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Keller Williams released his first album in 1994, FREEK, and has since given each of his albums a single syllable title: BUZZ, SPUN, BREATHE, LOOP, LAUGH, HOME, DANCE, STAGE, GRASS, DREAM, TWELVE, LIVE, ODD, THIEF, KIDS, BASS, PICK, FUNK, VAPE, SYNC and RAW, those who have followed his career will know this. Each title serves as a concise summation of the concept guiding each project. GRASS, for example, is a bluegrass recording cut with the husband-wife duo The Keels. STAGE is a live album and DREAM is the realization of Keller’s wish to collaborate with some of his musical heroes. THIEF is a set of unexpected cover songs, KIDS offers Keller’s first children’s record, PICK presents Keller’s collaboration with royal bluegrass family The Travelin’ McCourys, and RAW is a solo acoustic album. Each album showcases Keller’s comprehensive and diverse musical endeavors and functions to provide another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Keller Williams. Keller’s collaborative and solo albums reflect his pursuit to create music that sounds like nothing else. Unbeholden to conventionalism, he seamlessly crosses genre boundaries. The end-product is astounding and novel music that encompasses rock, jazz, funk, and bluegrass, and always keeps the audience on their feet.
Since he first appeared on the scene in the early ’90s, Williams has defined the term independent artist. And his recordings tell only half the story. Keller built his reputation initially on his engaging live performances, no two of which are ever alike. For most of his career he has performed solo. His stage shows are rooted around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs, while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. With the use of today’s technology, Keller creates samples on the fly in front of the audience, a technique called live phrase sampling or looping, with nothing pre-recorded, the end result often leans toward a hybrid of alternative folk and groovy electronica. A genre Keller jokingly calls “acoustic dance music” or "ADM".
That approach, Williams explains, was derived from “hours of playing solo with just a guitar and a microphone, and then wanting to go down different avenues musically. I couldn’t afford humans and didn’t want to step into the cheesy world of automated sequencers where you hit a button and the whole band starts to play, then you’ve got to solo along or sing on top of it. I wanted something more organic yet with a dance groove that I could create myself.”
Williams’ solo live shows—and his ability to improvise to his determinedly quirky tunes despite the absence of an actual band—quickly became the stuff of legend, and his audience grew exponentially when word spread about this exciting, unpredictable performer. Once he began releasing recordings, starting with 1994’s FREEK, Williams was embraced by an even wider community of music fans, particularly the jam band crowd. While his live gigs have largely been solo affairs, Williams has nearly always used his albums as a forum for collaborations with fellow musicians. An alliance with The String Cheese Incident on 1999’s BREATHE marked Williams’ first release on the band’s label SCI Fidelity Records, DREAM, Keller’s 2007 release, found him in the company of such iconic musicians as the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, banjo master Béla Fleck, bass great Victor Wooten, American musician/poet Michael Franti and many others.
“That album took, from start to release time,” says Williams, “about three years. The object was to get people that I admire musically to play my stuff, so when I’m old I can crank this album in my pimped-out golf cart and have something that I’m really proud of. I was going for the historical effect for my own personal listening pleasure.
“Each record,” he continues, “is a little snapshot of history. I like to think of it as a period piece for an artist. Each record is a little bit different but all of them have some kind of common thread, which is my musical ability as far as I can take it. I enjoy making records. In some people’s eyes, they’re a dying breed, but I’m very passionate about it. They document where my head is at that time in my career and where I am in my songwriting.”
Williams’ story begins in Fredericksburg, Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C. There he was exposed to a wide variety of music at an early age, starting with country and bluegrass and working his way up through hip-hop and go-go, a brand of funk particular to that part of the country. Once he began playing guitar, Williams’ sphere expanded to what he calls “the post-pseudo-skateboarder punk-rock rebellious type of thing, Black Flag and Sex Pistols and Ramones, Dead Kennedys, things like that. That slid into the more melodic college rock, like the Cure and the Cult, the Smiths, R.E.M.’s first five or six records.”
Then came the Grateful Dead, a seminal influence on Williams’ own music. “I studied and learned their music and went to the shows,” he says, adding that the impact of Jerry Garcia on his attitude toward music remains incalculable. Another major influence was Michael Hedges, the late virtuoso acoustic guitarist. “He was really excelling in a whole different world from what I knew,” says Williams.
After relocating to Colorado, further exposure to bluegrass music and progressive acoustic artists such as Béla Fleck and the Flecktones also had a major impression on Williams. As he began to develop his own distinctive compositional and performing style, Williams incorporated all of the lessons he’d learned from the long list of artists who’d found their way into his world, then filtered their music through his own experiences until something wholly unique emerged. The list of artists whose music he has covered either in concert or on his recordings constitutes a mind-blowing spread: songs originally performed by everyone from Pink Floyd and Ozzy Osbourne to Ani DiFranco and old-school rappers the Sugar Hill Gang!
When he first started out, Williams played in regional bands but also performed as a solo artist, “me sitting on a stool playing covers, like a happy hour situation,” he says. “I’d get dinner and maybe tips. There were bands in high school and in college. But it turned out I could get the same money playing solo that I was getting with the band. Around that time I was also doing temporary jobs and I was making the same amount playing music as I was scraping mortar out of the cracks of cinder block walls for eight hours in the summertime at minimum wage. So it seemed like the obvious choice was to play music. I started to work and over the years I incorporated more technology. The looping thing started to happen and tickets were sold and people came to shows, so there wasn’t any reason to fix something that wasn’t broken.”
What Williams calls “the looping thing” is actually a big part of what has made him such a compelling live performer. “Basically, I have these machines that are essentially delay units,” he explains. “What I do is step on a button and sing or play something. Then I step on the same button in time and it repeats what I just played or sang. Once that initial loop is created, I can layer on a bass line or a drum line and then have this layer that I just created in front of an audience that I could sing over and solo over. Nothing is pre-recorded. Everything is created onstage in front of the audience.”
If it sounds complicated, it is: but the basic thrust is that the technology has allowed Williams to go out on tour week after week, year after year, and play music by himself—without limiting his sound to what we most often associate with the solo singer-songwriter: a guy strumming a guitar and singing. With his arsenal of tech toys, Williams can expand his reach onstage by, in essence, jamming with himself.
As years have gone by and Keller has continued to evolve he has created more and more unique projects and collaborations with fellow musicians. In 2007 Keller formed a band of his own, Keller Williams with Moseley, Droll and Sipe which featured Keller on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jeff Sipe on drums, Keith Moseley on bass and Gibb Droll on lead guitar. After touring throughout 2007 - 2008, they subsequently released a double live record with a companion DVD, in true Keller Williams fashion, it’s called Live.
The summer of 2010 found Keller sharing a bus with two of his biggest heroes, former Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, as a member of their powerhouse assemblage the Rhythm Devils. “That was a very surreal experience,” Williams says. “We rehearsed for a few days and then we were on a bus with 12 people, two of them being the original drummers from the Grateful Dead.” On that tour, Williams was put in the enviable position of singing many songs from the Grateful Dead catalog for audiences that loved every minute of it. Inspired by this experience and his admiration for The Grateful Dead, Keller added two Grateful Dead projects to his repertoire: Grateful Grass and Grateful Gospel. With an ever revolving cast of Jam, Bluegrass, and Gospel musicians, Grateful Grass and Grateful Gospel have become fan favorites and festival staples. Keller’s Grateful Grass tunes can be heard on two live digital releases, REX and DOS. Keller’s guests on these recordings include: Jeff Austin (Jeff Austin Band), Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), Michael Kang (String Cheese Incident), Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green), The Keels and many more.Following the Grateful Dead theme, keller also released KEYS, a digital only release on which Keller is at the piano singing a collection of Dead tunes. All three of these releases donate proceeds to the Grateful Dead’s Rex Foundation.
Williams has also toured as part of a string trio with fellow Virginians, singer/guitarist Larry Keel and his wife, singer/bassist Jenny Keel, dubbed Keller and the Keels. You can find them hitting key stops on the bluegrass festival circuit playing songs from their two releases GRASS AND THIEF.
If it seems as if this is a man who never stops, that would be about right. Keller released the amusingly titled THIEF—his all-covers project with the Keels—early in 2010, and KIDS, his sixteenth album, in the fall of that same year. A father of two himself, Williams was, of course, inspired by his own offspring but, he says, some of the songs were written before his children were born. “When Not For Kids Only by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman came out, I knew that there was hope for me with kids music,” he says. “I was really attached to that record.” The songwriting for Kids, Keller says, “was not necessarily singing to the kids. A lot of it was me singing from the perspective of the kids. That was my plan, to get on their wavelength, on their level, and be one of them, so it’s kind of like one of their friends singing to them.”
In 2011, BASS found the multi-instrumentalist only playing bass guitar. BASS was also the first album to be recorded with Keller’s live reggae-funk band Kdubalicious, which in addition to Keller on bass and vocals, features Jay Starling on keyboards and Mark D on drums. On the other end of the spectrum – but just as tasty – is Keller’s 2012 release PICK. This collaboration featuring Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys is a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts—although the parts are rather massive on their own, to be sure. “Performing with The Travelin’ McCourys is one of my favorite things to do in the world,” Keller explains. “This project has struck a special chord with me [pun intended]. It is very addictive.”
Indeed, Keller always enjoys working with a band. For 2013 he stepped out with a new muse, a 6-piece funk band dubbed More Than a Little. Williams drew from the Richmond, VA R&B/gospel scene including a pair of show stealing female singers. FUNK – a sexy live recording that pays deep homage to the genre’s roots, Keller style – hit the streets in November 2013 and More than a Little made its way around the country becoming a festival staple all their own.
Early 2015 found Keller back in the studio working on his 20th release, VAPE. While mainly a solo endeavor, it does feature a few special guests such as Sampson Grisman, John Kadlecik and a track with the Travelin’ McCourys. In Keller’s own words “Imagine taking these songs and blowing high pressured life through them in a low pressured atmosphere. Out comes highly concentrated music that can be heated up and inhaled through your ears...Vape”.
In 2016, Keller assembled yet another band, Keller Williams’ KWahtro. KWahtro, featuring Gibb Droll, Danton Boller and Rodney Holmes, toured the country throughout the winter and fall of 2016. The first KWahtro album, SYNC will be released in January of 2017. According to Keller, SYNC began as acoustic dance music but with the help of Droll, Boller and Holmes and special guests Mike Dillon and The Accidentals, the album “morphed into a type of acoustic acid jazz that draws on imagery in both the lyrics and the music.”
As if one album release wasn’t enough for 2017, Keller’s first all solo acoustic album, RAW, will also be released in January of 2017. Keller started working on RAW in 2011 but got sidetracked by a number of other projects that began to take form. It was when Keller’s 2017 winter tour, Shut the Folk Up and Listen with Leo Kottke, started to take form, that he jumped back into it and completed the album. For Keller this album and tour represent his roots; all solo acoustic guitar and vocals, no looping, pedals or bands.
Two albums at once, why not! Something different. That, we can assume, is how it will always be with Keller Williams.
Nick and Jay
When Nick Piccininni was 14 or 15 years old, he was a quiet, conservative, shy kid running the bluegrass festival circuit all summer with his banjo. Enter Jason Barady. The opposite of shy, Barady quickly introduced himself to Nick with mandolin in hand. An unlikely pair with their very different backgrounds, they soon found that musically they worked well together. Jay's influences being artists such as Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and Sam Bush, his sound was something very different from what Nick had been exposed to.
Over the years the two kept in touch, eventually forming "Floodwood" with two members from the band Moe. and Jason's bass player from a previous band. In Floodwood, Jay & Nick have embraced more and more their musical differences and the two have become a sort of "Ying & Yang". It is their brother-like competitiveness and sense of humor, mixed with a simple, undying love for music that keeps their showmanship fresh and engaging to their audience.
Whether they're at festivals, bars, restaurants or the porch of an Inn, this duo always brings the dynamics and power of a full band. Always listening to what the other is playing, the same songs take on new life every time. Anyone who has seen these two play can tell you why it works and the reason is simple...
Nick Piccininni & Jason Barady are music fans.
Purchase tickets here.
Purchase tickets here.
Central New York's finest Roots Rock Soul Reggae Party! Root SHOCK was formed in winter of 2012 with veteran musicians whose love of Reggae music flows deep. Bringing Roots Reggae, Dancehall, Heavy Drum and Bass and Soulful Vocals into positive dance music that makes you want to move, combined with the funk and rock beats of opener Skunk City.
This is a FREE live music event!
Our boys of The Ramblin' Brooks are taking the stage once again!
This jam-friendly hard-hitting Rock’n’Roll quintet is fresh on the Central NY music scene but their sound is far more seasoned, familiar and well traveled. And for good reason. The RAMBLIN’ BROOKS was formed just over a year ago by recent transplant and troubadour Adam Brooks Dudding (5 independent albums and multiple national tours to his credit already–see below) along with award-winning local musicians Brendan O’Connor Drums, Alex Lavon Bass, Colin Nevison Keys, Zach Collins Guitar. This group of talented performers and long-time members of regional darlings Rabbit In The Rye (Brendan, Alex) and Son Bully/Same Blood Folk (Zach, Colin, Brendan) are joining forces, stretching out and having a blast rehearsing, performing and writing together. It shows. The RAMBLIN’ BROOKS are already drawing crowds and conjuring comparisons to classic groups like The Band, Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers and Wilco while on stage.
Recently the band recorded new material at SubCat Studios in Syracuse, NY and they plan on sharing singles off their upcoming debut EP as early as Spring 2017. Currently The RAMBLIN’ BROOKS are booking performances for the Summer and Fall to help promote their studio debut and entertain live music fans longing to move, groove and be moved.
Purchase tickets here.
We're so excited to host the 3rd Annual Hop Harvest Smoke Out at The Yard. This year's headliner is Turkuaz, who will be joined by Cassidy Lynn, The Ramblin' Brooks, the Chris Merkley Band, Jay&Nick or Nick&Jay, and Chris Eves and The New Normal.
The restaurant will be CLOSED all day but we will be selling barbeque and drinks outside throughout the event. There will also be a number of other vendors on-site.
Mosher Farms will be joining us with a variety of hops to wet and dry hop your favorite beer with! We'll also be breaking out some specialty beers to round out the festivities.
The event is family-friendly and open to all ages! You will need a ticket to get into The Yard, so grab one from the link above or at the door day of.
Stay tuned for more details on show times, vendors and specialty beers, coming soon!
Turkuaz is a 9-piece “Powerfunk” outfit from Brooklyn, NY, whose modern take on the classic funk sound has established them as leaders in the funk revolution that’s currently taking place in the genre. Blending elements of Pop, R&B, and Soul with their distinct aggressive funk core, Turkuaz sounds like the musical love child of Sly & the Family Stone and Talking Heads.
With the release of their album Digitonium, Turkuaz’s sound is more accessible than ever and poised to break out to a more mainstream audience. With a playful feel that evokes the best of 80s dance music, Turkuaz’s tightly arranged songs are built on thick grooves, driven by powerhouse rhythm and horn sections, as well as four distinct vocalists.
The group’s constant coast-to-coast touring since 2012 has earned them a passionate and dedicated national fan base that’s consistently growing. A dance band at their roots, Turkuaz’s live shows are high-energy, floor-shaking, visually appealing events filled with colorful clothing and choreographed dance moves that always leave attendees wanting more.
Turkuaz’s crossover appeal has never been more evident-- from a recent video performance going viral and receiving over 2 million Facebook views, to their music providing the soundtrack to New York Knicks games at Madison Square Garden, to constant rotation on Sirius XM Radio, Turkuaz is, as Relix Magazine says, “on the verge.”
Ryan Montbleau has been an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and bandleader for more than a decade, but with his new album I Was Just Leaving the New England-based artist has truly arrived. Contemplative and richly emotive, the album offers a glimpse into the often-lonesome life of the relentlessly traveling troubadour, a strikingly single-minded existence too often clouded by the blur of constant motion. Recorded at New Orleans’ Esplanade Studios over four days in January 2016 with producer Anders Osborne and engineer/mixer Mark Howard (known for his work with such icons as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young, and U2), the album marks Montbleau’s first full length release in the wake of a series of seismic personal shifts. Songs like “Bright Side” and the touching title track reveal a uniquely blessed artist who has truly found his voice, his gift for melody and a remarkably open-armed approach.
“There’s no part of this record that I am unsure of,” Montbleau says. “All the juice of the last fifteen years is in there. My humanity and my heart are on this record.”
Montbleau has been among America’s finest songwriters and performers, earning national attention and a fervent fan following with songs like “75 and Sunny” and his breakthrough cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” the latter a Spotify smash with total streams now in excess of 14 million.
After twelve years on the road Montbleau found himself at a crossroads in 2016. “Within a very short time, my world got flipped around. My partner was gone, my band of ten years was gone, my friends were all far away. The one thing I had was a career, because it turns out that was all I had worked on. When the dust settled, I realized I didn’t really have much of a home life.”
“I thought all along that I had been building a home but it turned out I was just leaving. That’s where the title of the song and the record came from. So many raw feelings were just aching through me at that point. Eventually they vibrated out through the guitar, through singing. I had to sing these songs.”
An artist’s artist, Montbleau has collaborated with such diverse performers as Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic. His association with Anders Osborne extends back to 2012 when the New Orleans-based singer/songwriter/guitarist played on Ryan’s Ben Ellman-produced FOR HIGHER alongside such fellow Big Easy icons as Ivan Neville and The Meters’ George Porter, Jr. Two years later, Anders and Ryan reconnected on the road backstage at a festival. The seeds were planted for a collaboration.
Montbleau’s guitar playing and vocals are both front and center on I Was Just Leaving, with Osborne accompanying on drums, percussion, bass, guitar, and harmonica, each used simply and sparsely for maximum effect. Osborne and Howard built upon that same goal, creating space and capturing rawness by utilizing as many early takes as possible.
“Bright Side,” the album’s first single, is perhaps the song most emblematic of Montbleau’s growth as both a human being and artist. At once finely etched and strikingly direct, “Bright Side” is an ideal distillation of his approach to songwriting, balancing multiple shades of emotional nuance with a fearless, unfettered sentimentality that ultimately leads to a greater truth.
I Was Just Leaving marks a singular milestone for Ryan Montbleau, the moment in which this exceptional singer, songwriter, and performer has blossomed into a fully matured artist.
“I’ve been planting these seeds for so long and it has all led up to this moment. It feels like finally the fruits of all my efforts are coming out. I’m still working hard but there’s an ease to what’s happening. I have a career that I’ve built, that I’ve earned. Now what’s fun is putting out the best music I can and seeing what happens.”
One part sound of the ocean, one part call of the mountains and one part roar of the highway, the words and music of Alyssa Rose will evoke all the senses. Her music will touch your heart, make you smile, and soothe your soul. This self-taught rising star from Upstate NY will bring to mind a blend of Bonnie Raitt, Brandi Carlile, Tristan Prettyman and Joni Michell. She recently finished recording her first EP, Tumbleweed, at SubCat Studios in Syracuse, NY. Pre-sale copies will be available on her tour from New York to Arizona this summer and will be available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and more on August 8, 2017.
Purchase tickets here.
Whether on the festival circuit, performing at jam favorites like Gathering of The Vibes, Wakarusa, Camp Bisco, and Closer to the Sun, or sharing the stage at sold out shows with some of their diverse influences including Slightly Stoopid, The Wailers, Fishbone, and Michael Franti, reggae/rock/dubtronica band Roots of Creation (RoC) offer up a high-energy, infectious experience. Recognized as a Top 20 artist on the Relix/Jamband radio chart, a festival staple, and an internationally touring powerhouse, RoC have been awarded “Favorite Jam Band” by Cider Magazine and “Best Band In New Hampshire” by the New England Music Awards. RoC mix their jam-reggae hybrid sound with homegrown roots, guitar-heavy rock, and lead singer/guitarist Brett Wilson’s introspective and conscious laden lyrics.
Named after a Sublime song on the B-Side of the Badfish CD single, Roots of Creation is made up of founding members, guitarist/lead singer Brett Wilson, keyboardist Tal Pearson, and drummer Mike Chadinha. The trio came together at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire where they embraced the state motto, "Live Free or Die," in their music and message. Today the original trio is joined by newest members Billy Kottage (Reel Big Fish) on trombone, rhythm guitar, keys and harmony vocals, Andrew Riordan on saxophone, synth and harmony vocals, and Nick Minicucci on bass guitar.
Another killer free show at The Yard!
Gang of Thieves is:
Michael Reit - Lead vocals / Electric Violin
Nick Wood - Guitar / Vocals
Nate Reit - Trombone / Vocals
Tobin Salas - Bass
Taylor Whipple - Drums
Gang of Thieves will make you believe in Rock n' Roll again. High energy and an unforgettable live performance is the hallmark of these Vermont funk rockers, who fuse a new breed of rock and roll with a vibrant instrumentation to create a powerful sound palatable to audiences of all ages. The key to the Gang's universal appeal is their infectious sense of fun and showmanship, delivered with a message that inspires and encourages positivity. Featuring an electric violin and one man horn section, the Gang blends a variety of genres into catchy tunes anyone can sing or dance along to.
¡Viva Mayhem! is an 8-piece high-energy avant-garde ska/punk band out of Ithaca, New York.
Purchase tickets here.
Funk hip-hop quartet from the East Coast.
Mike Davis and the Laughing Buddha Episode
"The Laughing Buddha Episodes are the garden of my soul in music form." With Mike at the helm, his flowing cast of LBE Family includes: mainstay and African tribe Bobby Tousignant (ask him about the 60's), funk commander and jazz devil Tom Westcott, the keytar stylings of the Reverend Mike Melnyk, John "Is That a bass in yo pocket?" Jones, David Burch (pianist from Marky Mark and the funky bunch), Mark "Don't call me Funky Bitch" Sherwood, and an infinite smorgasbord of the yet-manifested.
This is a FREE live music event!
The Spring Street Family Band
We are a family, none of us by blood but our brotherhood is strong. We all have had different upbringings and different musical backgrounds, but have found a common ground through the music we like to create, willingness to have a good time and openness to the beauty/tragedy around us. We are an original band who knows how to work in covers to embrace our surroundings. Come be a part of the magic that we call The Spring Street Family
Central New York's finest Roots Rock Soul Reggae Party! Root SHOCK was formed in winter of 2012 with veteran musicians whose love of Reggae music flows deep. Bringing Roots Reggae, Dancehall, Heavy Drum and Bass and Soulful Vocals into positive dance music that makes you want to move.
West End Blend
Since their conception, Funk/Soul band West End Blend has been playing their version of Funk and Soul in venues all over the Northeast. Fronted by vocalist Erica Bryan, the band pays homage to classic throwback sounds while adding their own distinct vibe and flair. Behind her, the Blend packs a four-piece horn section, two guitars, bass, keyboards and drums onto stages every night. From humble beginnings in an epic sweaty funky basement dance party, the Blend’s goal has always been to bring that same atmosphere to every show ever since.
The Blend released their debut full length record, “Rewind”, in the Fall of 2015. The album was recorded at Telefunken Studios with Grammy Award winning engineer, Brendan Morawski. Alongside their album release, West End Blend shared the stage with Turkuaz, Break Science, Kung Fu, Twiddle, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, The Nth Power, The Motet and countless others Jam/Funk staples throughout 2015-2016. On September 28th, 2016 the Blend released their latest EP “Say Hey!” as they embarked on their Fall Tour across the Northeast. Throughout their Fall tour they shared the stage with Dopapod, The Nth Power, Turkuaz, Hayley Jane & The Primates, Deep Banana Blackout and more.
The Main Squeeze
The Main Squeeze, with deep musical roots sprouted in the Midwest, have scored their lives at each twist and curve. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release “Without a Sound” illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles.
If maturity comes with experience, “Without a Sound” reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Jane’s Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.
The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is “soulful, powerful, and unique” (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: “Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set.”
These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze’s true focus will always be to “strive to reach people” through their beat loving heart in their music. “We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it’s only just the beginning” (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: “Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step.”
The beats on “Without A Sound” are plentiful and it is balanced with emotion, a mix of vocals, and instrumentation of the band. Their vibe is simultaneously timeless and futuristic as they are inspired by the greats, yet have found a way to infuse their own genius into the mix.
The Main Squeeze appeals to your head, heart and body.
This is a FREE live music event!
Cassidy Lynn grew up touring the Upstate NY area and we're proud to have her back at RBQ again this summer! When she made the move to Nashville in 2008, she did so with a loyal following in tact unlike any other. Each summer she comes back for a short while to share new songs, original and otherwise, updates from Nashville, and to create new memories with a dedicated crowd.
Fresh off of her first house concert tour that took her all over the country this spring, her debut music video "Loser" spinning on CMT and backed by local musicians, her Tuneshine Boys, we can't wait to see what she has in store! Cassidy mixes the simplicity of classic country music and the honest lyrics of her own life stories into one sweet contemporary sound.
Mike Powell left the Town of Champion in 2001 and went on to Syracuse University where, in four years, he became the most decorated college lacrosse player in the history of the sport.
After college, despite being the number one draft pick in both professional lacrosse leagues, Mike declined the offers to play professionally and instead packed up his guitar and hit the road to play music in coffee shops and folk houses all over the American west. He is an open-chested free spirit and an absolute prolific writer with over 200 songs already in his arsenal.
His words are honest and his performances are captivating, intimate, and interactive. His powerful silky voice is oozing with blue eyed soul. He somehow blends folk with soul and country to create a sound that is as unique as his personality.
Annie in The Water
Annie in the Water is a high-energy jam group that blends blues, hip-hop, funk, rock, reggae and bluegrass to deliver a unique sound and an unforgettable performance. Their style started five years ago, and it continues to evolve with every show. With a multitude of genres, elusive electronic tones and elaborate looping Annie in the Water has bridged a fan base between younger and older generations-they capture their audience, and bring a great time to any environment that they are a part of.
Powerful, dynamic originals and their ability to render Top 20 Hits into their own sharp acoustic style are only two of the elements that create a show that you will not see anywhere else… Founding members Brad Hester and Michael Lashomb continue to write, record, film and produce original music daily. Lucas Singleton helps develop the sound, and take Annie in the Water grooves to new places… Vibrant lyrics, energetic vocal harmonies, incredible lead guitar, driving percussion, a capella and exciting vocal and instrumental improvisation all help define the sound and the entertainment that they offer.
Annie in the Water is a widely popular name in the Northeast. Continuous touring has built up fans and created requests for shows at a network of venues stretching from New York City to Albany, throughout the Adirondack Park tourism and ski communities, across Central New York and into the 1,000 Islands. They continue to headline local festivals, and The Lake Placid Olympic Regional Development Authority continues to book Annie in the Water as the main attraction for a variety of events.
With tours through the states of New York, Maine, Vermont, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colordo and Wyoming their social media network provides quantitative proof that Annie in the Water's sound resonates across the country and that their fan base spans worldwide.
The Tyler Pearce Project
The Tyler Pearce Project is an energetic soulful pop/rock band from Rochester, N.Y. The project grew from solo singer-songwriter, Tyler Pearce, who brings soul and power in her honest voice and relatable lyrics, which is often compared to Alanis Morisette and Hozier.
Tyler released a solo EP More Than Life (2013) and performed in solo, duo and trio capacities, before deciding the full band sound, energy and shared experience was the real calling. As a yoga instructor, she felt passionate about getting people dancing and moving in their bodies; as well as the power of music to bring listeners into the present moment and connected to their senses.
Since creating a band in 2014, she and the project have played 200+ shows and festivals around the Northeast, including stops in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The band is full of energy, sinking you into beat-driven grooves and hip moves, inspired by the likes of Grace Potter and Michael Franti.
In 2016, the TPP released full band singles "This Is Me," "Don't Say" and "Patience", currently getting radio airplay in upstate NY. With an album slated for 2017, the Project emphasizes big drums, creative guitar riffs and heavy bass behind Tyler's soulful vocals. You can expect a high energy live performance and captivating visual as well from the Tyler Pearce Project.
Adam Ezra Group, The Old Main at The Yard @ Ray Brothers Barbeque
Purchase tickets here.
It’s difficult to impart the roots-steeped, road-trippin' essence of the Adam Ezra Group into a single word, but frontman Adam Ezra nonetheless keeps one in mind as something of a mantra: community.
To the musicians at the heart of AEG, community is epitomized by a belief they all share, one that has long doubled as a mission statement for the group: namely, that making music together is itself a form of grassroots organizing, capable of nothing less than changing the world.
That Ezra and his bandmates hold sacred such an inclusive approach to their craft helps explain the gathering storm of an album that is “Hurricane Wind,” one of AEG’s most ambitious undertakings to date. Not only fan-funded, but also fan-produced, the project finds the broader AEG fan community playing a role in every step of the process from inception to its impending release on May 21st.
Such a groundbreaking form of collaboration makes all the sense in the world for a musical collective like AEG. After all, as Ezra sees it, the fans are really part of the band, active members of their movement who’ve always exercised a critical role in AEG’s ability to carry out its mission. This inclusive approach to musicianship, centered about respecting and celebrating their listeners above all else, Ezra insists, is what has allowed the group to explode out of their Boston-area origins to emerge as one of the most uniquely powerful, relentlessly entertaining live-music experiences in the country.
AEG’s grassroots efforts recently caught the eye of John Oates, of Hall & Oates fame. For the past year and a half, Ezra and Oates have been regular writing partners, meeting up in Nashville between tours. Three of their co-writes are featured on the upcoming Adam Ezra Group album, and Oates himself joined Ezra in the studio to sing and play on the album. They performed their first co-written song, "All I Am", live in-studio as an acoustic duet, a process also shared with fans, who were invited along for a virtual tour of the studio as well as granted access to unreleased studio performances.
Last December, AEG galvanized their community partnership by releasing 23 studio demos to fans, including multiple collaborations with Oates. Ezra established an innovative framework through which fans could follow the process of song arrangement and studio tracking, help whittle the album down to just 11 polished final cuts, steer artwork creation, and assist in naming the project itself.
The now-cemented title, “Hurricane Wind,” speaks to an elemental, overpowering force of nature, a quality AEG believes exists in every human being and can be magnified through the unifying power of music.
When the record arrives on May 21, the AEG fanbase will turn the full power of its collective hurricane wind outward, sharing the music for free with as many people as possible over the course of two energized weeks. Such a groundswell of activity wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago; “Hurricane Wind,” to AEG, represents both a celebration and reaffirmation of how remarkably that community has grown.
Even amid ballooning success, Ezra says it’s been not just easy, but natural for AEG to stay dedicated to its mission and true to its humble roots. Perhaps no song sums this up more than a fan favorite, selected to anchor the new album. Called “I Believe,” it’s a gorgeously layered, nakedly emotional ode to the long path they’ve already traveled as a community - and to the wide-open road ahead.
You’ve got a style, that comes on like a hurricane wind,” sings Ezra on the track, backed by a group of musicians all equally engrossed in the material and attuned to its significance.
“You’ve got a spark, that lights the fire that never ends." With his next lines, Ezra speaks not only to the internal maxim that keeps him moving, but also to the enduring force for hope and change that his band has come to symbolize to its ever-swelling fanbase: “And in the times when hope is gone, you give me the strength to carry on - I know the path is long, but I believe.”
The Old Main
Hailing from the foothills of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York, The Old Main has drawn favorable comparisons to bands such as The Avett Brothers ,The Band, and Dawes while retaining a sound and style uniquely their own. They've been called Folk/Rock, Adirondack Folk, foot stomping Folk, alt-Americana, and all sorts of other things. But regardless of the adjective and/or categorization used, they've developed a voice all their own through their high energy live performances and the raw acoustic sound created through their use of acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass, drums, and ringing vocal harmonies.
Seth Becker (guitar/vox) and Nash Robb (stand up bass/vox), formerly of upstate NY favorites The Birdseed Bandits, make up the core of The Old Main while the addition of Mitch Eckler (drums/vox) really fills out their sound.
New York's brand new Phish tribute! An all-star cast of local musicians, Dinner And A Movie brings Phish tunes from all eras and a serious ability to jam. Featuring Chris Eves on guitar, Elliot Jarvis on bass, Jack Jarvis on drums, and Brian Lauri on keys. Check out our events page- we're coming to your town, we'll help you party down!
We've got a killer summer music line-up headed your way, and we're kicking it all off with Zach Deputy on Monday, May 29th at our Second Annual Back Yard BBQ.
The restaurant will be CLOSED this day but vendor food will be available for purchase outside.
Our outdoor bar will be up and running with beer, wine and cider and the bar inside will be fully stocked.
You must have a ticket to enter the Back Yard. Tickets will be available at the door, but you can also pre-purchase them online through Ticketfly using the link below. Pre-purchasing will guarantee you a spot to enjoy Memorial Day at the first of many great shows this season!
Zach Deputy was raised in the South Carolina heat, all cooked up in his Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage. The Calypso rhythms and folk songs of St. Croix competed with the R&B / soul of pioneers like James Brown and Ray Charles for space on the family stereo. As Deputy honed his craft, a unique hybrid of these influences emerged, ultimately creating the signature Zach Deputy sound.
To bring this sound to the stage, the big, impossibly upbeat South Carolinian with the infectious smile puts on a solo show– enhanced by looping technology– that is essentially a one man dance party offering up what he calls "Island-infused, Drum 'n' Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul" to the enthusiastic crowds of dancers who flock to clubs from coast-to-coast. Over 1000 shows in the past 4 years have made Zach Deputy one of the most in-demand performers on the grassroots festival circuit and a big hit on the national club circuit.
The songwriting, acoustic guitar playing and vocals of Charley Orlando mixed with the soulful keys and vocals of Brian Lauri. The sound of Ruha is new and fresh and a total departure from all of the band members other projects. Concentrating on the music and lyrics and not the jam has brought this band to new place in rock music. The songs are driving and catchy with lyrics that speak to the world. Everybody is welcome at a Ruha show. The goal is to Unite people through music.
Nina's Brew is a duo out of Burlington, VT featuring Giovanina Bucci and Mike Brewster, both on guitars and vocals. A blend of original blues and soul music, Nina's Brew brings you a live performance that is dynamic, rich in melodic harmonies, will get your feet moving and leave your heart beating--a listening experience for all.
Chris Merkley has performed over a thousand shows from the streets of Paris to venues through out Europe and across the United States. He has released nine albums with a variety of groups which include song writing duo Merkley & Morgan, acoustic American roots rock band The Crooners, and the swampy blues rock trio of Digger Jones.
In addition to an extensive career of recording and touring, Merkley has composed and produced an extensive catalog of original music for TV and has songs featured in several independent films. In 2008, he created a number of original compositions for HBO's critically acclaimed series, 'Generation Kill' and has since collaborated with Free Man Music and fellow Old Boy artists to compose custom original music for Cinemax, HBO Latino, and Max Latino.
Merkley is currently performing solo, as well as with Merkley & Morgan, The Crooners, and Digger Jones in the New York area. He is also in the process of converting a school bus into an eco-minded tour bus for touring and recording.
A child of the eighties, influenced by the nineties, and a self-declared old soul, Giovanina has been barreling through the music scene gathering influences every step of the way. It was blues for breakfast, lunch and dinner growing up as the youngest of four in her hometown of Plattsburgh, NY. Then she found jazz, hip-hop, folk, soul, funk and the likes in between. She's never stopped listening. And so the inspiration continues to fold in from all directions.
Giovanina has been playing guitar since June of 2001 when she received a 1956 Martin as her high school graduation gift. Singing has been taking shape since she could talk--and thankfully has evolved over time. As a solo performer, her taste is eclectic and her live show varies from gig to gig. Lyrics seem to come more bountifully with age. She is an intimate writer. One who shares personal stories and experiences because writing about the big things just seems, well, too big.
If you think you don't know Tommy Hoe chances are you probably do. Local musician and friend to all that sit near him at the bar. Tommy has been filling Central NY with music and stories for who ever wants to listen. A good friend to Ray Brothers Barbeque we are proud to have him preform. So come on in and get some grub and stay to support one of Central NY longest preforming artists. Hope to see you all here.
Local musician Chris Eves had made quite the name for him self. Former lead guitar and front man for Castle Creek. Chris has been hard at work with all of his new projects. Helping form the band Skunk City out of Syracuse while creating his own Chris Eves band as well as playing with the Syracuse Phish orchestra. Chris is one of the most accomplished and amazing guitar players to come out of central NY. If you get a chance, you don't want to miss him or any of his projects.
Since kicking off her performing career just down the road in Hamilton, NY in the summer of 2015, Alyssa Rose has performed on many stages along the east coast. From bars to house shows to weddings and more recently The Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY, opening for Jackie Greene, she has shared the bits and pieces of her life that she decided to put down on paper and in song.
For some time, Rose was heavily influenced by old country and folk music however after a short-lived chapter in Nashville, she decided to change gears and get back to her roots. She is recreating her sound inspired by influences such as Nicki Bluhm, Bonnie Raitt, Tristan Prettyman and Susan Tedeschi. Her smooth yet smoky alto voice and laid back personality are sure to warm any room.
While Rose has performed many blues nights at Ray Brothers BBQ, this will be her first official show. Come on down for a sneak preview of her soon-to-be released EP, “Tumbleweed” and for a good time!
Lets kick those Monday Blues. Come out for wing night and some music. This week we are having a featured Blues night, with a set by Zach Flights. You don't want to miss it!! We also want to welcome back the original MC of The Monday Blues Night, Zach Collins. So come for the wings and stay for the music.