In honor of Nine Days' first album in 10 years, "Something Out of Nothing," and its release party at the YMCA Boulton Center in Bay Shore Friday night, here are five things you should know about the St. James-based band besides their No. 1 hit "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)":
1. Singer-guitarist John Hampson reps hard for Long Island in "Suburban Blues."
"I've got my head, I've got my hands, I've got my hopes ... I'm free," he sings over a bluesy, horn-driven backdrop that The Band would have loved, as he brushes off big-city advances and warns, "You won't get over on me." Hampson says it's a defense of Long Island artists who don't feel the need to move to Williamsburg. "You don't need to be hip to be cool," he says.
2. Before it was a pop/rock band, Nine Days was more of an Americana, rootsy band, and the new album reflects its older sound.
"We took ourselves back to 1995 when we first became a band," Hampson says. "We've come full circle ... There's more appreciation for that kind of music now. It felt really comfortable to go be 23 or 24 again and live in this kind of American roots music, with Dylan and Neil Young."
3. They would be happy to score a country hit to go with their pop ones.
The song "Hey Y'All" would fit perfectly on the radio next to Luke Bryan, Keith Urban and Blake Shelton. It reflects guitarist-singer Brian Desveaux's love of country music, as well as the fact that the band recorded the album in Nashville, where Desveaux now lives. "We played up the folksier elements," Hampson says. "We just went for it."
4. "Something Out of Nothing" is a test to see if the band members can balance their careers and personal lives.
"There's a joy in putting a record out and having anybody listen to it," Hampson says. "We're cultivating something we're happy with. If we could put out this kind of record every year or so and build on this, we'd be really, really happy."
5. Nine Days knows it has two different types of fans -- the ones who know the band and the ones who know The Song.
"The new album will never touch the people who only hear us on Pandora," Hampson says. "It's great that we're part of pop culture with 'Story of a Girl.' But this band came from a different place. We're hoping to change the perception of what Nine Days is. I want the music to do all of the talking."
WHO Nine Days
WHEN|WHERE 8 p.m. Friday, YMCA Boulton Center, 37 W. Main St., Bay Shore
INFO $20; 631-969-1101, boultoncenter.org