The roots of Cleveland indie folk band Monday Night Social can be traced back to a Christmas album released in 2014. Christian Mann, Brock McGarity and Janet McGarity—founding members of the band—first came together when they began attending and volunteering at the same church in 2013. Their individual musical histories and tastes were fairly different, but they found a common ground in their love of music as a transformative experience. This shared admiration led to the aforementioned Christmas album, which included one original track, and it was during the process of writing and recording this song that the spark of Monday Night Social was first given oxygen.
They began work on a self-produced EP and started to tour the area to provide backing for it. It was on that tour where they met bassist Josh English, and he was subsequently drawn into the Monday Night Social fold. They finally released the EP in August 2016.
Drummer JG Oliver was later brought on to help fill out their folk sound, creating a tighter, more focused aesthetic for the band. Oliver met the band through a mutual friend after a show in late 2016. The band won the Road to Nightfall competition in 2017 and played venues across the region. They released a second EP, “Mixtapes Don’t Lie,” in August.
Recently, the band released a video for their latest single, “Shutting Down Tennessee,” and it finds them performing the electrified song in front of a crowd of fans who are obviously having a wonderful time. Working with director Dagan Beckett, the band helped shape the look and feel of the video, finding a balance between the raucous nature of their live sets and a more deliberate sense of musical community. The clip provides the perfect platform from which the band can hurl these bluesy riffs and soaring vocals.
The track recalls the swing and rumble of classic country artists while still holding fast to their folk-inclined tendencies and possesses a wonderfully fierce swagger. Few bands can do this kind of (almost-rockabilly) shake and shimmy with any sense of authenticity, and Monday Night Social is here to show everyone else how it’s done. When the video ends and the audience cheers, it’s likely that you’ll feel like you’re right there cheering alongside them, ready for whatever the band has next.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.