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The Revivalists: Show preview

Where: The Blue Note

When: Tuesday, March 14. Doors 7 p.m. | Show 8 p.m.

Tickets: $22

Transcending: The single word that defines the music created by the ever-talented seven-piece band known as The Revivalists. To be the best and the most successful in the music business, an artist must defy genre limitations and expose their fans and themselves to a melting pot of music. That being said, The Revivalists have beautifully transcended these expectations by creating songs that encompass the various sounds and rhythmic grooves of alternative rock, soul, blues, R&B and progressive trance, and ultimately provide that jam band feel.

Fun fact: “Jam band” describes musical groups whose performances feature extensive musical improvisation and long sets of songs that cross genre boundaries.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of crossing paths with any of The Revivalists’ stellar tunes, let me introduce them to your life and give you a few reasons to come check them out.

Ever heard of Galactic?

or Dumpstaphunk?

If you’re a fan of either, you know that jazzy, funky, bluesy, chill vibes sail from these bands’ cores. Drawing inspiration from their New Orleans roots, each band cultivates a unique groove that withstands the minimalist sounds of funk and soul music. With each performance, listeners release themselves to the undeniable synergy between the universe, body and soul.

How about Dave Matthews Band?

Or O.A.R.?

Unlike Galactic or Dumpstaphunk, both of these bands have a more subtle, smooth, alternative rock sound that connects fans to the world around them. Each band’s lead singers have distinct vocals that successfully unite with background instrumentals and rhythmic variations, resulting in a fusion. Although the use of more classical sounds differentiate them from the previously mentioned bands, their general jam band approach remains the same.

While each band delivers their own unique form of this style of music, they all have something in common. Each of them transposes the organization of their chords and melodic noises to get listeners lost in the music and in touch with their roots. They exemplify the past by digging into their original musical roots, which today have become so easy to lose a sense of.

If you answered yes to knowing any of the above bands, check out this playlist illuminating The Revivalists’ exploration and reconciliation of various stylistic and harmonious sounds and get ready to jam tonight.

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Show Review: Dopapod and TAUK at Mojo’s

The audience at Mojo’s Tuesday night were treated to a crash course in contemporary jam bands, as openers TAUK and headliners Dopapod played their own brands of electronically tinged improvisation at their first Columbia show.

The instrumental group TAUK had a spacey, krautrock vibe to their wordless jams, though that’s not to say they were confined to one genre. TAUK seemed to weave through psychedelic rock, jazz, hard funk, and even some hip-hop beats for good measure.

At one point, they even performed a sprawling cover of The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” that seemed to meander through multiple genres. Starting out as a straightforward cover, the song soon devolved into a hazy extended improvised jam with a rising tension that crescendoed as the band reigned in the noodling for an explosive finish.

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Though TAUK reminded me of a grittier Sound Tribe Sector 9, Dopapod made me think of a groovier Umphrey’s McGee. The Boston-born four-piece played a marathon two sets filled with uplifting progressive rock and smooth, dirty dance grooves. The most notable difference between Dopapod and TAUK’s set were how many people were getting down with they bad selves at Dopapod.

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Dopapod were like a dancier version of Yes, with harmonized vocals fighting to be heard over rhythmic jamming. The band was musically tight, showcasing their group virtuosity by moving through extended jams while keeping in-sync, always ready to keep up with a bandmates improvisation.

Their jams were epic in length, with middle sections so long you think they’ve moved on to an entirely different song until they reprise the first part of the song. At one point they teased the riff of White Zombies’ “Thunder Kiss ’65,” which had me running through the Guitar Hero soundtrack in my head throughout the show trying to think of that title. You the real MVP, Google.

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Between songs, guitarist Rob Compa joked that the band wasn’t used to the crowd not talking among themselves during the show, which I usually prefer to be the case, truth be told. Keyboardist Eli Winderman offered a coy challenge to the crowd in response to Compa, saying “Or just pay very close attention to everything we are doing up here.”

With such a fiery introductory show, Dopapod can’t return to Columbia soon enough.

This blog post was written by Zachary Van Epps, contributing writer for The Blue Note.


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Railroad Earth debuts new songs at each concert

Railroad Earth

When: Jan. 23, doors at 7 p.m.
Where: The Blue Note
Cost: $20-35, buy tickets here
Opener: Have Gun, Will Travel

It’s hard to pin down Railroad Earth’s style — jam band? Bluegrass? Blues? Folk?

The answer is D) All of the above. And everything in between. Here’s the group playing Bonnaroo in 2011.

The New Jersey band carefully toes the line of an “improv band” stigma, which can curse a band to a singularly particular type of audience. Instead, Glide Magazine writes Railroad Earth has also established their studio abilities are as strong as their stage presence. The band is known just as much for  its recording prowess as its unique and engrossing live performances.

Best of both worlds? Yeah. Exactly.

Last of the Outlaws

Last of the Outlaws

On its current tour, the group slowly leaked songs from its newly released latest album, Last of the Outlaws. A couple new songs were tossed into each set leading up to last weekend’s concerts in Denver — the release parties. Between the two nights, the band released a horde of new material from their seventh album.

Click here for an exclusive preview of a Last of the Outlaws single from American Songwriter magazine.

One track on Outlawis getting quite a bit of attention. And by “track,” we actually meant to say “full, 21-minute, 7-part suite.”

“All That’s Dead May Live Again” is supposedly the crux of masterful musicians Todd Sheaffer, guitarist, and John Skehan, classical-pianist-turned-manodlin-player, coming together for so long.

Bassist Andrew Altman told the Herald Review how the piece came about: “John was carrying the framework of the idea around on a piece of paper in his wallet for like two years, and he would bring it out whenever we were drinking. You can hear his classical influences in it, because he was playing classical piano long before mandolin. We’re not shying away from that side of us.”

For inspirational listening, here’s a video of Todd and John playing together back in 2006.

“All That’s Dead” plays on everything from classic rock to classical piano, from bluegrass to Celtic music, according to the the Herald Review. The band still isn’t sure how it will handle the piece live — break it up and piece it together with other songs or play it full out, in all of its 21-minute glory.