Album Cover: 'The Most Beautiful Queen'The Foolks Facebook

Few people can claim to have forged an international rock band and even fewer can claim to have done so during a pandemic. Emmanuel Dron has done exactly that with his new band. The Foolks is made up of four session musicians spanning from different parts of the USA, France, and UK. US native Andrew Picha can be heard on drums, Charles Berthoud on bass, French born Emmanuel Dron and Jamie Wiltshire on vocals. Influenced by the world’s current situation, their name is based on a combination of the words ‘folks’ (people) and ‘fool’ (crazy).

Emmanuel Dron – also co-owner of Whiskey business: Auld Alliance – masterminded The Foolks after he contacted a selection of successful session musicians online. Bizarrely, none of the musicians have met each other in person yet and have simply co-ordinated their upcoming album via the power of modern technology. ‘I had the freedom to not choose local musicians’, says Emmanuel. As some songs had already started to take shape, Emmanuel says that the aim was for The Foolks to ‘have finished mixing and mastering a brand-new album within three months.’ With business temporarily shutting down and the number of gigs for session musicians rapidly declining, lockdown provided the necessary space and time for The Foolks to formalise and actualise their creative ideas into a tangible product. With a mass of music experience and technical prowess between them, this powerhouse of artists forged a lockdown band like no other.

“With a mass of music experience and technical prowess between them, this powerhouse of artists forged a lockdown band like no other.”

Cambridge-based singer Jamie Wiltshire is the lead vocalist of The Foolks and unbelievably, has taken multi-tasking to a new level currently multi-tracking his voice for 3 different bands. Jamie has had a tremendous musical journey; from dealing with the devastating impact of vocal polyps, to dealing with the challenging landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jamie uses a Focusrite interface, a SM7B vocal mic and Logic Pro X software to produce the crystal-clear quality heard in their first single, The Most Beautiful Queen. You should also explore Jamie’s other Cambridge bands, Standing Like Statues and Dear Monday, who plan to be back to gigging in Cambridge once the lockdown has further eased.

British born, Charles Berthoud is gathering momentum in the USA with his pioneering approach to the bass guitar. He is accumulating a substantial following online and prides himself in being an international composer and performer. Having conducted workshops at Berklee College of Music and the New Hampshire Bass Festival, Charles’ unique openness to all genres, makes his music both diverse and interesting.

The band playing 'The Most Beautiful Queen'YouTube: 'The Most Beautiful Queen'

Redolent of The Rolling Stones sound, The Most Beautiful Queen explores the notion of second chances. This is an important message for those struggling with isolation in lockdown, it is about taking the opportunity to try something again after falling down. “Everybody can achieve their dreams, even if you are down in life. You need to pick yourself up, brush yourself down and strive towards the path of a better life.” The song has a catchy guitar riff driving the song forward, with Charles’ warm melodic bass line adding depth and substance. The powerful drumbeat adds to this momentum, providing the necessary lift for Jamie’s punchy vocals to share this positive message.

The plan is for the album to be released in November at the latest. The songs they have created so far are of very contrasting styles, some more obviously ‘rock’ than others. By having artists of distinct and divergent styles, one of the great aspects of this collaboration project was the individual and unique colour brought to the songs by each musician. Namely the subtle jazz influence of the Berklee musicians, which may become more obvious in the rest of the album.


Mountain View

The Cambridge Live Music Scene

With the advent of the technological age, software such as Logic Pro enables you to multi-track record yourself to industry-standard from the confines of your bedroom or living room. The various session musicians of The Foolks harnessed the power of different DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) to record themselves from all over the world. These recordings are then mixed and mastered professionally before being released on musical platforms via an aggregator. The Foolks have their music published on Spotify and Apple Music amongst other platforms.

'The Foolks' Cover PhotoThe Foolks Facebook

Where lockdown can be a difficult place for many, The Foolks aims to be a band whose primary purpose is ‘to make good music that makes people happy, especially during this challenging time’. This is the power of music; to unite people, to uplift people and as a means for human expression and creativity. The Foolks are inspired by a myriad of styles, but ‘1960s and 70s classic rock artists’ and the likes of Elvis have made the greatest impression upon them.

“Everybody can make music!”

‘Everybody can make music!’, says Emmanuel. With modern technology, access to music-making software is becoming widespread. This makes projects like lockdown bands and their exciting possibilities more prevalent.

‘The world of today is not like before’ – this resonates with not only the pandemic landscape, but also the technological landscape with music platforms, like Spotify, helping you to make your music globally accessible overnight. ‘The way people listen to music is very different’. Historically, the presence of music in epidemics and plagues has transitioned from being virtually non-existent to being virtually-existent through online mediums. Despite being apart, people are able to come together to experience music and to be united in doing so.

Look out for We’ll all get nothing to see – released today!