Dispatch: The Road Well-Traveled
After the 2004 breakup, Stokes focused on his politically-charged rock band State Radio, which built a national audience that rivaled Dispatch’s in size. (When fans tell Stokes he sounds like the “guy from Dispatch,” he says they are brothers or cousins). He advocated for Troy Davis—even visiting the man who many believed was a wrongly convicted death row inmate—and worked with the mentally challenged.
Francis divided his time between singer/songwriter solo gigs and working as a member of various backing bands. He had a short stint on a major label, Hollywood, but quickly returned to his independent roots.
Corrigan, the band’s most spiritual member and a devout Christian, switched back to guitar to perform under the name Braddigan. His busy schedule included everything from acoustic performances at Easter services to a film on Central American poverty to proper club dates.
Rather unexpectedly, the band reunited for a series of benefits for the people of Zimbabwe that culminated with three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in 2007. (Stokes has done charity work in the African country). In a symbolic move, they drove their beat-up van into the arena each night and performed on its roof. For the first time, the music industry took notice but, instead of capitalizing on their success, the band members once again went their own ways.
In 2009, Dispatch quietly reunited for another Zimbabwe benefit—this time at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center—and all three members of Dispatch seemed content to regroup for a big show every few years. Since their previous “reunion shows” took place in Boston (Stokes’ hometown) and New York (Francis’ current location), they set their sites on Morrison, Colo.’s Red Rocks (near Corrigan’s home base) for the 2011 gigs.
But when the time came to prep for their next reunion event, Stokes tossed out a different idea. “We would spend 30 days getting ready for one show and have all this pressure,” he says. “So I thought, ‘Why don’t we do a mini-tour instead’ and the guys said, ‘If we’re doing a mini tour, we need some new songs.’”
While sitting at a café not far from his Manhattan home a few weeks after Bonnaroo, Francis recalls the trio getting together at his apartment in late 2010. “We got together and found out we had more than two or three songs,” he says. They passed around an acoustic guitar and a few pints and started to flesh out each other’s ideas. “[That’s when] we decided that we wanted to make a record.”
“I had a bunch of songs that didn’t really fit State Radio,” the prolific Stokes adds in late June while driving his veggie-powered car to another recording session. (This time for a bonus track to accompany a solo album that he plans to reissue). “We all needed that time away to figure out who we were outside of the band because we’d been so insular. We didn’t even really know who we were as people, individually. Once we had some space, we realized that we like being around each other and we’ve been through a lot together. We still get a kick out of each other.”
Corrigan says they’ve all grown up and that, as a result, there is less ego involved combined with more honesty and humility. “We were like brothers until we broke up and that was a painful breakup,” he says. “Now, we have forgiven each other and learned so much from a lot of the arguments and battles that we had back in the day. We’re way stronger than we would be if we’d never gone through some of those intense valleys. We’ve seen each other at our worst and we’ve also seen each other on the mountaintops.”
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
- Primus in Toronto
- Twice "The Joker" on Saturday at Bonnaroo (Gov’t Mule and Jack Johnson)
- The National’s Grateful Dead Tribute Album Dead Hot In Motion
- Daft Punk: Random Access Memories
- Visions of Bonnaroo Thursday (ALO, Jack Johnson, Polyphonic Spree, Allen Stone…)
- Deer Tick Share "The Rock"
- Win a pair of passes to The NINES Festival
- Robert Hunter Will Return to the Stage for Eight Shows
- Interlocken Confirms Daily Lineups, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Punch Brothers, Keller & The Keels and More Added
- Mumford and Sons Cancel Bonnaroo Show, Summer Tour
- Ed Helms: Bonnaroo, Banjos and a Bit of Phish
- Robert Hunter Will Return to the Stage for Eight Shows
- Tedeschi Trucks Band Share New Song
- Warren Haynes to Play Jerry Garcia’s Wolf on Symphony Tour
- Jack Is Back: Jack Johnson Talks Bonnaroo, ALO and New Album
- Patty Griffin in Boston
- Doctor’s Orders: So what should we call the Super Ball IX Newspaper?
- John Kadlecik Posts Statement on Bob Weir’s Collapse
- "I Wanne Be In moe.": The Latest Volunteers
- Bob Weir Escorted Off Stage During Furthur Show
- Vote for Your Favorite "I Wanne Be In moe." Contestant
- Furthur Cancels BottleRock Show as Bob Weir Is Out Of Commision
- Doctor’s Orders: What’s Your Favorite Furthur Song? (Win Copy of Relix Signed by Phil and Bobby)
- On The Verge Poll