Monroe Land Way Releases First EP
By: Jessica L. Butler, Managing Editor/Writer
I saw Jacob Fultz perform at Community Christian Church back in 2015 when I first moved back to Lee County. He was an extremely talented musician, who definitely had God’s ear.
Little did I know, that a man by the name of Chris Williamson, who was sitting behind me in the sound booth, had already did a rough recording of Jacob performing in church, and had thoughts of building a recording studio running thru his head for up and coming musicians in Lee County.
The young and talented, Jacob Fultz, seemed to just be the spark that Chris needed to fuel his passion, once again, for recording music.
Now, we fast-forward two years, as Jacob Fultz and his band, Monroe Land Way that consists of Cameron Brown and Tyler Childers, sit down in my office, along with Chris Williamson, to chat about their upcoming debut of their first EP that comes out Friday.
Jessica: First things first, how in the world did you come up with the name, “Monroe Land Way”?
Jacob: When we started playing together last year, we practiced at my mom’s who lived on Monroe Land Road, so we changed Road to Way and there you go. Monroe Land is some popular guy that is before our time, but some people seek us out and listen to our music just because we named our band after that road that is named after that man.
Jessica: So, how long have all of you been playing music?
Tyler: We have basically been playing since 5th grade, but playing music together since Junior High.
Jessica: So, when was that light bulb moment that made you decide to record your first EP and see where it leads?
Jacob: Actually, Chris Williamson approached me at church in 2015 and told me that he thought I had talent; and he had recorded me performing in church on his phone before I had ever thought about recording.
Chris took that moment to interject and say: “Actually, he is the reason that I decided to build a studio again. If a musician could sound that good over a recording on a phone, just imagine in a studio with the proper equipment. He is a true talent. With all of the musicians that I have worked with over the years, he is by far one of the best. Actually, he is so good, that we have to rarely do a song over, or even edit a song. Monroe Land Way is a truly talented band.”
Jessica: So, Chris, tell us a little bit about Crying Wolf Studios?
Chris: Crying Wolf Studios is a full service production studio that caters to new and up and coming artists. I use industry standard equipment and give great attention to detail and recording techniques. I, also, have studio musicians for hire if back-up musicians are needed.
Jacob: If it hadn’t been for Chris and his vision, we would not be able to release an EP as quickly as we are, or do a debut on Friday.
Jessica: What are the titles of the songs on your EP that you are releasing Friday?
Jacob: Good Red Whiskey, Taking Over Panama, Bow to Bobby Joe, Heartbroken Man’s Double, and 2 Poor 2 Rob.
Jessica: Which one is your favorite and did you write all of them?
Cameron: It is hard to pick just one, but I think 2 Poor 2 Rob is my favorite if I have to pick one.
Tyler: But I think Good Red Whiskey reflects our sound the best though.
Jacob: And yes, I wrote all of the song. Believe it or not, most of the time while I was in the bathroom. Lol!
Jessica: Well, everyone has his or her quiet place! Lol! I listened to 2 Poor 2 Rob and it is a very moving and emotional song. How were you able to write that song as young as you are? You have not lived life enough yet to be so nostalgic for the simpler times of your life. You are STILL living the simpler times of your life!
Jacob: It is not necessarily that I lived it yet, but how I want my life to be when I am older. I hope that I will have achieved and succeeded more in my life, but never forgetting where I have come from.
Jessica: What are you hoping people will take from your songs as they listen to them?
Jacob: Find a connection to our songs thru the same life experiences.
Jessica: Chris, what is your hope for Monroe Land Way?
Chris: I hope that they will go all the way to the top, because they have what it takes to do so.
At that moment, all three members of Monroe Land Way had big grins on their faces, because you could tell that is what they want too.
Music is not simply something they are doing for fun on the back of a pickup truck. Their lyrics are not forced because the lyrics come from their souls….their hearts. Their creativity happens when they are living life in these foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It happens while they are sitting on the front porch on a cool Summer’s night with lightening bugs as their stage lights; and picking on their guitars and banjos, singing to a large crowd of fans. Either way, music is part of them, circling within them, and we wish them the best of luck as they contiue to reach for the stars.
Be sure to see them Friday night at 6pm at their EP debut, hosted by The Art Factory Coffee House & Bistro at 29 Railroad Street in Beattyville.