. 13: Voce Lounge – Scottsdale, Ariz.

Photo by Deborah Lopez