The Dukes County Love Affair – also known as DCLA – is an Island band down to its very roots. Their website explains the coming together of the band members as “Born in a moment of serendipity when three high school friends ran into each other during a boat ride back home, the music began as a way to cure the boredom that can set in on the long harsh winters of the Vineyard.” The three boat riders were vocalist Mike Parker, guitarist John Ripley and drummer Jaime Greene. In true Island-band fashion they started out playing in a shack in the woods. They added Phil DaRosa on bass and then friend Jesse Sylvia, “a poker player turned venture capitalist” put up the money for their first self-released LP: "How Do They Shine."
DCLA has played widely on and off the Island since then. They’ve played with Ben Taylor, The McLovins, Kodacrome and Badfish among others.
Most recently, they decided that they wanted to record their next album the old fashioned way using a reel-to-reel system and all vintage gear. But, in order to do that, they were going to have to come up with some extra capital. They heard about other bands raising money for recording through the creative fundraising website Kickstarter so they put up their project to see what happened. They asked for $2500 and succeeded in raising over $2800. The band is currently on tour in Oakland and on February 18th they finished recording the album.
We caught up with them just before they finished recording to find out more about DCLA:
How long did it take for you to reach your Kickstarter goal?
Everything we do in this band seems to come down to the wire. It took 58 days out of 60.
What are you going to do with the funds and how are you going to do it?
We’re working with Greg Ashley from Creamery Studios in Oakland CA. The analog reel-to-reel style of recording is very popular in the Bay Area and has a huge demand. We are lucky to have him as our engineer on this album. With the money from Kickstarter, we pay the studio costs, production of vinyl and custom CD art and merchandise. We have rewards to send out to the people who supported us!
As a local band, how do you find you are received off-Island?
Our style of music is original and draws attention. It’s comforting to get good feedback from kids in other cities. It makes us travel more and work harder on new songs.
Do people off-Island come to see you because they've seen you here?
On a few occasions people have come out because of an Island show they had seen or a friend that had spread the word.
Who is the most superstitious member of the band?
Probably John... He's got a 4-leaf clover taped to his guitar.
Where's the best place for breakfast sandwiches on the Island?
Bakehouse for life!
Where's the best for them off-Island?
Pie in the Sky in Woods Hole
Who are some of the band's influences?
Stones, Kinks, Zeppelin, Black Keys... And many more.
How has growing up and living on Martha's Vineyard influenced your music?
The landscape and the people that live on the Island have been a big impact on the band. This place is like a creative incubator for us.
Which ferry do you like best?
We're all scared of boats...
What music have you guys been listening to on this tour?
Local Bay Area bands... Gravys' Drop, Alma Des Nuda and others...
What's next for DCLA?
More songs and more shows on and off Island.