Eastern Phoebes: ’60s inspired LI duo

Band: Eastern Phoebes, formed in 2009 Members: Ry

Band: Eastern Phoebes, formed in 2009
Members: Ry Smith and Meg Bayley

Click here to read more about the band.

(Credit: Eastern Phoebes)

In a lakeside cottage with ducks roaming around, Patchogue-based Eastern Phoebes has recorded six albums within three years.

With basic equipment, like a laptop, the band creates music that fans have compared to ’60s bands, such as The Mamas and the Papas and The Beach Boys.

“Everything is done in our living room and our bathroom,” said Ry Smith, 26, of the recordings.

Smith, who plays eight instruments and sings, formed the band three years ago along with his girlfriend, vocalist Meg Bayley, 25. They named their duo Eastern Phoebes after a type of bird.

“We are a couple of lovebirds making music,” he said. “So it fits.”

The pair, who has lived on Long Island their whole lives, agree that being in a relationship impacts their music in a positive way.

“It’s easy for us because we know each other very well,” said Smith. “We are a cute version of The White Stripes,” he added.

Being fans of the same music is also a plus. Smith and Bayley, who grew up singing in choirs, hold Neil Young and The Beach Boys at high regards.

Though they consider themselves to be primarily a two-person band, Smith and Bayley are often joined by guitarist Rick Kattermann and drummer Gary Norton for performances. Together, they enjoy performing covers to pay homage to these influences. One favorite is “Johnny Carson,” a 1977 Beach Boys song.

Echoing the Beach Boys’ style, the band also makes sure to have multiple harmonies in its songs, something that is rare in today’s music, Bayley said.

Although the band made its first records available to fans for free, Eastern Phoebes experimented with a feature called “name your price” for “Lion Gardine,” the latest release. This feature, posted on their website, allows fans to purchase the music at any price they deem fit.

Bayley said they are happy with the response they’ve received, and the group plans on using the money from record sales to fund upcoming shows.

“Anything we get from this is just enabling us to go out and let people hear it more,” Bayley said.

The two, who’ve played at local Long Island music spots such as The Brickhouse Brewery in Patchogue and Mr. Beery's in Bethpage, are planning to head out on the road by the end of the summer.

“It’s about being able to share what we love with other people,” Bayley said.

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