APTOS — Michael Gaither has been performing mostly as a solo singer-songwriter for the past 15 years. But recently, he kic ked around the idea of forming a band to bring “a little noise” to his work.
The Watsonville musician didn’t have to look far for bandmates.
“I’ve been playing for so long, and we have a nice community of musicians in the county that I’ve been able to meet and work with,” he said.
So, Gaither gathered four of his friends and formed the fittingly-named Michael Gaither and His New Best Friends.
The band will perform Feb. 2 at Jansen Music, 7960J Soquel Drive in Aptos. The doors open at 7 p.m., with the music starting at 7:30 p.m.
The band is fronted by Gaither on vocals, guitar and banjo and features Eliza James on harmony vocals, Joe Bac on lead guitar, Greg Abelar on bass and Jeff Baker on percussion.
“They kind of did become my new best friends, because we spend so much time together,” Gaither said.
The five-piece band performs Gaither’s original Americana work, while also covering songs from Tom Petty, The Band and Little Feat, among others.
Gaither, known for his witty storytelling in his songwriting, said he wanted the band to have a tinge of rock yet still focused on a story.
“I wanted something with a little more volume that still supported the song,” he said.
The band has played at a number of venues over the past year, including some local breweries.
“It’s been really, really fun,” Gaither said. “A side benefit with this band is it got me playing at places where I couldn’t do solo.”
Gaither is coming off a successful fifth solo album, “Hey Karma,” released in 2017. It topped off at number 32 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 200 CDs of 2017, and has also been receiving airplay on the radio, most notably on KPIG 107.5 FM.
Before Feb. 2’s concert, Michael Gaither and His New Best Friends will perform on KPIG’s “Please Stand By” show on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Michael Gaither and His New Best Friends will perform Feb. 2 at Jansen Music, 7960J Soquel Drive in Aptos. The doors open at 7 p.m., with the music starting at 7:30 p.m. A donation of $10-$20 at the door is suggested.
For information, visit michaelgaither.com.