About Night Beats

Night Beats are an American psychedelic/garage rock band, formed in 2009 in Seattle, Washington. The band currently consists of lead singer and guitarist Danny "Lee Blackwell" Rajan Billingsley as the only permanent member. Founding member drummer James Traeger has only played intermittently with the band since 2016, and bassist Jakob Bowde left the band sometime in early-mid 2018.


The band incorporate elements of early R&B, Texas psychedelic rock, English blues rock, folk and soul and have toured with the likes of The Black Angels , Roky Erickson, The Zombies, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Strange Boys, Black Lips, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and The Growlers.


Danny "Lee Blackwell" Rajan Billingsley had previously fronted various bands in his hometown of Dallas, Texas including The Old Explosives, White Light Fever and Medicine God Box. With White Light Fever, who were initially called Japanese Auto Clinic, he released debut album Heavy Knife Blues in 2007 and the band were reportedly courted by Columbia Records. A second album Count All Your Father's Wealth was seemingly abandoned. He also worked with The Tempers, playing live with the band and contributing a guitar solo to one track on their debut album Vol. 1.


Raised Catholic and Hindu, Billingsley moved to Seattle to study comparative religion at the University of Washington. Leaving Dallas, which he saw as "a wasteland of music", he founded Night Beats in 2009. Named after the Sam Cooke album 'Night Beat', the solo self-recorded Street EP was released that year via Holy Twist Records. After trying out a couple of different lineups, he asked high school friend and former B.B Mercy drummer James Traeger who was studying in Austin, Texas to move to Seattle to join Night Beats. After playing a duo for a while, they recruited bassist Tarek Wegner in January 2010. Wegner, originally from Tacoma, Washington, had previously played with The Drug Purse and Paris Spleen.


Night Beats toured extensively early on, completing multiple North American tours during 2010 and were signed within weeks of self-releasing the H-Bomb EP. Picked up by Chicago's Trouble in Mind Records . The re-release of the EP topped several college radio charts competing with other Artists' full-length efforts.


In 2011, the band released a split EP with The UFO Club on the Austin label The Reverberation Appreciation Society. On June 28, 2011 they released their self-titled debut album via Trouble In Mind. A split single with TRMRS was released in June 2012 via Volcom Vinyl Club.


On September 24, 2013, the band released their second album "Sonic Bloom" via The Reverberation Appreciation Society. They toured North America, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia in support of the album.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Night Beats", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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