If you only know Teague Alexy as a singer/songwriter in the roots/folk/Americana tradition, well then you just don’t know the whole story. Teague Alexy, who has released albums as a solo artist (backed by Nicholas David and the Feelin’ Band) and currently plays with his brother Ian Alexy as Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, didn’t get his start learning Johnny Cash songs or worshipping at the altar of Dylan. Teague Alexy was a student of hip hop.
Growing up in New Jersey, Teague’s first musical loves were the songs he’d hear on local urban radio. While brother Ian was playing guitar and learning heavy metal riffs, Teague along with his younger brother Morgan and friend Angelo DeRosa spent their free time attempting to recreate the hip-hop sound they loved.
“We had no interest in becoming lifelong musicians or even being musicians at all,” remembers Teague. “There were no affordable beat machines and samplers specifically designed to make hip-hop like there is now. We had to figure out some sort of basement method.”
Spending his teenage years honing his skills as a DJ, beatmaker and rapper, Teague and his crew played shows out at house parties in the neighborhood and at school events but never took it a whole lot further. And, as the crew got older, the influence of other music styles proved tempting—leading Teague to follow in his brother Ian’s footsteps by picking up the guitar.
Teague has been roaming the Midwest performing his brand of folk-infused blues since the early 2000s, but his passion for the music of his youth never wavered. And after years of messing around with these sounds, Teague is finally ready to share this part of his musical life through the new project dubbed Actionslave.
“I started making beats before I was a musician and didn’t know a thing about getting a good sound from an amp or running things through fuzz boxes and bass pre-amps and things. Going back to the way I made music as a kid combined with what I know now opens up all kinds of ideas. When I sing and play guitar there needs to be truth involved and there’s not much room for the sarcasm, venting or humor in my notebooks. Hip hop is a better canvas for that. It’s fun.”
The album features a wide array of artists who’ve been a part of Teague’s musical journey throughout the years. Angelo DeRosa, Teague’s first musical partner, is featured on three tracks. Contributions from Teague’s brothers Ian and Morgan also make the cut, as well as live samples and studio outtakes from Ryan Young, Steve Garrington, Joe Savage, Dustin Tessier, Chad Bloodson, BJ Capelli and Duluth’s Lyndon Ramrattan (aka DJ Mouse).
The album, titled A Gentleman Named Actionslave, will see official release on October 1 with a limited edition of 500 numbered CDs. Pre-orders are available here.