Founded in the music-rich small town of Winona, MN, and relocated to Minneapolis, MN in 2013, The Heavy Set is: Jake Ilika (vocals, guitar), Jim Trouten (electric, lap steel guitar, vocals), Jamie Groth (bass, vocals), Zac Barbieur (drums, percussion).
Four everyday guys, performing songs about everyday stuff, with a clear and genuine not-so-everyday style. Their music makes you shut-up and listen, but not out of angst. Rather, you suddenly snap out of your Everbody’s Got A Mountain–induced trance, and you realize…you’ve not said a word for around forty-one minutes.
2015’s Everybody’s Got A Mountian (the follow-up to their 2014 self-titled EP, Jake Ilika & The Heavy Set), picks up right where its predecessor left off with it’s opening track, Chance To Change. The track’s smooth, rolling melody and vocals immediately bring John Fogerty’s Blue Moon Swamp to mind. People, this is road-trip music of rare quality.
The album doesn’t wait long to show you that The Heavy Set are true craftsmen. The strings, the keys, and the vocal harmonies on Eagles On The Ice make it a near-perfect piece of songwriting. This is one of those rare songs that never leaves your playlist. In fact, one should be hesitant in their attempt to describe or critique music like this—for fear of not doing it justice. Rather, one should simply don a good pair of headphones, kick back, eyes-closed, and listen…
“There’s a bar not too far from where us workers stay
Once or twice with my guitar I sit down and I’ll play
Songs about the ocean blue and songs of dreams that won’t come true
And songs that make me think of you
And of eagles on the ice underneath a winter moon
Eagles on the ice and I’ll be coming home soon”
The deep and dreamy Start Over is a soulful confessional that begs us to take a look in the mirror. Sometimes the answer to life’s most complicated darkness, is simply to start over. If you’ve never heard this song, you might mistakenly think you know what The Heavy Set are capable of.
Use These Blues is a classic singalong rock tune. With its bluesy riffs, organ, and vocal harmonies, it’s like ZZ Top meets Huey Lewis and the News. If you’re too young to understand the reference, you’ll have to take our word for it…it’s a stainless steel compliment.
River, the final song, is a beautifully ambient anthem of loss. Indeed, we just don’t always get what we want, no matter how deserving we might be…
“The way the river’s rising I don’t know
If they’re ever going to find the poor girl’s bones
Her mama wants something she can bring home
To lay beneath the willow by the family stone”
If you travel for your dinner, don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to Everybody’s Got A Mountain whenever you leave home, and again when you return. There’s something about this collection of songs that speaks whatever language is missing in the moment…whatever is needed. Ilika’s voice can fill the spaces in your mind that were looking for companionship. We say, let him.
Below, you can listen to The Heavy Set’s album, Everybody’s Got A Mountain, check out our interview with Jake Ilika, connect with them on their website and social media platforms, and find their booking & contact information. Please support The Heavy Set by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Listen to music from The Heavy Set’s new album, Everybody’s Got A Mountain:
Read our artist interview with The Heavy Set’s Jake Ilika:
Connect with The Heavy Set online:
Booking & contact information for The Heavy Set:
Contact: Jake Ilika, HERE.