It was every kid's rock and roll dream. Three college buddies – Chad Stokes, Brad Corrigan and Pete Francis – get together in a band (Dispatch) and start playing locally while in school and watch as it takes off. Soon they're playing gigs all over the U.S. in sold out venues. Songs are being downloaded and shared from friend to friend and advance marketing work is done via the Internet without them having to do anything. Their self-released albums walk off the shelves and when the big labels come sniffing around, they can tell them to get stuffed, and that they aren't needed. Yet, even a dream can become tired, and for three young men who hadn't fully lived out their lives yet, and had the brains to know there was more to life than playing music with two other guys, they pulled the plug before it all went sour. While fundraising concerts brought them back together occasionally they managed to resist the urge to reunite on a more permanent basis.
That all changed in 2011 with Dispatch reuniting for a sold-out tour of the U.S. Now, 2012 sees the release of the first full length Dispatch album of entirely new material in 12 years with Circles Around the Sun being released on their own Bomber label. Yep, they're back & ndash; the three college kids who turned the music industry on its head by encouraging their band's fans to file share their songs in order to spread the word. They are also the band who sold out not one but three shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City in hours to raise money for Zimbabwe in 2007 and an acoustic show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. two years latter in less then two minutes.
Stokes, Corrigan and Francis – who trade off on guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and a mean banjo on the new disc – have gone out in the world as individuals and returned with something a lot more mature than the youthful exuberance and intelligence which were the earmarks of the band in the early years. So anyone expecting this to sound just like the music the band was playing a decade ago will be in for a surprise. Oh, some of the same elements are still there. It's still the same three guys after all. The harmonies are so seamless and the playing so tight that they still sound like they're completing each other's sentences musically. But the music isn't as raw or gritty and the writing is far more sophisticated. What they've each learned working on their own has been brought back to the trio and distilled down into a collection of songs reflecting their collective experiences.