Into The Sun Episode: Neighbor’s Richard James

A special Into The Sun episode of The JamBase Podcast features an interview with Neighbor keyboardist/vocalist Richard James. JamBase’s Scott Bernstein recently caught up with Ricky to discuss the three-day music event, the origin of the band and more.

JamBase and Neigbor will present Into The Sun at Soundcheck Studios in Pembroke, Massachusetts from September 9 – 11. Neighbor will appear along with two additional acts at all three nights. Jennifer Hartswick will also perform each night with The Nth Power, Club d’Elf, Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini and Duochrome rounding out the lineup. Purchase Into The Sun 2022 tickets now.

Neighbor will play in three different configurations at Into The Sun. On Friday, September 9, the quartet will play a Neighbor 9 set. The lineup features James and bandmates guitarist Lyle Brewer, bassist Dan Kelly and drummer Dean Johnston joined by saxophonist Matt Wayne, trombonist Rob Krahn, trumpeter James Cronin as well as backing vocalists Joanne Cassidy and Renee Dupuis.

Saturday’s Neighbor set will feature the classic four-piece iteration. Then, on Sunday, the band will go “unplugged” for a rare acoustic session. Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley will be the group’s special guest as part of a performance that begins unplugged before Neighbor closes the set electric.

Richard James caught up with Bernstein via a video chat last week. Neighbor had just wrapped up a tour featuring stops in new markets for the band, including Gunnison, Colorado; Victor, Idaho and Livingston, Montana. The discussion started with Ricky detailing what is in store for the Neighbor 9 set at Into The Sun. The keyboardist/vocalist talked about his relationship with the horn section and backing vocalists and how much they will bring to Neighbor’s music.

James then told Bernstein about preparations for the “unplugged” portion of Neighbor’s Into The Sun 2022 finale. Ricky noted the band will rework tunes they normally “take out” electricly and “turn them on their head a little bit.” Ricky went on to discuss his excitement to share the bill with Jennifer Hartswick and hopes for collaborations with the trumpeter/vocalist.

After Ricky detailed Soundcheck Studios’ important role in Neighbor’s history, the co-founding member dove into the group’s origins and his long friendship with Lyle Brewer. James also discussed the grassroots fashion in which they’ve built their dedicated fanbase. Neighbor isn’t on Spotify, a situation that is likely to change soon, but instead spread their music the old fashioned way by giving out CDs and making live shows freely available for download.

The four-piece has their debut studio album in the works. James filled Bernstein in on the status of the LP and explained how Neighbor went about choosing the 12 songs they focused on for the record out a repertoire featuring approximately 100 tunes.

Listen to the Into The Sun episode of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media Network, via all major podcast services including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Podcast.