Vintage voices: 1960s-style rock band launch debut album

The Jay Vons
The Jay Vons will celebrate their years-in-the-works debut album “The Word” at Union Pool on Dec. 1.
Sara Macel

They’ve got soul but they’re not a soul band!

A Williamsburg band with a sound out of the 1960s will celebrate the release of its years-in-the-making debut album this weekend. The Jay Vons will launch “The Word” at Union Pool on Dec. 1 with a concert of classic garage rock and soul — an evergreen sound that speaks directly to the heart, according to one band member.

“It just makes me feel good, it’s just honest and it doesn’t feel like b——-,” said drummer Mikey Post. “A lot of the material is stuff you can relate to, like love songs.”

Post and guitarist and singer Michael Catanese bonded over their shared love for garage rock and soul, but their music draws mostly from the former, according to Post.

“I don’t call it soul music. We’re heavily inspired by it, but our finished product comes off like the Rascals or the Zombies,” he said. “But we’re such fans of soul we can’t help but that it pokes its head out and gets into our sound.”

The two musicians played with several different acts before forming the Jay Vons, with bassist Benny Trokan and Dave Amels on keys, about nine years ago. The band has made a name for itself over the last five or six years, Post said, opening for acts with a similar retro sound, including Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley and The Extraordinaires, and Lee Fields and The Expressions, while also acting as the backing band for the group Reigning Sound.

About half the songs on “The Word” are singles the group released during this time, said Post. 

“On a certain level it feels like a compilation — we recorded these tracks so long ago,” he said. “We’ve been living with the songs for a while.”

Now that the album is out, Post is looking forward to touring with these tracks around the country. Then the seasoned, soulful group will get back in the studio to work on more music — ideally finishing a new album less time than the half-decade the first one took. 

“Hopefully we’ll get into the studio next year and make a record outright, not piece it out,” he said.

The Jay Vons play at Union Pool [484 Union Ave. at Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 609–0484, www.union-pool.com]. Dec. 1 at 6 pm. $10.