BURRILLVILLE – Musical talent that emerged from Rhode Island’s northwest corner has been expanding their repertoire and growing in popularity, premiering five new songs in their first music videos this month.
Back Rhodes is a six-member progressive country act led by two brothers from Burrillville, with Jesse Desorcy on vocals and banjo, and Ed Desorcy on bass and vocals. The band, described as an energetic mix of country and rock, with “hints of folk and bluegrass thrown in the mix,” was formed in 2013 after several members met at an open mic.
Chris Quiray, a guitarist also from Burrillville, joined the group three years ago.
“There was a hole in the local music scene,” he said. “At the time, there really weren’t any country bands in the area.”
Other members hail from Glocester including Tyler Hill on guitar, Jay Coutu on drums and AJ Salvatore on violin and vocals.
In 2016, the band won WCTK Cat Country 98.1’s Hometown Throwdown, earning the chance to open up Cowboy Up Fest at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, Mass. The concert featured acts including Big & Rich, Frankie Ballard, Jo Dee Messina and Trent Harmon.
“We shared the stage with national acts and that was pretty amazing,” said Quiray.
The group kept momentum from the experience going, and soon launched a Kickstarter campaign to record their debut album.
Released in April 2017, “On the Run” featured six original tracks, and a cover of Tennessee Whiskey. A locally held album release party sold out.
That same month, Back Rhodes was named Best Group by New England Country Music for their contributions to the local country scene.
Since then, they’ve clearly kept busy, touring at venues across New England while they continue to write new material.
“We’ve really been focused on improving our music and making a better product,” said Quiray.
Recently they took part in a live recording session at Chillhouse Studios in Charlestown, Mass., creating music videos for several new original songs.
“It was a great experience. Having the video crew there was something new for us,” said Quiray. “We’re very happy with the outcome.”
The clean-sounding, well-produced tracks from the six-man jam session are bound to win the band some new fans.
Lyrics bring to mind the wholesome fun of growing up in a small, rural town, and songs have an appeal that stretches well beyond the genre. Back Rhodes’ brand of progressive country mixes in a number of influences, from bluegrass to Americana, resulting in a polished, radio-friendly sound.
“We all collaborate on writing the songs with all of us contributing to lyrics and composition,” said Quiray. “We work really well together.”
The band was recently featured as Country 102.5’s “Local Catch.”
“Lead singer, Jesse Desorcy’s voice is weathered and soulful; full of ache and longing, joy and passion. The brotherly love of this band is evident in their tight harmonies,” an article on the group notes.
For six boys from the state’s northwest corner, it may be just the beginning of the Rhode.
“We’re all really grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given,” Quiray said.