Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band: October 24, 2014 Rough Trade & January 10, 2015 Palisades

January 19, 2015


NPR pretty much nailed it when they described Chris Forsyth’s music as “the intersection of Television and The Grateful Dead.” Add to that casual mentions of Neil Young and Richard Thompson, both of whom Forsyth has recently covered, and you get a fairly accurate portrait of his music. But musicians—the good ones at least—are more than just vectors for their influences. Forsyth’s first album with his band, Solar Motel, made it clear that here was an original songwriter working within and pushing the boundaries of a musical tradition. Forsyth’s guitar playing comes off as effortless and his looseness is counterbalanced by the Solar Motel Band’s ability to jam as if a single consciousness.

Here we have two sets, one recorded just days before the release of Intensity Ghost and one a short few months later, though long enough to have let that album’s jams percolate. The sets are nearly identical in setlist; the Palisades set substitutes a cover of Richard & Linda Thompson’s “The Calvary Cross” in place of Intensity Ghost’s “Yellow Square” from Rough Trade. Each features the same as-yet-untitled new song, an impressive jam to rival “The Ballad of Freer Hollow” for dominance as the band’s signature tune. Forsyth does an admirable job on vocals with “The Calvary Cross,” managing to carefully convey the song’s significance without resorting to affectation. “Intensity Ghost” is an exercise in guitar soloing bookended by an urgent jam that highlights the band’s ability to craft more tightly-wound rock songs. Finally, each set closes with “I Ain’t Waiting,” a slowed-down jam that eases you out of the Solar Motel headspace you’ve just inhabited for a good three-quarters of an hour.

Acidjack recorded the Rough Trade NYC show with Shoeps MK41’s set up at the soundboard, with a board feed from FOH Cam. The Palisades show was recorded with the AKG’s set up in front of the board, with a board feed from FOH Ariel. Both sets sound outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the Rough Trade NYC show at the Live Music Archive

Download the Palisades show at the Live Music Archive

Stream the complete Rough Trade NYC show:

Stream the complete Palisades show:

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Cam) + Schoeps MK41 (DFC, PAS, at SBD)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (exciter effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [44:27]
01. Intensity Ghost
02. [banter]
03. The Ballad of Freer Hollow
04. [banter]
05. Yellow Square
06. [banter]
07. High Castle Rock
08. [banter]
09. I Ain’t Waiting

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Ariel) + AKG C480B/CK61 > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV(24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, balance, mixdown, compression, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [48:37]
01. The Ballad of Freer Hollow
02. High Castle Rock
03. The Calvary Cross [Richard & Linda Thompson]
04. Intensity Ghost
05. I Ain’t Waiting

Remastered August 2018

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Chris Forsyth. Visit his website, like him on Facebook, and buy Intensity Ghost from No Quarter.

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One Response to Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band: October 24, 2014 Rough Trade & January 10, 2015 Palisades

  1. EricPH
    February 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    The new song from both sets has a title! “High Castle Rock” and damn it’s a burner.

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