Writing about personal experiences, documenting his own biography has helped create a storytelling and atmospheric sound to his songs. The band’s name, Tenderfoot, is an old American term for a fresh pioneer moving to the frontier, not really sure what to expect, stepping into unknown territory. Taking these themes, Adam feels that his work and his personality resonate within it, speaking of fresh emotions through new experiences, working amidst the hardships of life. “Red Coat” is both the name of the EP and lead track on his first album, laying out the journey that was taken. The song speaks about how he has left his coat behind in Michigan at his partner’s house, knowing that he cannot return to get it.
The song speaks about heartbreak and reveals to us that this journey does not have the happy ending that we might have anticipated for someone taking such a challenge. Speaking to Adam, I learn that the expedition did in fact end early, leaving him in San Francisco and sending his partner back to Michigan. San Francisco became his home, with a new voice in recording music. He now played songs that were about a different path and new emotions, apologizing for his relationship ending, knowing that his partner may never hear it, but opening up to everyone around him about it. San Francisco was only a home to Adam for a short time, realizing that his past actions and history of this city wasn’t for him, so his journey went north to Seattle, where he felt more at home with himself, nature, and his music.
Seattle became a new settlement where Adam began to experiment with more sounds that have atmospheric and space for audience to hear and experience the sounds emotionally. “After the Ice Age” shows these new developments in his sound, playing off of instincts, and actions that “feel right”, loosing any form of structure, and allowing him to play in the moment. Playing live has created a new space for Adam, allowing him to share his story, adventures, and heartache with an audience. Initially nervous about how crowds would respond, Adam was greeted with positive responses to his lyrics and understanding of his story. Indeed he has reached a new point in his music writing, taking all that Red Coat is and was, and moving on with new perspective on life. Red Coat was recorded and mixed at BLDGs in Seattle with the help of Marcie McCabe (Vocals), Aaron Schroeder (Drums, Xylophone, Organ, Melodica, Percussion) and Matthew Winter (Trumpet, Percussion).
Currently on tour with Holly Mae and the Painted Room, Tenderfoot has his first European mini tour opening for them, joined by Sami Jo Buffington (San Francisco, CA) on keyboard and vocals. (2) Conceived on a tour van and born in a diner; the offspring of lead singer guitarist Brett Levson. Brett began writing songs in 1998 while on tour with Dear Ephesus. Spurred by the desire to play the music he loved, Brett soon recruited bassist Louis DeFabrizio and drummer Jeff Irizarry (also then members of Dear Ephesus).
They named the newborn Rock n' Roll undertaking Tenderfoot. The boys continued to play with their other band, only playing local shows with Tenderfoot on the side. Tenderfoot begins to walk. In 1999, the boys get a little more serious when DE breaks up allowing them to concentrate fully on rearing the new band. They start playing shows with real PA systems and decide to recruit an old friend (Adam Vandegriff) to play rhythm guitar.
Near the end of the year the band records an album for Bulletproof Music out of Atlanta Georgia. In 2000 Tenderfoot leaves behind the mischievousness of childhood and heads for the all out rebellion of adolescence. They start the year out playing 17 shows on a 19 day tour with Denison Marrs. Their record "The Devil and Rock n' Roll" is released in March. This summer had them playing over 50 shows in two months with Tooth and Nail recording artists Squad 5-0.
Next up is a two week tour with Solid State's Blindside. Tenderfoot does not plan on slowing down anytime soon. Tenderfoot has played with such bands as The Gloria Record, Squad 5-0, Link80, Peterbuilt, Dogwood, MU330, Value Pac, Spit Valves, Skiff Dank, Carlisle, Denison Marrs, The Miracle Youth, Legends of Rodeo, Recess Theory, Further Seems Forever, Keith Welsh, Pistis, Tomorrow, Chase Theory, Bible of the Self, Fan Mail, and Ghoti Hook, among others. Local venues the boys have played include Firestone, Sapphire Supper Club, D.I.Y. records, The porch, Counter Vulture, and Heckles and Jeckles.
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