Stranger things have happened in Boulder, no doubt, but to see Strangefolk with their ever tightening, new line-up was truly unique. Due to lackadaisical efforts in getting to the Fox Theatre, I was fashionably late, just in time for the second set. The energy I felt as I entered the venue was significantly higher than the physical turnout proving that I had missed out on a killer first set but that there was still something great in store for round two. I was all but let down as the five Strangefolk took the stage.

The collective voice that breathed from the quintet was a psychedelic funk with a number of spindled elements. The sound can only be described as funky Southern Rock caught somewhere between the Allman Brothers and The Funky Meters. There sound is the natural progression of Classic Rock into today’s jam band scene. It fused other elements like Bluegrass, Acid Jazz, Reggae, Old Time and New Orleans soul. There was also an element of swing added to the composition on top of fun lyrics and great song writing with nice harmonization. Their jamming was patient and well layered with tight playmanship between the two guitarists.

Lead guitarist Jon Trafton played a very cohesive, yet soulful role in the bands collective sound as he both railed out passionate solos and phased into the background to compliment the space created by the band. The intensity of Luke Montgomery’s onstage aura reflected in his guitar and vocal styles, both of which were pleasantly virtuoso. Scott Schdeeds’ versatility on the keys brought out funky gospel, abstract sound effects and a swift Old Time tickling of the keys. Bassist Erik Glockler played melodically complex bass grooves all night bringing the band together in their pursuit of the unknown. On the other end of these grooves was drummer Luke Smith, who’s jazzy, simplistic style brought the band through landscapes of all kinds as he manipulated his five piece kit.

The encore was the high point of the whole evening. Strangefolk animated the funk of the Grateful Dead cover "Shakedown Street" and jammed it out. They incorporated an Allman Brothers "Jessica jam" into the madness that segued into "Dancing in the Street" to close the evening. The encore was pumping and left everyone in the audience dumbstruck with joy. If you haven’t seen Strangefolk recently, for whatever reason, make sure you do, because they are all extremely talented and dedicated to your enjoyment. The new lineup should not induce skepticism, rather it should promote excitement.

Ian Koudstaal
JamBase | Boulder
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[Published on: 11/5/01]

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