Before 2009, Joey Vannucchi flew solo on MySpace, posting rough cuts of his songs under the very literal, hyperlocal moniker Songs from Indian Lakes – an unincorporated mountain town about an hour south of Yosemite National Park.
Now, after slightly downsizing the stage name and adding members, his band, From Indian Lakes, has been headlining in the United States and touring Europe, rallying fans after the release of its first major label studio album “Absent Sounds” through Triple Crown Records.
Having recently landed back in the States after 12 weeks overseas, Vannucchi and his troupe of indie rockers will headline Friday’s free Concerts in the Park sponsored by the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.
Multi-instrumentalist Vannucchi said he’s proud to be invited to headline Sacramento’s largest outdoor concert series. After all, Sacramento was one of the first cities to see and hear From Indian Lakes as the band was starting out. He recorded all three of his albums in Sacramento with studio-runner and recording engineer Dryw Owens.
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“It’s little things like that that kind of build up over time,” Vannucchi said of From Indian Lakes’ early dalliances with the Sacramento music scene. “And then you have this opportunity to play this type of thing at this event in Sacramento, and you kind of think back. You go, ‘Hm, Sacramento. That’s cool.’ Like, maybe you’re not Taylor Swift or anything, but you’re definitely moving forward. Something’s going right.”
Vannucchi said the band’s sound has changed quite a bit since its first two albums, going from edgier hard rock riffs on “The Man With Wooden Legs” (2009) and “Able Bodies” (2012) to a more layered and nuanced approach with poetic undertones on last year’s “Absent Sounds.”
“Some people say the new album is softer,” he said. “Some people say the new album has way more tricky riffs than any of the other albums. Some people think it has way more different time signatures. And some people say it’s like the opposite (of past albums). Some people are like, ‘I miss when you guys were nastier.’”
These opinions don’t phase him, Vannucchi said.
“I think that some people – especially young people – have a hard time understanding that when you’re playing basements and house shows, it doesn’t make any sense to write music with cool synth pads and subdued, beautiful sounds,” he said. “It’s like you’re writing things, and you’re adapting to the environment that you’re sort of growing in.”
He described reaching a point where the doors have opened “to these places that you really enjoy musically, but you’ve never been able to really touch.”
His hometown of O’Neals and the neighboring town of Indian Lakes have helped him stay grounded and true to his artistic vision, he said.
“I like to think that somebody who is technically writing and recording a song that’s essentially the same in every way is not going to sound quite like a From Indian Lakes song because of the way I grew up,” he said. “Maybe something just sort of subconsciously comes through in the process that is just kind of deeply rooted. I like to think so, but who knows?”
From Indian Lakes
- What: Downtown Sacramento Partnership Concerts in the Park
- When: 5-9 p.m. Friday
- Where: Cesar Chavez Plaza, 910 I St., Sacramento
- Cost: Free
- Information: 916-442-8575; godowntownsac.com