Timeless Sounds

quartet of music veterans partner on original album

Parker Reed, photos by Andrea Paulseth

THE FUTURE IS PAST THE PRESENT. The new four-piece band Past & The Present includes (left to right) Eric C. Thompson, Larry Past, Chris Andresen, and Anastasia Vishnevsky (not pictured).
THE FUTURE IS PAST THE PRESENT. The new four-piece band Past & The Present includes (left to right) Eric C. Thompson, Larry Past, Chris Andresen, and Anastasia Vishnevsky (not pictured).

A new group of veteran Chippewa Valley musicians is writing, recording, and covering music that will have listeners thinking of the past and thankful to hear it in the present.

Past & The Present is a new four-piece ensemble performing music inspired by everything from classic rock to ’60s, ’70s, and modern folk music. The group consists of Larry Past (acoustic guitar/vocals), Chris Andresen (bass/vocals), Eric C. Thompson (synth/percussion/vocals), and Anastasia Vishnevsky (electric guitar).

Past said since the group’s formation earlier this year their goal is to just have a good time performing and writing music, as they all have a profound love for the craft.

“We love music, and that’s why we do it,” Past said. “We’d love to play as much as we can, and it would be nice to get some airplay with our CD, but whatever happens we are just happy to be playing music together.”

The roots of the band were planted when longtime collaborators Past and Andresen had a number of original tracks left over from a previous project and wanted to record them. The two men then invited Thompson and Vishnevsky (also longtime collaborators) to record a nine-song record, and Past & The Present was formed.

Vishnevsky has been playing in local groups such as Manifest for years in Eau Claire, and while she was excited to record with Past & The Present, she didn’t know if it could go any further than that project.

“All four of us have a very comfortable friendship,” Vishnevsky said. “I respect all three of these musicians tremendously. It’s a joy to be working with them. I wasn’t quite sure due to my health situation if I was going to be able to do any more than record the album with them, but as we worked together it’s given me a new purpose to do live music again. Now I couldn’t imagine playing live music with anyone else.” 

Past & The Present’s debut record, Ancient Melody, is set for a June 13 release, coinciding with the band’s performance at the Volume One Sounds Like Summer Concert series at Phoenix Park in their native Eau Claire. The selections on the record exude a warm familiar sounds, reminiscent of later years Bob Dylan and an atmospheric Roger Waters Pink Floyd track. The record is a mixture of songs for a rainy day or a comfortable mid-Sunday afternoon sitting outside and reflecting with a cold beverage in hand.

One of the standout cuts is a moody and vibrant song entitled “Just To Be With You.” This song would fit in well in the ’60s or ’70s folk/rock scene, displaying melodies of longing and commitment to another.

Past said the songs on Ancient Melody come from a variety of lyrically inspired places. “Each song is about human nature and how we repeat our mistakes,” Past said. “Some of the songs deal with that, but there are some love songs and songs about finding your purpose on there as well. All of the tracks work well together.”

The band already has dozens of shows book for the season and is primed and ready to make its presence known in the Chippewa Valley.

For more information on Past & The Present, visit larrypastmusic.com.