New album “Fifteen” finds Forth Worth, Texas’ Green River Ordinance focusing on fun
Josh Jenkins joined Green River Ordinance after meeting brothers Jamey and Geoff Ice in a Fort Worth, Texas, high school when he was 15.
“I guess they weren’t good at sports in high school and so they started a band, a blues rock band, and I joined,” Jenkins said. “We played in college and then I decided I was going to drop out of college and then the rest is history, man, we just kind of continued to do it.”
The vocalist grew up singing Merle Haggard and Gene Watson songs, so his inclusion brought a classic country element to the Credence Clearwater Revival-like sound on which the Ice brothers’ band was built. With the voice of their group in place, Green River Ordinance — Jenkins, Jamey (guitar), Geoff (bass), Joshua Wilkerson (guitar) and Denton Hunker (drums) — recorded and released their first full-length and EP in 2005 and 2007 respectively, then released their second album, “Out of My Hands,” in 2009 on Virgin Records.
After leaving their label and funding their third album through a successful Kickstarter campaign, Green River Ordinance is back with its fourth full-length, “Fifteen,” released Jan. 22 through Residence Music.
“It’s been about probably a year and a half on that record from writing and then recording,” Jenkins said. “We wrote a good portion of it in a cabin in the middle of Tennessee. The objective with the record was create something that was kind of fearless for us and fun and in that a lot of these songs just kind of came out.”
The singer said he and his bandmates tried not to overthink things; they wanted to have fun and tell their story, not aspire to a certain sound. “Fifteen” is named after the number of years Green River Ordinance have played together; 15 years of experiences and influences to draw from when it comes time to write.
“We really just tried to dive in and create songs that excited us and I think in that you get all different colors of Green River Ordinance,” Jenkins said. “You get songs that are straight ahead and songs that are a little bit on the edges.”
The band recorded the majority of “Fifteen” with producer Paul Moak at his studio, The Smoakstack, in Nashville, Tennessee. According to Jenkins, this was so the band could simplify the recording process; instead of recording every instrument separately, Green River Ordinance wanted to capture everything together and track it live.
“We’ve done it a little bit here and there, but this is the first time we really made it a point to do that,” Jenkins said. “We really felt like it was going to help some of these songs feel like how they are live, feel that kind of heart of what the band is.”
According to Jenkins, that heart is fun. He said that Green River Ordinance shows are about more than the band on stage for a crowd’s amusement; they’re a two-way invitation to a shared concert experience.
“They come and they sing along, it can be kind of a conversation for us that happens between us and the fans,” Jenkins said. “I hope people can come and have a good time and sing along.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts