July For Kings Middletown
Hi! Joe here. Just wanted to thank you all for the continued support and interest. I began writing a rock album with long-time drummer Dan McQuinn, bassist Brian Ives and guitarist/recording engineer John McGuire around the same time I entered graduate school and refocused my life on visual arts. However, we never totally stopped working on the record, although the time between sessions grew sporadically. We recorded in about ten studios in the region from Louisville to Dayton and of course in home studios in Cincinnati and enlisted the help of JFK supporters and musicians like Aaron Thomas, Nostalgia engineer and producer Eric Stewart and new talent like mixing engineer Michael James. July For Kings is now essentially an alternative rock collective, which I have spearheaded during the adventure of the last fifteen or twenty years. I am proud to say that this new album is a return to guitar-driven melodic rock. We are proud of it and hope you will enjoy. Purchase a digital download or physical CD now.
July for Kings Bio
July For Kings are a melodic post-grunge and alternative pop/rock outfit that formed in southwestern Ohio in the late 90’s. Previously known as Swim, July for Kings were formed in the Cincinnati, OH area in 1998 by Joe Hedges (guitar, vocals), Travis Delaney (lead guitar), Jason Morgan (bass), T. Miller (cello, guitar, background vocals), and Sam Dobrozsi (drums). Hedges, Delaney, and Dobrozsi had been friends since childhood, and they were high-school students when they first met Morgan and Miller. Within a few short years the band had released several independent albums and amassed a large following in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. This caught the attention of Wind-Up Records, who were at the time searching for their next Creed. It was also in 2000 that five of Swim’s songs were heard on MTV‘s hit series The Real World.
July For Kings ultimately signed with MCA Records and had several songs that fared well on radio stations across the country in markets like Las Vegas, Memphis and Cincinnati. The band toured frequently performing with bands including Collective Soul, Counting Crows, Nine Days and Muse. July for Kings were dropped from MCA upon the label’s dissolution in 2003, and drummer Dobrozsi and bassist Morgan subsequently left the band. Despite this, the band moved ahead with Hedges at the helm releasing several independent albums including Nostalgia in 2016, which was CD Baby’s #1 selling album during its initial release. The band endured several line-up changes including a stint with Amos Heller on bass, who has for many years since played bass with Taylor Swift.
In 2015 July For Kings released their most recent album Middletown, a return to JFK’s signature sound, complete with crushing distorted guitars, melodic hooks and vignettes of midwestern life. While the album’s recording was essentially a Cincinnati-area DIY effort with long-time collaborator Eric Stewart, guitarist/recording engineer John McGuire oversaw the completion and mixing of the record as executive producer, bringing in two Los Angeles-based mixing engineers Michael James (L7, Hole, Jane’s Addiction) and Paul Pavao (Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson). John McGuire, a University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Conservatory of Music graduate, also mixed several songs at his own studio J Mac Studios in Cincinnati, and Toledo-based Jeff Harris of Mad Sam Studios mixed one of the album’s ballads “Kite”, which features original JFK member T Miller on cello.
The carefully balanced post-grunge and pop sensibilities of Middletown, grounded by Hedges’ consistently thoughtful and personal lyrics mean the record has much in common with JFK’s 2001 MCA debut SWIM. The record ranges from aggressive nearly-metal to acoustic ballads. Although there are some moments of cello, piano and even trumpet the record is guitar heavy. Fortunately for July For Kings, the grunge rock zeitgeist never seems to have totally disappeared; the crunching guitars and soaring sound of Middletown remains surprisingly potent.