Get this crazy baby off my head!


Otis Grove

Otis Grove - The Runk - 2010 - Ropeadope

“Otis Grove adeptly walks a line, drawing from the improvisational wisdom of those who’ve come before, while understanding the changing tastes of contemporary listeners. The Runk is a strong and a compelling chronicle of this talented trio’s balancing act with songs throughout – particularly “Plywood Snowshoe,” and “Waiting,” – proving deliberate, focused, and doled out in increments that today’s fast paced audiences would easily find continually engaging. Sharp interactions between instruments further leave a certain awe-factor that proves rather convincing to fans or newcomers. And though this album is just an early indication of the band’s potential, it fairs well amongst the inspiring works of contemporaries in the progressive jazz world, leaving Otis Grove, a band you’ll definitely be hearing about” - Jambands.com

“This is why I do what I do; why I spend endless hours searching for new music on the Internet, at the record shops and in clubs. I’ve seen more great shows than I can ever count (plenty of terrible ones too), but every once in a while I get turned on to something truly exceptional. Otis Grove falls into the latter category and if their new album, The Runk, didn’t prove it on its own, their CD release party at the Lizard Lounge did. ” - George Dow - New England Deli Magazine

Remember crunk? That mix of booming 808 bass, drum machines, sinister samples and screamed, one-syllable chants that gave birth to countless strip club anthems ("Get Low" anyone?) and provided the soundtrack to countless nightclub brawls? Which would account for about 80 percent of Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys' music. Well maybe not 80 percent. But at least 50 percent tops. Well make way for runk, a mix of funk and rock birthed by Boston trio Otis Grove. Drawing on those genres as well as R&B, jazz and hip hop, the band comes up with some truly unique sounds. Album opener "Monark," with its blistering, distorted riffs and maniacal organ, sounds like Metallica dropping in on a New Orleans church service, while the collision of twin guitar solos and whirling, eerie synthesizers sound like a long lost Red Hot Chili Peppers track. The laid back guitar licks and bright organs of "Uncle Runky" would feel right at home at a afternoon barbecue. "Waiting," crafts a seductive mix of minimalist licks and sharp drums before surrendering midway to a monstrous groove of floor-shaking bass, fiery, frenetic guitar solos and a wailing wall of organ sound. Brash funk freakout, "Fausto" with its fuzzy distortion, rubber-band bass, is another standout track. Otis Grove are clearly talented musicians, able to both improvise and snap back into the melody at a moment's notice. Sam Gilman coaxes a endlessly array of sounds out of his organ, electronic piano and mellotron, while guitarist Tyler Drabick and drummer Blake Goedde display enough versatility to keep with Gilman's experimentation. It would be interesting to hear what the band would sound like with words and vocal melodies. But Otis Grove have provided more than enough ways for listeners to get runk. 4/5 Posted by & © K. Clark © http://indiesandtheunderground.blogspot.ie/2010/11/album-review-otis-grove-runk.html

“Organ trio” may be a restrictive label for Otis Grove. Sam Gilman, a Berklee College piano technician, uses an arsenal of Moogs, Clavinets, Wurlitzers and an absolutely filthy Hammond organ that has been tricked out to pack more overdrive and low-end horsepower by the band’s guitarist. Their new album, The Runk (the name is a portmanteau of rock and funk coined by fans to describe their genre), serves up some coffeehouse jazz grooves and pours in the mescaline with some acid-rock freak-outs. Songs like “Monark” and “Rock City” echo the muscle-car space jamming of Edgar Winter Group’s “Frankenstein” and approach the three-chamber-bong heaviness of Soundgarden and the Atomic Bitchwax. The metallic guitar harmonies in “Plywood Snowshoe” are like a sweater-clad cousin of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper.” The album’s mellower moments offer Otis Grove’s take on more traditional jazz-rock trio fare. Someone has to make sure that an MP3 of “Uncle Runky” finds its way to R. Kelly or the surviving members of TLC. Can you say “remix”? Posted on November 19, 2010 by & © PETER LEGASEY © 1999-2014 Dig Publishing LLC. All Rights Reserved http://digboston.com/boston-music-concerts/2010/11/otis-grove

What do you get when you start with funk-soul grooves, throw in some jazz stylings, add jam band sensibilities, layer on the heavy guitar and organ riffage, and finish it off with prog-rock wackiness? Oh yeah… and remove the vocals for an all-instrumental delivery. Given that mish-mash I would have guessed you’d get a train wreck. Thank God my guess would have been wrong. Otis Grove’s newest release, The Runk, is an instant classic. The Runk opens with “Monark” and a dual barrage of guitar and organ straight out of the Deep Purple songbook. About a minute in, it takes a hard left turn into Emerson, Lake and Palmer territory with a crazy time signature shift and a Keith Emerson style key solo. Then the tune suddenly comes back together with a meandering Santana-esque guitar solo before swinging back to the Deep Purple riffs to end the song. That’s a lot of ground covered in a single track and I knew I was in for a treat. The next two tracks, “The Bunk” and “Basket Case," stick to a more traditional funk/jazz style, reminiscent of Fishbone mixed with Medeski, Martin and Wood. Both songs pay homage to a retro-soul sound while remaining thoroughly modern in their delivery. The album continues on this cycle through seven more tracks, alternating between heavy jam band rock-influenced tracks and classic funk/soul/jazz. Late in the album, “I Won’t Forget” brings me back to my youth in the '70s. During my summers in New Hampshire I would frequently go roller skating at an old rink on Lake Winnipesaukee. Instead of playing Top 40 hits they instead had reel-to-reel tapes of old organ music, like some ancient form of Muzak. Listening to the keys on “I Won’t Forget” suddenly turned me into a 10 year-old klutz, circling the rink and trying desperately to look cool in a velour shirt and homemade plaid pants. The Runk closes with “Fausto." The track highlights their drumming chops, opening with a short drum solo. Those drums remain the driving feature of the six and a half minute track and end this amazing album on a simmering groove. © George Dow © http://newengland.thedelimagazine.com/node/3198

There's a new sound taking over the town known as Boston. If you're by the banks of the Charles River as the moon glows over the muddy waters you very well may hear some thick, groovy beats banging out a trail for raw guitar licks and a soul-drenched Hammond organ. Yes indeed, ladies and gentleman who are down with the funk, it's time to get rocked by your new favorite band: Otis Grove. Otis Grove began as a collective experiment in crossing the traditional organ jazz sound with funk, hip-hop, and rock tones. It was the beginning of a sonic realization based in groove and free in improvisation, yet rooted in songwriting and melodic structure. In early 2004, on the heels of their self-titled debut album, the band began spreading their sound to clubs around the New England area. The music, which has since evolved into a unique blend of aggressive rock n' roll and high-intensity organ funk (some fans have dubbed their genre 'Runk'- a mixture of rock and funk), pays tribute to the masters while consistently pushing itself in new directions. It's as if jazz organ legend Jimmy Smith had been the fifth member of Led Zeppelin, or if the Meters had joined forces with Black Sabbath. Performer Magazine writer Sam Merrick described it best as "a monstrous funk groove that probably would have sent Godzilla running had he been in the neighborhood." This larger-than-life sound is crafted by three talented musicians, Sam Gilman plays a plethora of instruments in Otis Grove, including Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, Moog synthesizer, clavinet, Rhodes piano, and mellotron. He's a piano technician at Berklee College of Music so he's constantly being exposed to new techniques and approaches. This could explain why the band has such sonic diversity. Tyler Wayne Drabick plays the electric and acoustic guitar for the band, but that's not his only contribution to Otis Grove's sound. Because he owns and operates a Hammond Organ repair shop in Boston, he was able to customize the band's organ and Leslie speaker to achieve more gain and overdrive, as well as chest-pounding deep bass tones which the band describes as "Booty Bass." Last, but not least, Blake Goedde lays down the backbone of Otis Grove's sound on drums and percussion. Having studied with James Brown's drummer Kenwood Dennard, as well as spent countless hours transcribing hip-hop, jazz, funk, rock, and reggae beats, he has come to develop his own intricately funky style. Six years and over 500 shows after its conception, Otis Grove has shared the stage with musicians and bands John Medeski, Billy Martin, Charlie Hunter, DJ Logic, Eric Krasno of Soulive, The New Mastersounds, The Jerry Garcia Band, The Brew, Spiritual Rez,Trombone Shorty, and many more. With a few national and European tours under their belt, Otis Grove is hitting it harder then ever, having played venues from the Paradise Rock club and House of Blues in Boston to Sullivan Hall and the famous Blue Note jazz club and in New York City. The trio-known for their cranked-up, dance-inducing, dynamic live performances- signed with Ropeadope Digital records in early 2008 and are currently promoting their second release on the label, The Runk. © http://www.otisgrove.net/#/about/

Great retro-funkified soul, R&B, rock, and jazz with a touch of hip-hop from a very talented Boston trio. Buy Otis Grove’s great “Live In Boston” album [Tracks @ 250-267 Kbps: File size = 98.9 Mb]


1. Monark (5:17)
2. The Bunk (4:25)
3. Basket Case (3:49)
4. Rock City (4:10)
5. Bobby Nosox (5:20)
6. Uncle Runky (5:28)
7. Plywood Snoeshoe (5:11)
8. Waiting (6:13)
9. I Won't Forget (5:22)
10. Fausto (6:31)

All tracks composed by Gilman, Goedde, Drabick


Tyler Wayne Drabick - Guitars
Sam Gilman - Keyboards
Blake Goedde - Drums

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


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