Oliver & the Spectacles Oliver & the Spectacles serve up fresh, southern soul tunes with honest lyrics and groovy, contagious melodies, bolstered by horns and rhythms that get audiences moving to the beat. Piloted by lead vocalist/songwriter Chris Swartwood, keyboardist/songwriter Ryan Prewett and energized by a vibrant cast of top-notch Nashville-based instrumentalists, the group is inspired by the vintage R&B and pop sensibilities of legends Otis Redding, James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Billy Preston and Smokey Robinson as well as modern wonders Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae. Oliver & the Spectacles’ first single “Hit the Ground Running” puts a brand-new spin on high-energy ‘60s love songs and the thrill of the time when mono recordings and 7” 45s were all the rage. Oliver & the Spectacles first came together in Nashville in early 2013 when Swartwood – a guitarist, songwriter and amateur James Brown impersonator – was exploring the textures and arrangements of ‘50s and ‘60s soul by laying down some tracks on a tape machine. In order to pay tribute to the spirit of his late grandfather, Edward Oliver Cassella, a devotee of music in its many colors and an all-around cool cat, Swartwood invited former bass player Jon Carrizales to join him in a project that would honor his memory. Eventually, Swartwood teamed up with skilled musician and composer Prewett to form a dynamic songwriting team and invited other local players with a deep reverence for authentic soul to join in on the fun. “The Spectacles” in the name came from the epiphany that everyone in the original lineup wore glasses. Oliver & The Spectacles has generated a strong following in Nashville, thanks to a raw and explosive stage show that illuminates members’ outstanding musicianship and penchant for breaking into their irresistible signature dance “The Spectacle Shake.” The band was recently selected as “Artist of the Week” featuring “Hit the Ground Running” on Lightning 100, Nashville’s largest independent radio station. Oliver & the Spectacles will also release a 7” vinyl of “Hit the Ground Running” with a bonus B side as well as an EP later in 2014. “Hit the Ground Running” is available in digital formats now.
Did you take photos at a Spectacles Show? Photos you take in Instagram and tag with #oliverspectacle will display in this gallery.