It’s been a half-decade since Strange Vine first broke on the scene with its debut EP “Ghosts.”
For five years Ian Blesse and Toby Cordova have been building their fan base with a steel-solid live show of bombastic psychedelic blues rock. They have become the go-to support for national acts and local music festivals and a good regional draw, too.
Strange Vine was featured at San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival, played at AT&T Park and headlined its own show at the Great American Music Hall.
This show is presented in conjunction with Fire Squad Fresno. More info at www.fresnofuego.com
They’ve done it all without releasing any new recorded material.
“It’s way past overdo,” says Blesse, talking in advance of a headlining show Saturday, Dec. 26 at Strummer’s with Light Thieves, Sleepover Disaster and Conversation.
It’s a bit of deja vu. Blesse has been promising a proper album would be out by summer since February ... of 2014.
To be fair, the yet-to-be-named record is done. All that’s left is the mixing and mastering of the songs.
“We’re hoping to be able to knock it out quick,” Blesse says. They would like to have it done by April for a short run of dates they have in the Southeast, opening for English rock guitarist Robin Trower, whom the band opened for in San Francisco this June.
It’s not that Blesse doesn’t understand the need for new music (or merchandise or band photos that haven’t been used by the local media dozens of times). The pair feel conflicted, knowing their set lists typically contain only one or two songs from that first EP for fans to take home.
But it’s just the two of them doing all the business of the band. Compromises are made.
So, the album might not get it done by spring.
It won’t be the end of the band.
After all, Strange Vine has functioned well enough on the strength of its live shows and the tight interplay between Blesse and Cordova — something they hone during weekly practices.
The pair practices all the time, Blesse says. He and Cordova get together at least once a week, though they’ve been known to bump that up to three or fours times a week to prep for a big show or a tour.
Everything else is just byproduct, Blesse says, the necessary evil of the pair being able to play music together. And that’s why they started the band in the first place, Blesse says.
“That’s all I want to do.”
- 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26
- Strummer’s, 833 E. Fern Ave.
- Tickets: $12-$14, all ages
- 559-485-5356, www.strummersclub.com