Part of my goal with this blog is to document not only where this band is going, but where it’s been. I did an exceptionally crappy job with that kind of thing in the past, and I mean to remedy that. So, in that spirit, here’s a list of everyone that’s ever played in The Very Most, in chronological order, along with some information about each person. I’ve been privileged to work with some of Boise’s best musicians. Here they are:
Info: Rachael Jensen played keyboards and sang in the very first version of The Very Most, which, for much of the time she was in the band, wasn’t called The Very Most, I don’t think. I think it was just called “Jeremy and Rachael Jensen” to the extent that it was called anything. We just played a few house shows, if I remember correctly. We mainly played the songs on Making the Case for Me, though I think we played a couple The Yukon and You songs too. The Yukon and You were my previous band. Rachael is my little sister, by the way, and she lived with my wife and I for maybe nine months when she was in the band. Rachael has sung on a lot of our recordings, most recently on our cover of The Beach Boys’ “Little Saint Nick.” She’s got such a nice voice. Such a nice voice. She spent several years as a member of Parenthetical Girls after leaving Boise.
Info: Aly sang and played keyboards and guitar in The Very Most for a few months. It was quite similar to the lineup with Rachael in that way. I think we played four or five times, including once opening up for Halo-Benders for their weekend of reunion shows in ’06. We did a cover of the Beach Boys’ “I Do” that I really loved.
Info: Zach mostly played bass in the band, but also played some guitar on a song or two, most prominently on “April is the Kindest Month.” Zach was in the band for a decent chunk of time, was always a fun guy to hang out with, and did a superb job. He also deserves a good 2/3 of the songwriting credit on one of our best, if not our best, song “You’re in Love With the Sun.” A great asset to the band, and it was a bummer when he left the band to spend more time with his own project A Seasonal Disguise, though it was understandable.
Info: Al is one of my oldest friends. I’ve known him for a little under 30 years. Ever since we were in sixth grade, this guy has eaten, slept, and dreamed percussion. He was the first drummer of The Very Most, and served well and faithfully in that position for around a year, I think. Aside from playing live with us, he recorded drum parts for a couple songs on Congratulations Forever. Such a neat guy. I need to have lunch with him one of these days.
Left: 2010 (though she’s still a regular collaborator in the studio)
Info: I met Gia because she was briefly in a band with Al, who ended up recording a demo at my studio. Gia is the most recorded TVM vocalist aside from myself. She’s appeared on our split EP with Lions and Eagles, A Year With the Very Most, Patricia, and various singles. She does an amazing job in the studio and live as well, and is one of the nicest people I know. She writes most of her parts and co-wrote the lyrics on “The Motor-Vu Lights.” She also fronts a country band called Larkspur and contributes to a once yearly cover Boise supergroup called Mostly Muff that puts on probably the most impressively slick live performances of any local band.
Left: 2012 (though he’s still a regular collaborator in the studio)
Info: Jake joined on drums in 2008. He’s a consummate pro, to put it mildly. He can come into the studio and compose and play his part in less time than it takes me to mic the drum kit. He’s gone with me to Ireland twice and Scotland once, and also plays with me in Baffin Island. He’s co-written many TVM songs including “April is the Kindest Month,” “Fireworks,” “It’s the Best Thing,” “Christmas in July Comes Earlier Each Year,” and “There’s Nothing Missing.” He plays electronic music in his band Discoma and currently plays drums in Cerberus Rex with Zach. On top of all that, he’s a standup dude.
Info: Clint played guitar, keyboards, and tambourine in the band about half of the time, while he was in the band. He was sort of an optional player, depending on who could make it to a show, but he always added a lot and was always great to have around. He fronts Spondee, a superb band, and is, in my opinion, a genius songwriter. Spondee is the only band to ever play a TVM cover live, as far as I know. Currently, Clint is working on a Masters degree at NYU.
Info: Elijah plays guitar in The Very Most, when we play, and he does an excellent job. He comes up with these snaky, super-catchy parts that I never would be able to come up with myself. I play guitar in his band, With Child. It’s what brothers do. They play guitar in each others bands. He writes about a billion songs a year, and each one is so good. One even made my knees buckle, it was that good. He came up with the amazing guitar bit at the end of “Changed Me” that makes the song.
Joined: 2009 or 2010?
Info: John is the master of all low-pitched instruments. He played cello on a lot of Built to Spill records (you know, those cellos on There’s Nothing Wrong With Love that melt your heart?) and he played cello and bass on, and produced, Kris Doty’s solo album. He played bass with the band for around nine months I think. He played on “Patricia,” which, IMO, is probably our best post-A Year With The Very Most song. He’s also one of the funniest guys I know. We lost him to a Masters Degree in Art. It’s taken a few years, but I think I’ve finally reached the point where I can forgive art for taking John away.
Holly Johnson Wallace
Left: 2012 (though she’s still a collaborator in the studio)
Info: Holly was the first new member to join after I reassembled the band after a pretty long hiatus. Live, she sung and played bass on one song. She sung on our Ununiversalizable Us EP, coming up with some stunningly good parts on “Let Her Dance” and “Changed Me”. Such a joy to have around and such a sweet voice. She does her own music as well.
Left: 2012 (though she’s still a collaborator in the studio)
Info: Lindsey is a superb percussionist who joined TVM as a vibraphonist. That definitely added a nice new element to the band. Vibraphone is a candidate for my favorite instrument, and she plays it so well. Her part at the end of “Changed Me” is so good. It just goes so well with everything without dominating. She’ll also be on our upcoming EP on Manic Pop! records as well.
Info: Brion came out of nowhere from my perspective. I’d known him from mutual friends and because he works at The Record Exchange. I even knew he played bass, but I had no clue how good of a bassist he was until we started playing together. Parts that sit back, don’t dominate, but are still rhythmically and harmonically captivating. I had to re-record “Changing Me” after he wrote such an interesting bass line for it. He also played guitar on a few songs, and it was his idea to do a cover of “Let Her Dance.” He was also our hero when he offered his house for practice after our initial practice space couldn’t be used due to pet allergy issues. A great guy to have on your team.