Photos And Review | The Ringers | Colorado

Images and Words by: Mike Sherry

The Ringers :: May 2014 :: Colorado Tour

Check out Mike's review after the gallery...

Last weekend Colorado turned out to welcome Jimmy Herring’s fledgling supergroup, The Ringers, at Boulder’s Fox Theatre and The Oriental in Denver. While Jimmy’s work in bands like Widespread Panic, Aquarium Rescue Unit and Phil Lesh & Friends is widely appreciated in the jamband scene, some in the audience got their first introduction to the other members - icons in jazz fusion, pop and elsewhere.

It was soon apparent this collective was assembled with a purpose, as the chemistry poured forth via instrumentals both complex and accessibly harmonious. Stylistic similarities seemed to leak through as each guitarist took the spotlight, while projecting their unique tones and flashes. Strong grooves from bassist Etienne Mbappe (John McLaughlin, Zawinul Syndicate) and drummer Gary Novak (Chick Corea, Alanis Morrisette) underpinned the dueling guitar harmonies and searing leads.

Wayne Krantz (Steely Dan, Brecker Brothers) shone with a standout solo on Michael Landau’s number “Long Way Home,” electrifying the crowd with a ring-mod tone and then morphing back to seemingly effortless shredding. Michael Landau, a staple of the fusion world, as well as a contributor of session work to Pink Floyd, Miles Davis and more, could likewise be observed modifying his tone throughout his solos, holding a sustained note and changing feedback harmonics through working each pickup of his Fender Stratocaster. Evocative and mesmerizing.

A new Jimmy Herring tune was debuted in Boulder which featured a spiritedly driving rhythm and strong guitar melodies, and sounded even tighter the next night in Denver. Jimmy’s playing fairly cemented the magic of the group, always ready with a quick follow up flourish or soulful wailing note to complement the whole of the song. Not to mention Herring’s spotlight moments were scorching, buoyed by a fantastically cohesive band sound.

Audiences responded enthusiastically to all the music presented, from simple groove-based pieces to complicated and delicate jazz numbers to an explosive blues belted out by Landau. With high-caliber supporting acts The Congress and Drew Emmitt Band on the Boulder and Denver bills, respectively, fans were served a full course of music variety and were among the most satisfied-looking this writer’s seen.

JamBase | Rocky Mountain Herring
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[Published on: 5/12/14]

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