Good news

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Don't tell the soul singers and Christian rappers that frequently try to befriend The Main Street Gospel in the bizarre world of online networking, but "gospel" just means "good news." And this band - which plays hazy, rootsy rock 'n' roll, thank you - has lots of positive reports to share.

Firstly: At long last, they'll release their first record, a 7-inch single recorded by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, with a rock show next Thursday at Ravari Room. Their buddies Buffalo Killers and Moon High will be around for the party.

The record's release is definitely good news for singer-guitarist Barry Dean, who started playing with bassist Tito back in 2005 and added drummer Adam Scoppa to the fold in 2006.

"I think that from the get-go I just wanted to make records," Dean said, lounging on a couch as Outrageous Cherry blared in the background. He laughed. "And we still haven't put one record out."

This slab of vinyl is finally seeing the light of day thanks to support from well-connected friends who appreciate the way this group carries the torch for bands like The Byrds, Crazy Horse and Spacemen 3.

Akron-based poster artist Adam Yuratovac, a friend of the band's, is putting the single out on his new Piss & Vinegar label, which will get national distribution from Alive Records (no affiliation to this paper, by the way).

Yuratovac also put the trio in touch with Auerbach, the gritty guitarist who has become an international rock star as one half of blues-rock duo The Black Keys. Auerbach captured the cohesive sound the band had been looking for.

"Dan knows by now - he knows the aesthetic we're going for," Scoppa said. "There'll be hardly any argument there."

The famous rocker liked The Main Street Gospel's sound so much that after he recorded "All Your Love is Gone" and "Who Shot You Down" for the band's 7-inch, he's letting them come back to his home studio - sneakily known as Akron Analog - to record a full-length this winter.

That's where the really good news kicks in. The Main Street Gospel has shared the stage with a Brooklyn band called Hopewell numerous times in Columbus. Thanks to the friendship they struck up, Hopewell tipped off their label, the nationally respected Tee Pee Records.

Tee Pee is now in talks to put out The Main Street Gospel's album. In fact, the band is driving to New York to play a show today for the label brass.

So yeah, good news indeed, and just in time for a band so strapped for cash that none of them owns a car. (They've turned to girlfriends, cabs and even COTA to haul gear around.) But even if the record deal doesn't work out, the band intends to keep plugging away for music's sake.

"We're trying to just keep believing in it," Dean said. "I still believe in it."

What: The Main Street Gospel

When: Thursday, Dec. 11

Where: Ravari Room, Campus