Valley native’s album draws national attention
The band Wallows, which released its debut album last week to a good bit of fanfare, has a bit of the Mahoning Valley in its DNA.
Playing guitar for the Los Angeles-based indie-pop act is Braeden Lemasters, 23, who is the son of former Valley rocker Dave and Michelle Lemasters.
The Lemasters moved from Howland to LA in the early 2000s, when Braeden was 6 or 7 years old. They wanted their talented son to be close to the entertainment capital, and justifiably so.
Braeden’s acting career took off when he was 9. He snagged regular roles in TV series “Six Feet Under” and “Men of a Certain Age.” He amassed dozens of television and film roles over the years, even playing the role of a teenage Ralph Parker in “A Christmas Story 2.”
Most recently, he appeared in Amazon’s “The Romanoffs.”
But his biggest break might have happened last week when Wallows released its debut, “Nothing Happens.”
The band, which has been together for most of Braeden’s life, includes Dylan Minnette, a fellow actor who stars in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”; and Cole Preston.
How anticipated was Wallows’ debut album? Big enough for the Associated Press to interview the band members for a story.
In that interview, Braeden gives credit to his father for his musical talent.
“He was in bands when I was growing up, and I would go to his gigs,” said Braeden. “And he showed me the Beatles when I was like 9, and it blew my mind. It just kind of happened. I started playing guitar for eight hours a day in my room at around 10 and then formed [this] band. That was it.”
The senior Lemasters, by the way, played guitar in the late-1980s iteration of Left End, which was one of the Valley’s biggest bands.
In the AP interview, Braeden also explained how the cover art for the Wallows album, which looks like a simple piece of fabric, came to be.
“Album covers and band names are the hardest thing to think of,” said Braeden. “We reached out to a lot of artists, and they sent us really good stuff but it didn’t connect. And our manager was texting us like, ‘Guys, where’s the album cover? This is two days late. You’re not going to have a vinyl for the release.’ And I took out my phone and took a picture of the back of Dylan’s shirt jokingly... And I looked at it and was like, “That’s actually really cool.”
Wallows will launch a tour of North America and Europe in April, beginning at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
GLASS HARP plans shows
The legendary progressive rock band Glass Harp will reunite for two shows at the Music Box in Cleveland May 16 and 17. The Youngstown trio, featuring guitar virtuoso Phil Keaggy, bassist Daniel Pecchio and drummer John Sferra, recorded three albums in the early 1970s and toured nationally with the likes of the Kinks, Chicago, Yes and Iron Butterfly.
PICK A GUITAR 4 A KID
The fourth annual Pick A Guitar 4 a Kid event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Hollywood Mahoning Valley casino in Austintown. Autographed guitars from Vince Gill, Cheech and Chong movie memorabilia, NASCAR autographs, LED beer signs and more will be auctioned. Comedian Mike Armstrong will entertain. Tickets, which include dinner, are $50 at eventbrite.com. Proceeds benefit the A Way With Words foundation. For info, go to awaywithwordsfoundation.org.
Guy D’Astolfo covers entertainment for The Vindicator. Follow him on Twitter at @VindyVibe.