kansascity

The Deli KC's Best of 2015

Michelle Bacon, editor
 
Albums:
You probably won’t get a chance to see Madisen and Ruth Ward perform in a small room anytime soon, but if you’ve had the privilege to do so, you know how special it is. Sharp songwriting accompanies the intimacy, warmth, and the sheer velocity of their voices, all of which shine on the duo’s debut LP with Glassnote Records.
 
2. The Grisly Hand - Flesh & Gold
Since its acclaimed LP Country Singles came out in 2013, fans have been chomping at the bit for another collection of songs from The Grisly Hand. Flesh & Gold showcases a band that is fully realizing its natural chemistry—the compositions reach new heights on this album, with musicians that play to their strengths, in all the right places.
 
3. Bloodbirds - MXVIII
Aggressive, dark, psychedelic sounds make up the aural landscape of Bloodbirds’ latest effort, an impressive full-length from an authoritative power trio. These songs are intense and emotional, but laden with enough hooks and punch to keep the listener yearning for more.
 
4. Mat Shoare - Right As Rain
Whether he’s delivering a subtle lyric over a somnolent keyboard tone or an angsty vitriol over an edgy guitar riff, Mat Shoare is pulling us into his world with each track on Right As Rain. Shoare has a knack for creating classic pop hooks, finding instrumentation that suits each mood, and pulling off introspective lyrics with an unmistakable sincerity.
 
5. Major Games - Major Games
Major Games’ self-titled release is one of the richest and most sonically dense offerings of 2015. It soars above the conventions of shoegaze, psychedelic, and noise rock, with sweeping dynamic shifts and intriguing swells of sound.
 
6. HMPH! - Headrush
The debut LP from HMPH! is one of the most masterful examples of musicianship on any KC release in recent history. This instrumental math rock/jazz fusion album is built on angular guitar riffs and rhythmic countermelodies from two musicians who know their craft and challenge it in an interesting, entertaining set of songs.
 
7. Thunderclaps - Cookin Up A Good Time (EP)
This guitar-and-drums duo stands out with 3 short tracks that remind us of the classic backbone of rock ‘n roll with a modern vigor. Thunderclaps’ debut EP is well worth a mere 9 minutes of your time; and if you aren’t shaking your hips by the end of it, you weren’t paying enough attention.
 
8. Mikal Shapiro - The Musical
Mikal Shapiro is no stranger to the KC music scene, having lent her talents to several projects, but The Musical is her first full-length in 5 years. With her core band of musical masterminds, Shapiro has assembled one of the year’s strongest efforts. She blends pop, jazz, folk, and blues to create something far more hip.
 
9. Berwanger - Demonios (EP)
Josh Berwanger knows how to write a great pop gem, and make it rock. With elements of power pop, glam rock, psych, and sugary ‘60s pop, there’s something in a Berwanger song that can appeal to anybody. His latest release, on High Dive Records, will take you on an astral journey while you’re simultaneously banging your head.
 
10. She’s A Keeper - Westside Royal (EP)
Westside Royal signifies a fresh new musical direction for She’s A Keeper, a band that has grown into its sound in the best possible way. This 5-track EP is full of infectious grooves coupled with warm vocal melodies, making for a solid indie pop record.
 
Singles:
1. Admiral of the Red - “Footbeats” (1.5.15)
2. The Conquerors - “I Don’t Know” (8.11.15 High Dive Records)
3. Claire and the Classical Revolution - “Enough” (12.12.15)
4. Bonzo Madrid - “Balance” (8.10.15)
5. Spirit is the Spirit - “Televangelist” (4.13.15 The Record Machine)
6. The Uncouth - “KC United” (5.15.15 Too Much Rock)
7. Yes You Are - “World Without End” (6.1.15)
8. Katy Guillen and the Girls - “If You Were Gone” (11/24/15)
9. Mat Shoare - “One of My Songs” (11.6.15)
10. The Good Hearts - “Bad Production” (12.8.15)  
 
Shows:
3. Glen Hansard at Uptown Theater, 11.17.15
4. Diane Coffee and Of Montreal at recordBar, 10.27.15
5. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear at recordBar, 12.22.15
6. Heartless Bastards and Craig Finn at recordBar, 7.1.15
8. Jason Isbell and Rayland Baxter at Uptown Theater, 12.9.15
10. Shiner and The String and Return at recordBar, 7.17.15
 
Moments:
Unless you have a heart condition or are prone to seizures, you should experience Peelander-Z at least once. It is less recommended to go on stage with them and try to play their bass when they just want you to do calisthenics.
 
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear at Good Danny’s in Austin, TX, 3.18.15
It turns out that the best respite from the chaos of SXSW was a beautiful midday serenade in a comfy, air-conditioned house. Here, a lucky roomful of 15-20 people got a chance to see the Wards tape their Daytrotter session.
 
Spoon at The Continental Club in Austin, TX, 3.22.15
Alejandro Escovedo is a pioneer of Austin’s music scene, and held his last post-SXSW party, with Spoon as the secret guest. Seeing one of my favorite bands in a 300-cap room with dozens of other influential Austin musicians and natives was a special treat.
 
GAV7D, Katy Guillen and the Girls, and Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds at recordBar, 10.23.15
Late October and early November were arguably the most stressful months in Kansas City history. Game 6 of the ALCS was another nail-biter, plagued by a rain delay. Meanwhile, Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds opened up a show at recordBar, with a crowd that was waiting on pins and needles to celebrate, erupting in a Royal triumph at the last few notes of our set. The festivities continued with a red-hot set from Katy Guillen and the Girls, and a delightful denouement from Johnny Hamil’s GAV7D project.
 
The Philistines at Maria’s Taco Xpress in Austin, TX, 3.21.15
More famously known as the day Bill Murray saw my band play and offered me a bite of his food.
 
Zach Hodson (Dolls on Fire)
 
My 10 favorite Kansas City or ties-to-Kansas-City recordings of 2015(in no particular ranking or order):
The Electric Lungs - Don’t Be Ashamed of the Way You Were Made
The Electric Lungs’ sophomore full-length does not disappoint. Complete with a bombastic rhythm section, emphatic vocal performances, and just the right amount of synthy icing, this pop rock/punk quartet continues to put out some of the best high-energy rock music in town these days.
 
The Grisly Hand - Flesh & Gold
Whereas this album didn’t originally catch me near as much as their 2013 release Country Singles (which I consider to be one of my favorite KC releases of all time), Flesh & Gold falls more in the sneaky good category. The usual hallmarks of The Grisly Hand sound are certainly present throughout, but they continue to show a maturation and evolution of sound, allowing the sonic spectrum to freelance into other genres a bit more.  
 
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear - Skeleton Crew
Yeah. It’s damn good, just a fantastic sonic experience from beginning to end. Everything is spot-on: the songs, the unique vocal stylings, the tasteful flares of accompanying instrumentation, the production value. Whereas roots music can often fall prey to overproduction, this breakthrough record from the Kansas City based son-mom duo shows the true power of knowing which levers to pull and which to leave the hell alone.
 
Christian Hankel - Silver (Music from the Noir Ballet)
No one can ever call out Christian Hankel for being unambitious. Over the years, he has treated Kansas City with over-the-top art projects while others stay slaves to what is trendy. Silver is just the latest example of this. Featuring a who’s who of Kansas City players, this soundtrack to a modern retelling of The Odyssey via an 8-piece jazz ensemble is a well-composed and dynamic slice of mid-20th century jazz dolled up with just enough modern influence.
 
The Bad Ideas - Leave Me Alone
And now for something completely different. Eleven scuzzy, socially-conscious, punk-as-fuck brain-beating tracks that somehow keep some identity from each other during the onslaught. This full-length tape captures the live energy for which The Bad Ideas have become known.
 
Sterling Witt - Satyagraha
Another Kansas City area artist with a strict devotion to the art above all else, Sterling Witt’s recent release is a thick and icky ride recorded by Steve Albini (and yes, it certainly sounds like it was). I’ve seen Sterling perform in just about every way possible over the years (and probably still have some baby powder, glitter, or a paper airplane laying around to prove it). This grungy batch of alternative tunes is certainly less folk than I remember him at times, but still has the same earworms, sharp songwriting, and sly lyric play that I’ve come to very much enjoy of his work.
 
The Hillbenders - Tommy: A Bluegrass Odyssey
Whereas the Hillbenders in general are not “from” Kansas City, this record has plenty of ties to our neck of the woods that make it applicable here. It is an ambitious thing. Take one of the most beloved rock operas of all time, a record laden with synthesizers, squealing guitars, and one of the most adventurous drummers in rock n’ roll history. Now, reproduce it with traditional bluegrass instruments. And, oh yeah, no drums and no keyboards.
Somehow, The Hillbenders not only pull it off, but really push the material beyond its original limits in many ways. By creatively channeling the constraints of their instrumentation into ridiculously well-put-together orchestrations, the listener is never found wanting for the missing elements. It is beautifully new and familiar all at the same time.
 
Sundiver - Caravelle and Discoverer
Proving that verdant noise rock is still very much alive and relevant, Sundiver dropped a fantastic duo of songs this year with Caravelle and Discoverer. Call it post-hardcore, call it shoegaze, call it even a bit math rock at times, the pair of songs repeatedly build and crash, powdering the listener with something equally galvanic and celestial. Dreamy, driving, provoking soundscapes.
 
The Sluts - The Sluts
The modern war against the bass guitar (or perhaps better said, against those that typically play the bass guitar [yeah, I said it. Deal with it, bass players]) continues with this Lawrence two-piece. The Sluts’ debut LP suffers not from the four-string exclusion. The guitars rumble with lush distortion, the drums pound, the vocals screech through the wooly mix. Just enough smart songwriting keeps this from being an 11-song one-trick pony. It is a ride worth taking time and time again.
 
Mikal Shapiro - The Musical
Jazz, blues, Americana, country, good old rock ‘n roll: it’s all here. Being Shapiro’s first full-length release since 2010, she really sheds some skin with this batch of gracefully arranged songs. Every effort is a new adventure, kept on the like tracks by her silky, often doubled and harmonized vocals. The all-star Core Four (amongst other guest musicians) utilized throughout elevates her material to a new place.
 
Brad Scott (The Clementines)
 
Albums:
1. The Grisly Hand - Flesh & Gold
2. Mikal Shapiro - The Musical
3. Paper Buffalo - White on White (EP)
4. The AM Trio - As of Now
5. The Old No. 5s - Steam
 
Tracks:
1. The Grisly Hand - “Regina” (from Flesh & Gold)
2. Paper Buffalo - “The Archive” (from White on White)
3. Hembree - “Can't Run Forever”
4. Mikal Shapiro - “Daniel” (from The Musical)
5. The Old No. 5s - “Barn Party” (from Steam)
 
 
Albums, in no particular order:
The Electric Lungs - Don’t be Ashamed of the Way You Were Made
Definitely a punk rock album that brings me back to my high school years.  I wish I had this album to help me through those wonder years.
 
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear - Skeleton Crew
This is such a warm album to listen to.  I always picture myself outside by a creek on a summer afternoon as I contemplate about life.  
 
Jessica Paige - Sweet Nothings
Imagine yourself laying down on a wooden floor of your living room with your significant other on a cool autumn morning.  It helps you make you appreciate every single bit of life, good and bad.
 
The Clementines - “The Journey Begins” (single)
The single is very raw and straight to the point. You can hear raw emotion and heart from a band that can tug at your heart.
 
This album definitely captures the energy of their live performance. I always blare it in my car, headbanging on my way to work.
 
From all of us at The Deli KC, thank you for your support in 2015, and here's to more great music in 2016!

 

   

David Hasselhoff on Acid's last scheduled show this Saturday

David Hasselhoff on Acid makes the type of music you might expect from a band called David Hasselhoff on Acid: a cataclysmic, tantalizing musical mindmeld of hardcore, funk, and progressive instrumental rock. After nearly 10 years as a band—releasing 2 full-length albums, playing Wakarusa, opening for a number of known touring acts—the four-piece is taking a break.
 
“The future is uncertain, but we still plan on writing music,” says guitarist Phil Wolf, who founded the band with bassist Erich Thomas in 2006. The band solidified its lineup long ago, with drummer Zach Legler 7 years ago and guitarist Brandon Bamesberger 5 years ago. With Legler’s recent move to Los Angeles, the band has decided to only play live when he is in town. Tomorrow, DHOA will play its final gig for the foreseeable future, alongside a hefty lineup that includes At the Left Hand of God, Jorge Arana Trio, Janet the Planet, and Odd Fox. The band promises an unforgettable show for old fans and new; Wolf mentions that DHOA will play songs it hasn’t played in years and have an impressive light show to boot.
 
“DHOA is special because anything goes,” says Wolf. “Nothing is too weird—actually, the weirder, the better. We welcome all genres but still make sure it sounds like DHOA.”
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
 

Saturday’s show will be your last chance to catch David Hasselhoff on Acid for quite awhile, so don’t miss it. The Riot Room show starts at 8:00 p.m. Facebook event page. 

   

Album review: The New Riddim - Second Sight

Whether you’re an enthusiast of reggae, soul, ska, or simply any music that inspires dancing, The New Riddim’s album Second Sight is sure to keep you moving. Throughout the album, the soulful lyrics and voice of Dan Loftus will take you on a hip-swaying journey from high-tempo Caribbean melodies to slower island sounds. While certain songs might lead you to think you are beachside in Jamaica, others seem fit for a jazz club nestled in an old New Orleans neighborhood (a setting even mentioned in “Shoot the Piano Player”). However, most of the tracks in this album are purely an amazing combination of these energies.
 
Loftus’ romantic vocals, organ, and piano playing overlay the boisterous instrumentals of the rest of the band beautifully. The eight-person band consists of Loftus, Kian Byrne on bass (and vocals for “While I Wish”), Marshall Tinnermeier on saxophone, Nick Howell on trumpet, Mike Walker on trombone, Conor Loftus on guitar, Rico Pierce on drums, and Chas Snyder on drums. Each member has truly mastered his respective domain to form this ensemble of diverse sounds and they are most definitely a “new riddim.”
 
This Kansas City band has been producing sweet, soulful jams since they came together in 2005. Although Second Sight was released in February of this year, it wasn’t until mid-October that the album was available on a 12” vinyl, which really is the perfect medium for their sound. The vinyl also includes an additional track called “What Can I Dub?” by Agent Jay of The Slackers, an incredible artist known for his contributions to the ska, reggae, and rock genres. Be sure to grab The New Riddim’s vinyl from Mad Butcher Records and don’t miss the chance to catch one of their high-energy performances!
 
 
--Lindsey Alexander
Lindsey is a writer who loves live shows, Reddit, and really good tacos.
 
 

Celebrate your holiday hangover with The New Riddim this Saturday at The Brick, where they will be joined by The Grisly Hand. Show starts at 10 pm. Facebook event page. 

   

Album premiere: Captiva - Captiva (EP)

We are excited to premiere the debut self-titled EP from Captiva!
 
 
The four-piece group has its origins in a unique setting. Guitarist/vocalist Patrick McQuaid and drummer Hank Wiedel met in 2013 during a high school detention sentence. “That same day,” notes Wiedel, “Captiva and I were featured on the same page of the high school newspaper.” The drummer was invited to sit in on a practice session, and the rest, as they say, is history. Soon after Wiedel joined, they began recording Captiva’s debut album Basement Creations.
 
The collective has since garnered attention in and around the Kansas City area, combining a youthful pop zest with top-notch musicianship and grooves. The guys have found themselves appearing at a number of notable music festivals (including Middle of the Map, Boulevardia, Backwoods Music Festival, Audiofeed Festival) and have earned coveted opening spots for touring acts like Twenty One Pilots and The Lonely Biscuits.
 
Captiva’s latest effort features four tracks, beginning with the lead single “Road To Ruin.” An upbeat, infectious indie pop song, it sets the scene for the band’s more sophisticated musical direction. “After venturing out of our individual comfort zones, and opening our minds to new ideas, we've found our stride in the writing process and have become so connected with one another when developing our music,” says Wiedel. The songs reflect the group’s varied musical influences and the sense of cohesiveness they continue to develop.

Captiva was recorded at Temple Sounds—produced, mixed, and mastered by Jeremy Wilson.
 

--Michelle Bacon 

   

Artist of the Month: The Old No. 5s

Congratulations to our current Artist of the Month, The Old No. 5s! A compelling power trio, the group has made its name known in the blues scene over the past 3 years. The musicianship among guitar/vocalist Brock Alexander, drummer Aaron Thomas (the two have been playing together for almost 10 years), and bassist Derek Tucker is apparent on the band’s latest album, Steam, and at their dynamic live performances. Not willing to be pigeonholed strictly as a blues act, each member brings in his own influences, personalities, and passion, resulting in a ferociously rocking, funk-filled groove.
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music.
 
Brock Alexander: It's kind of a gumbo: roots, rock, blues, soul.
 
Aaron Thomas: Our music is a unification of our individual skill sets, musical pallets, and fan expectations.
 
Derek Tucker: It's a hard, crunchy blues-based shell with an experimental and eclectic gooey center.
 
The Deli: Give me some background info on the band.
 
Brock: We've all played our instruments 15+ years, performing just as long in countless capacities. Aaron and I have played probably 700 shows together since 2006. Derek joined us in January 2013. We've released 2 full-length original albums, toured, done awesome shows, shitty gigs, and everything else in between. But we are still on the hunt for whatever happens next.
 
Aaron: Brock and I have been playing together since college. Derek joined the group early 2012 and we haven’t looked back since.
 
Derek: I can't speak for what happened before me... but I filled in with the 5s a few times before I was offered the position and the immediate thing that struck me was Aaron's approach to groove and where he naturally places emphasis. The three of us together snapped into place instantly and our creative process is much more intuitive than in other projects I've worked in. I still feel that some of our greatest ideas and musical moments come from the three of us just being who we are naturally without trying to force any specific concept.
 
The Deli: What inspires your music and songwriting? What is your songwriting process? Does one person write everything or is it collaborative? Has that process changed in the 4 years you've been a band?
 
Brock: The idea for The Old No. 5s was originally my vehicle to play blues rock music. As we've evolved over 4 or 5 years and become more of an original act, I continue to write the bulk of the material, with Derek adding more and more tunes each record, but the evolution of songs is very much whoever comes into rehearsal with the song ideas gets the main point across and then we just jam them. Play them at shows, try different arrangements, play them until we are tired of them, and then we usually all come back satisfied as individual players and as a group. Every song on the new album was finalized as a group. Which feels cool, because it sounds like us. Not us trying to piece things together, we are just playing.
 
Aaron: I personally take a lot of inspiration from drummers/percussionists that I have studied over the years, but I think in this project, I take most of my inspiration from Brock and Derek. One of them will bring in an idea and we will work together to develop that idea. Giving it form, phrasing, dynamics, and turning it into a working song that we then play at gigs until we start getting reactions from our fans. When we start hearing things like “that new song… ‘Barn Party’… that thing is killer!” We know the song is where it needs to be.
 
Derek: This last record was very collaborative compared to Sourmash. The three of us have very strong, independent personalities, and the writing process for Steam was a great learning experience for us on to how to write together. We consciously made the decision to all be very active with input and ideas and I believe the record is much stronger for it. Each one of us comes from very different perspectives, experiences, and preferences in style and it's the amalgam of compromises we make, added to our intuitive cohesion, that manifests itself in the current 5s experience. There's an obvious evolution from Sourmash to Steam and personally I'm excited to see who and what we become with the next record. We don't put down parameters we have to fit inside as a group, and the courage to operate in such a manner while still being commercially relevant is one of the things about the 5s I'm the most proud of.
 
The Deli: What have been your greatest musical accomplishments?
 
Brock: Surviving. A lot of people try to achieve success at varying levels, but when you get down to it, I think we are happy to have found a positive outlet to play music, be original and creative to ourselves, and continue to improve every year in our ambitions.
 
Aaron: As a band I’d say the biggest accomplishment is a consistently full calendar every month. We’ve been to the International Blues Competition, we’ve done the King of The Roots thing, but nothing that makes you feel more accomplished than playing 130+ gigs a year on average. Personally though, finding myself on a beach, knee deep in the Gulf of Mexico after spending the previous night in a minivan stuck on a one-lane bridge in Kentucky. We got stuck in a blizzard that dropped 4 feet of snow on either side of our van on the way to play a festival in Bonita Springs, Florida. For me, the best accomplishments in life are when you work through conflict to achieve your goals. The sand feels a little more amazing under your feet when you and two of your best friends are always striving to be the best they can be as artists.
 
Derek: Steam, hands down. We took a lot of risks with the way we approached this record. Working together to consciously evolve was, at times, strenuous and stressful, but we didn't just want to put out just 12 more songs in compact disc form and call it a record. This album is a testament to the three of us growing as people, friends, and musicians, and the performing and songwriting on the record reflects that. There's a depth to Steam that speaks to who we were, who we are, and who we are going to become, and I don't feel like that's always a common thing in the modern era of music.
 
The Deli: Tell us about your latest album Steam. What can listeners expect? What future plans do you have for getting your music out there?
 
Brock: I would say it’s very diverse. Lots of rock, blues, but also lots of soul and pop. It's tough to pigeonhole it, because it really is pretty different tune to tune. I think our main goal with our music is to simply get it into as many ears as possible. Whether that be live or via the Internet or telepathy.
 
Derek: As far as getting our music out there, we're still approaching this with the tried and true method of building awareness, one new fan at a time. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities people have to hear what we are doing and respond favorably. We gig a lot, and we're slowly making further and further trips away from our home base. Everything we do is in house, from booking to merch design, and while DIY can be taxing at times, it allows us to be 100% who we are. That's important to us as a unit.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
 
Brock: I think it simply means you value the main stage acts like Taylor Swift or Tool as much as the guy or girl playing on a weeknight for 12 people. Really, what's the difference if it sounds good?
 
Aaron: Supporting local music is partly financial, partly attentive, but mostly social. When asked to “support” music, I think a lot of people immediately think of having to part with their hard-earned money. I won’t lie—we all have bills to pay. But the most important part about supporting local music is being enthusiastic and outspoken about your favorite bands, artists, and shows. Fifty years ago, music was a social experience. One could argue that it still is today, but it’s nowhere near what it was in its prime. Music has become a more private experience. Rarely do you hear about 5 friends hanging around their stereo at home jamming out to the new [insert your favorite band here] record. Most people have earbuds in. Music is purchased alone, at home, electronically. If music is social, it’s while riding in a car with friends, or at a show with a group of people. Being social in your local music scene connects you with the most creative, talented, interesting people in any city on this planet. Personally, supporting local music is about sharing my enthusiasm for what I do, with the people I am around.
 
Derek: We're usually on the receiving end of support here locally and I can say that, being a transplant to the KC area, the amount of interest in live music I see here is encouraging. One of my favorite parts of moving here has been getting involved in the musical community and I love how vibrant and varied (not to mention talented) it is.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now? Non-local?
 
Brock: The Sheepdogs, Dawes, and Ryan Adam's Taylor Swift album 1989.
 
Aaron: WOW!!! Locally I feel like I could write a book, but I have a special place in my heart for a few specific people. Pat Adams, Todd Strait, Keith (Big Poppa) Mallory, Chris Hazelton, Todd Wilkinson, Nick Rowland, Adam Hagerman, and of course, Derek and Brock. As far as local bands go, because we play most evenings, it’s hard to get out to see other groups. But the last band I saw that really blew me away in terms of being the whole package—musicianship, skill, content, and showmanship, etc—was My Brothers and Sisters. I could not sit still. I dig The Nace Brothers, Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7, and Matt Hopper’s trio with Kevin Frazee on drums. Nationally, the list of drummer I follow reads like a dissertation. But the short list would be Carter Beauford, JoJo Mayer (Nerve), Terreon Gully, Todd Sucherman, Bill Stewart, Glenn Kotche, Steve Smith, and Robert “Sput” Searight. My list of bands is also unending. But if I had to pick one, it will forever and always be Tower of Power. 
 
Derek: Bandwise, there are too many to, list. There are so many fantastic acts coming up in KC right now that I honestly couldn't pick favorites. As far as players, I'll say that bass players like Paul Greenlease and Jacque Garoutte are perfect examples of always playing the right notes in the right groove all the time. Dylan Reiter's creativity on bass knows no bounds and I'm constantly trying to emulate his approach and feel. On drums, the three guys I'm always excited to play with are Aaron Thomas, Adam Watson, and Adam Hagerman. There are so many guitarists and vocalists I love that I can't list them all, but Sean McDonnell, Jake Koivisto, Dave Hays, and Brock are cats that always stand out to me on guitar. As far as non-local acts are concerned, the bands I'm constantly listening to are The Main Squeeze, Snarky Puppy, Umphrey's Mcgee, and the Neville Brothers' Live On Planet Earth is a primer for funking it right.
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
 
Brock: I'd really love to jam with Doyle Bramhall II or Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes. As far as a favorite concert bill, I'd play with anyone who'd have me. Lumping it into bills would be a drag.
 
Aaron: It would be a festival. Soulive, The Old No. 5s, Lettucem Norah Jones, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Galactic, Snarky Puppy.
 
Derek: It would never happen, but Tool, Elton John, Phish, The Main Squeeze, Snarky Puppy, Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood, Peter Gabriel, YES, and Soulive. But we would have to go first at that festival, because my head would explode at some point.
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
 
Brock: John Lennon: ‘Cause your ambition should far exceed your abilities.
Jimi Hendrix: 'Cause... it's Jimi.
Jack Kerouac: ‘Cause he is my spirit animal.
Johnny Depp: ‘Cause we share birthdays.
 
Aaron: Buddy Rich: NOBODY… plays like Buddy. Buddy died before I was old enough to see him in concert, but this is a man that inspired generations to the drums. Always striving to better himself, and those around him, he had high expectations for everyone.
Levon Helm: I mean… do I need to explain this?
John Coltrane: Coltrane is a pop culture icon, but not everybody understands what he brought to the music world. John was a major contributor to the deep understanding of improvisation and the birth of bebop/modern jazz. This man knew his classics, as well as he invented the future. John was influential to all the jazz musicians who followed in his giant-steps. A man who touches music like that, has to go on my mountain.
John Williams: Before I get yelled at, I realize Williams is primarily a composer and conductor, and is best known for his film score compositions. But if you really put his entire career into perspective, you can’t help but to realize that this guy should be on everyone’s list!!! 22 Grammys, 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award, 2004 Kennedy Center Honors, conductor of the Boston Pops, SIX DECADES and is still working!!! THIS GUY is “living the dream.” I mean… watching any of his movies with no music score. Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List, Superman, the list goes on and on.
 
Derek: James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, and Rocco Prestia. In my opinion, their combined brilliance is what defines the epitome of bass guitar playing.
 
The Deli: What other goals do you have for 2016 and beyond?
 
Brock: We wanna write another album and get it out faster than we did the last layover. I think we would like to release a Christmas EP next year. Ultimately, I hope we continue to grow, evolve, and create.
 
Derek: To keep living the dream and expanding the horizon. I feel positive about our trajectory and I'm really excited to see what is to come. One of my favorite things about the 5's is the balancing act we do between accessibility and indulgence, and the evolution of that is something that keeps me invigorated and present. I've been with the 5's for 3 years now and I'm nowhere close to bored or complacent. I feel like the three of us have a special chemistry and approach that I've never experienced with any of the many groups I've played with in the past and I can't wait to see what we try to pull off next!
 
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web? Also, provide a link to streaming music and/or video.
 
Brock: You can visit our website for almost all of our info. http://www.oldno5s.com
 
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
 
Brock: Don't be afraid to dream up your reality, and then work to make that dream real. It's crazy to think that people can and are affected by your music. And really that's all the inspiration a musician needs.
 
Derek: Cheese tastes good! Years ago I was showing a song to a friend and was worried that some of the ideas were too "cheesy.” He looked right at me and uttered those words with a gravitas that implied wisdom from the universe. For some reason that has always stuck with me.
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 

The Old No. 5s will be playing at Coda next Wednesday for their monthly 5’s + 1 show, where they bring in a special guest. Ben Hoppes will be featured on banjo this month.