With plans for knocking out a staggering 40 shows throughout East and West Coast over the next two months, including multi-night runs with buzz bands like Monophonics, Brownout and Shmeens and the Expanded Consciousness, Earphunk is an adept funk five-piece from Louisiana to pay some mind when they visit Colorado. Led by a stack of organs and backed up by fresh soul instrumentation, the quintet’s high energy grooves and feel good sing-a-longs have steadily built out a reputation for being one of New Orleans’ most exciting young acts.
An overt knack for technical improvisation as a complete unite, and individual execution from Christian Gallé on Hammond organ, Michael Comeaux on bass, Michael Matthews on drums and Paul Provosty and Mark Hempe on guitar, allows for the up-and-coming outfit to step outside of the confines that traditional genre boundaries might place on less talented members of the NOLA scene. Whether it’s the borderline syncopating on a breakdown during “The Getdown” from the 2011 release Comin’ Up, the world music beat undertones of “Chanky,” or a surprisingly organic rendition of Daft Punk’s “Da Funk,” these guys have range, chops, and the creativity to explore it in the live setting.
Coming on the heels of a sold out New Year’s Eve show at the Creative Arts Center in New Orleans, Earphunk brings the jam to The Abbey Theater in Durango tonight, before teaming up with jamtronic veterans Particle on the Front Range. Catch them while you can.
Earphunk & Elder Grown, Thurs., Jan. 10, The Abbey Theatre, Durango, 8:00 p.m., $7, abbeytheatre.com
Uncle Lucius at The Abbey in Durango
Rock and roll isn’t dead, that much is for sure, but it can be difficult to find a pure representation of it among the masses of sub-genres, hybrid versions, and reincarnations. Yet every now and then a band that taps into the genesis of the rock and the spirit of the roll emerges from the ether and stands tall among the short comers. Where the Northeast became the touchdown point for rock immigration from Europe, the Southeast flourished with their twangy breed of classic rock. When New York City’s punk movement gracefully faded away, the Seattle grunge scene was there to make its place.
The polarization of music hubs to the coasts has defined the course of rock history, but these days a weird capital city in central Texas called Austin seems to be the test tube for the best artists of the decades old genre. A few of those names are quickly finding household status, but even more are just now climbing out of obscurity into the spotlight. A relatively unknown yet somehow familiar quintet by the name of Uncle Lucius is perhaps the most promising of the music mountaineers departing from their lonestar roots to hit the peaks of Colorado and beyond.
All of the familiar sonic roots in strong guitar tones, robust organs, steady drums and practiced vocals are there for foundational support, but the feeling behind the simple tunes is where this band thrives when others might struggle. The art of songwriting will always set artists and gimmicks apart, but it’s the test of timelessness that separates the artists from the rock stars. Uncle Lucius has the goods to become the latter for more than a few reasons, and judging from their 2012 release And You Are Me, their show at the Abbey Theater in Durango on Saturday is the next step closer to becoming just that. Don’t miss these Austinites.
Uncle Lucius, Sat., Jan. 12, The Abbey Theatre, Durango, 8 p.m., $7, abbeytheatre.com
Naggy McGee’s in
One part folk, one part Celtic rock, two parts pirates punk and coming with a promise to be a whole lot of fun live, Potcheen is a sonic amalgamation in the truest sense. Where they may start off a set with pure violin rock on “The Red Haired Boy,” the remainder of the performance can trespass into the sounds of ska on “Pog Mo Thoin,” mutated bluegrass on “Blackberry Blossom” and even progressive polka hip-hop on “Little Beggar Man Lilt.”
If their genre-jumping isn’t reason enough to see what this is all about, the Denver-based swashbucklers also reincarnate fun tunes from Slade, The Isley Brothers and The Proclaimers. Truly built around the energy necessary to kick start a dance party, Potcheen’s name even comes from a traditional Irish beverage notorious for its extremely high alcohol content. Although the gang seems to trade members quicker than 1600s brigands with a ship full of stolen goods, the spirit of the band has run through thousands of shows, hundreds of festival appearances, and received countless accolades including Best Band in Denver for five years from the Denver Post. Get a glimpse of the debauchery when the ship pulls into Naggy McGee’s in Grand Junction on Saturday as part of their insanely extensive nationwide tour.
Potcheen, Sat., Jan. 12, Naggy McGee’s Irish Pub, Grand Junction, 9:30 p.m.