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Published: 2015/12/30
by Rob Slater

Deer Tick’s John McCauley: A Brief Year in Review

12/31/14 at the stroke of midnight

Deer Tick will resurface tonight at Brooklyn Bowl to kick off their New Year’s run. Last year at the same venue, the Rhode Island rockers headlined six-nights over the holiday, one that saw them cover classic albums from The Beatles, NRBQ and The Replacements along with ringing in the new year with Stevie Nicks.

This year, they’ll be there for two nights (and then in Providence at Lupo’s on January 2nd). We caught up with guitarist John McCauley for a brief chat about the year that’s been for the band (McCauley and wife Vanessa Carlton recently welcomed their first child) including appearances at Newport Folk Festival that saw them play with Jim James, Leon Bridges, Lucius and others. McCauley also reflects on last year’s NYE run and what is to come this week.

It’s been a slower year for Deer Tick after a lot of playing, what have you been up to this year music or non-music?

I’ve mostly been a stay at home dad. My wife has been on tour a lot this year. Diamond Rugs did a short tour. Deer Tick has been recording some demos. It’s been a pretty relaxing year.

Deer Tick’s year started in Newport with your annual aftershows for Newport Folk. You played with the likes of Leon Bridges, Lucius, Jim James and others. What were some of the highlights for you?

It’s all a blur really. We rehearse our asses off for a couple days, and then its all over in a flash. Every year we end the set on Sunday with “Goodnight Irene.” I think this past year was the best one yet.

Leon Bridges burst onto the scene this year. What do you like about what he brings to the stage?

Well, I like anybody that joins us on stage with a mic in one hand and a brandy snifter in the other.

Also at Newport, you got to participate in the Bob Dylan tribute set (’65 Revisited). What was your takeaway from that experience?

I was blown away by Gillian and Dave’s curation of it and by Dawes’ always-impeccable musicianship. I thought Robyn Hitchcock was absolutely stellar.

Transitioning to New Year’s—last year at Brooklyn Bowl you guys played what may well be the best NYE dates in the history of the venue. How do you reflect on that run now that it’s a year old?

It’s crazy it’s been a year already. I watched a rough cut of the concert film this guy Hank Miller has been working on. I supposed that’s how I’ve reflected on it. I have no idea how we’ll top it, so maybe we shouldn’t even try. Just let that one exist out there in the past… and on DVD someday.

Anything you can reveal about the guests in store for this year?

I can’t say.

What do Deer Tick fans have to look forward to in 2016?

Hopefully we’ll have a new album. This “Acoustic” tour in the spring should be pretty fun too.

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