Like any country band worth its salt, Limbeck knows the value of "road songs." The band's sophomore record, Hi, Everything's Great (2003), is a must-have for any cross-country road trip, its lyrics describing the nation's cities and highways with the same vivid detail as the interesting characters the band has met during its travels.
Closing out Limbeck's classic album is "Comin' from Tucson," which describes the band's long drive back to Orange County after a show at Tucson's Club Congress in 2001 or 2002. Back then, the band was a mainstay in Tucson and Phoenix, popping over from O.C. so often people that fans in town started to think they were locals.
"[We'd] jump in the van right after the show and head home overnight so someone could make it to work in the morning," says guitarist and backup vocalist Patrick Carrie, "Man, that was a long time ago . . . to this day, Congress is still one of our favorite places to be."
Limbeck is scheduled to perform Sunday, December 16, at Crescent Ballroom.
Limbeck's ties to Arizona extend beyond a decade-old tour story. Bassist Justin Entsminger moved to Phoenix in 2005, right around the time Limbeck stopped actively playing shows. (Entsminger now plays in local band Source Victoria.)
"It's been at least four years since the last time we've all played together as Limbeck," Carrie says. "We never really officially called it quits or even said anything about a 'hiatus.' We just came to the point where we couldn't tour full-time anymore."
A chat with Reubens Accomplice, whose 2012 effort, Sons of Men, found the group refocused after a mostly silent eight years, made the members of Limbeck realize how much they missed playing together, so both acts have scheduled a three-date tour through California and Arizona in mid-December.
"We're still friends. We still [probably] remember the songs," he says. "We still have a good time playing music — it's basically just a good reason to hang out."
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The logistics take some maneuvering, though: Patrick Carrie and Robb MacLean (lead vocals and guitar) remain in Southern California. With Entsminger living in Arizona and bassist Jon Philip residing in Wisconsin, it's been difficult to get everyone together. In fact, Carrie said that the whole band has not been in the same room for "a long time," so it comes as a surprise that the band recently released a seven-inch with a new song and a Replacements cover. Does it mean Limbeck may have a new album in the works?
"Who knows? I guess we'll be talking about it in the van," Carrie says. The future remains to be seen. Until then, Limbeck will return to Phoenix with a vengeance. The band has its share of introspective acoustic songs, but its live show will focus on a raucous good time.
"We've messed around with different players helping us out on keys, pedal steel guitar, etc., but we work best as a four-piece," says Carrie, "We prefer it loud, when possible."