Calling it now: We Became Owls will be the next great Bay Area folk outfit. Singer-songwriter Andrew Blair makes believers quickly with his soulful howl, set over a collection of strings and soft percussion. It’s a classic but entirely fresh Americana sound, the latest offshoot of the folk tradition set forth by Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan ages ago. You can hear the history and the authenticity at every turn, but we’ll let you listen for yourself
— Chris Trenchard 7x7 Magazine
We Became Owls is the name for the musical output of Oakland’s Andrew Blair and Ross Warner, Orinda natives and guitarists who’ve been writing songs together since middle school, plus a cast of rotating supporting characters on the banjo, cello, upright bass, piano and drums, with lap-steel and sing-along, sit-around-the-campfire-with-a-bottle-of-whiskey choruses front and center. Call it alt-folk, Americana, what have you — these kids have listened to their Bob Dylan, and there’s a depth to their songwriting, a level of genuine soul in their sound that’s not just easy on the ears; they mean it, and that makes all the difference in the world.
— Emma Silvers SF Bay Guardian

We Became Owls...

We Became Owls is an Alternative Americana band from Oakland, CA. Songwriter Andrew Blair and multi-instrumentalist Ross Warner began creating, writing, and composing music together in middle school. Influenced by the sound of Greenwich Village in the 60's, the Texas of Van Zandt and Earl, and more contemporary acts like Wilco, Damien Jurado, Drive by Truckers, and Jeff Buckley, We Became Owls recalls a sound heard in the jukes, front porches, barns, and hillsides of a long forgotten era. 

WBO released "There Are Other Animals at the Zoo" in July of 2014 to acclaim from local media outlets the SF Bay Guardian, 7x7 Magazine, and THe Bay Bridged. Recorded in February at legendary San Francisco studio Hyde Street Studio C with producer Scott McDowell (Sean Hayes, Goegrapher, Kelly McFarling), the album reflects the sound of the band in its current state, and marks the growth of Blair and Warner as song writers, while invoking a significantly larger more layered sound. 

The earliest iteration of the band was Blair and Warner performing as a duo, playing and singing songs written by Blair. The duo performed around the Bay Area gaining a small loyal following of music fans wanting to hear simple, heartfelt lyrics sung in harmony over tight guitar work. Shortly thereafter Blair met cellist Robin Ward while writing lyrics in an Oakland pub. The two sat for hours and talked music. The connection was there and Ward began playing out with the band, adding her keen ability around the cello to the tunes. Soon after the band got together with local sound engineer Dan Foldes to record a four song EP at HITWall Studios in South San Francisco. 

The band recorded five songs, straight to tape, in a mostly live setting. The four song EP received critical acclaim from local music critics from 7x7 Magazine and The Bay Bridged, with Russell Jellenik calling the opening track Suitcase  "a lovely, bare-bones folk song with a lap steel coming in and out that keeps you on your toes."  

The band now consists of Warner and Blair, along with upright bassist Doug Keen, vocalist and banjo picker Kelly McFarling, and local drum aficionados Andrew Laubacher or Kyle Caprista sitting in on drums. 

 

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