Julian & The Upside Sound (formerly The Julian Trio)
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Julian & The Upside Sound (formerly The Julian Trio)

Ukiah, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Ukiah, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Americana Acoustic




"Julian & The Upside Sound"

Get ready for the unexpected with this self titled debut by Julian & The Upside Sound, a self described “true fusion of Celtic ethereal sensibility with a bluegrassy folk drive.” The unconventional yet joyful sound is thanks largely to the chemistry of the lifelong friends that make up the group.

“Water” is a fast paced tune, which with different instrumentation could easily be an aggro post punk tune, instead it’s incredibly melodic and in a state of constant motion, showcasing fiddles and poetic lyrics.

“Constantly Risking Absurdity” begins innocently enough and then evolves into odd time signatures and an almost mathrock sound, without the noise. There is some serious pickin’ on this track.

“Mimi’s Waltz” begins with a fiddle solo and delves into classical experimentation. The instruments overlap and counter, twisting and turning. This would make a great soundtrack piece for an indie drama. Eventually vocals come in and showcase the group’s harmony abilities, which are quite breathtaking at times.

“Psalm Of Life” is somewhat of a barbershop quartet, but only momentarily, then turns into an indie folk pop gem, with hints of Dylan… I mean let’s face, he casts a long shadow in the folk world. So far this is the catchiest of the bunch, maybe it’s the shocking jolt of simplicity to this tune that sets it apart.

EPK: http://www.sonicbids.com/band/thejuliantrioplus1/

“Halfway” begins with fingersnaps and a quirky mandolin chord pickin’ keeping the rythm floating along. “Solstice Reel” keeps things moving along with some fiddlin’ against another fast paced rythm section.

“Something Seven” slows things about, an acoustic guitar driven track with some half spoken/sung poetic verses, a hint of a drum keeps the tempo. The nighttime ambience gives it a campfire vibe.

Buy: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JulianTheUpsideSound

“Sun Hats” is a multilayered, multitextured song full of sunshine and optimism.

“Silverlining Waltz” has a 70′s soft rock tone to it, an ambient and chill vibe, full of contemplative moments. It seems to pick up the pace midway, maybe if only in intensity. Another showcase for a very talented fiddler.

“Out Of Time” starts out as a campfire at night and turns into a crafty singalong with some interesting harmonies, letting the simplicity of the guitar guide the track along.

Overall this is one unique and original album that defies any real categorization, folk, bluegrass, country, campfire singalong… it’s all there but just exactly how it all comes together is a mystery that only Julian & The Upside Sound could explain. The songwriting is compelling and has a soundtrack feel, this is an album that wants you to dig in deep, but with a smile. - Skope


"Julian & The Upside Sound" January 2014.

"Expectations" 2011 - Check out ""Photo Inside", "Britney" and Expectations" on you tube at thejuliantrioplus1. Buy it from cdbaby and itunes.

"Mango" 2009 - Streams on Pandora. Track One "Hearts Where to Start" and Track Two "Mango" are our most downloaded tunes. Check out our you tube surf video "Flying Contradictions".

"Lighthouse on a Cliff" 2007- Also available on CDBaby or ITunes. "Rain on my Window" is our most downloaded tune.

"Father and Song" 2006.



"He's put in his 10,000 hours," Brad McClanahan says about his son Julian, now a senior in high school, who has been playing the violin since his mother Mary first drove him to Lake County in his car seat for his initial lesson with Andi Skelton at the age of 3."He plays; he doesn't practice; that's his key to success. We've heard the word practice but our attitude is it's fun to play. I play music; we play music," says Brad.

At 7, he had a repertoire, able to perform for others. He was well connected to his instrument and could play by ear. He can hear something once and play it, not only on the violin, but the mandolin, piano, guitar, clarinet and other instruments, as well. He'd been playing eight years when they moved to England and only then did he learn to read music fluently to meet the requirement to join the youth orchestra there. Before England they lived in Mexico, where he played with a salsa band and learned by ear.

In ninth grade, he started playing with the Ukiah Symphony, the same year he completed his fourth album with the Julian Trio. His first album with his father and Bob Laughton was launched when he was 9 with much of the musical composition created by Julian and lyrics by Brad and a second album followed the next year. The third album, with Michael Charnes rounding out the trio on cittern, hit the stores in 2009 when he was 12 and was followed by a fourth.

"At this point we are well-developed as a real band, writing our own material with our own sound and style. It was then that we made our biggest progression away from folk-based music, becoming more versatile, not exclusive to a certain style. We play acoustic California folk, a unique sound; it's new grass with a pop sensibility, and Latin rhythms provide the underpinnings. The whole point is to be upbeat and authentic, an alternative to our digitized lives," says Julian.

His most recent album, "Julian and the Upside Sound," available on Jan. 25 at Dig! Music and online, features a quintet with Darin Smith on cello and Caleb Morelli on upright bass. "Our new name has a positive connotation with room for ambiguity," says Julian.

Brad takes out his laptop to read the recent words of Rhonda Brilliant, their publicist. "After hearing your CD, this has been my soundtrack for the morning. It's like I am in church; it's a religious experience listening to this CD as a whole, not your normal church, but a very cool and hip church. Great job!"

He carries a 4.5 GPA with a full load of AP classes and has been accepted at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a preeminent school for the study of contemporary music. He received a scholarship to study there for the summer and at the end of the program was offered a substantial scholarship to attend in the fall.  "It breaks out from the conservatory-based style of study and presents a program that encourages innovation in music; it's not solely focused on the preservation of past popularity.

"It was fantastic to participate in the summer program; 25 percent of the students were from other countries; it was amazing to meet people from different backgrounds all sharing a common interest. The most efficient way to communicate with someone was to play, right then and there; it's a way to get transported in the most powerful way, creating a deeper connection with those with whom you are playing, listening being just as important as playing. I jammed with a wide diversity of styles while there: country, jazz, blue grass, funk, modern string orchestra, Middle Eastern." He is comfortable in all genres.

He is also looking toward the possibility of attending the University of Southern California, where he would have the opportunity to make connections and develop a place in the music industry creating film scores. 

He comes alive the most when he is onstage playing for a large, receptive audience. He recounts an anecdote from a professor he studied with at Berklee this summer who said that playing music is the only way he found to make love with everyone in the audience simultaneously. Julian adds, "That is totally reflective of my point of view.

"Although I would be happy to play music all the time, I am grateful to have gone through the public school system where I have developed a broader, deeper perspective; to have parents who did not tell me where to go but supported me in my efforts to get where I was going; and to have a greater community nurturing me on my path.

"Wherever I am, music is always with me. It's a universal language that has the ability to transport you and the people you are playing with to an indescribable place; I don't really have the words for it."

Band Members