For all of those people out there who become immediately skeptical if members of a solid band change, let it be known that it does not apply to the freaks from Morgantown. This past weekend, I rode my keyster down from my home in New York, with my lovely lady friend, to The Trocadero in Philly to see my favorite hillbilly sonic explosion, The Recipe. Now, I am not the most comfortable rocking chair on the porch, seeing The Recipe under thirty shows in total, I have to say that the newest line-up is as crystal as the first. The latest female vocalist, Julie, resonates the essence of the sultry, yet gospel voice that speaks though the albums. As she first started to give it her all during "Amoonda" I was taken off balance. Her rendition of "Yellow Pepper" had me spinnin by the hot dog stand, not realizing it was anyone different. Bassist, Q, is the man. He is able to rip it through the rhythm jams and do the harmonies (as well as sing a few new ones). Everybody was tight, no faultering, as they passed the night playing many new songs and many All in all, the newbies stand tall against some big shoes to fill and they come up higher to the challenge.

The Recipe seems to have been using their new line up to venture into some new material this time around and even enlisted the help of most of the members of Railroad Earth to embark on an interstellar version of "Playground Bellyflop" with a massive exploration in the middle as well as the "Worldswirl" that always resonates well with the kids. The sheer wall of sound nearly knocked the balcony out of place as ten of the purist bluegrass players on the scene gave it thier all and mopped the floors with us for the last portion of the set.

To list all the band members of The Recipe would be a time consuming thing for me to do. Since I started to see them out, some of the band have been unrecognizable to me each time I go. Since I saw them for the first time at the Gathering on the Mountain several years ago, they have had numerous bassists, four different female vocalists and various incarnations of string. The changing lineup had always given me doubts on the way into the show, but it seems as long as Captain Joe is at the helm of the "USS Porch People" backed by the cadence of long time member Tom Whelan, the ranks will dance to the same southern fried goodness that these folks serve up off the front of the stage. The same energy created with the members that recorded on their debut release, "Love Marble Hoe Down" in 1996, is just as evident now with the new songs in rotation. The feeling just keeps getting warmer for me and I wanted to get you folks out there. One of the hardest working bands in the jamscene, The Recipe is constantly on the road bring flowers of music to anyone who wants to be courted down by the watering hole. The mystical, fertile, versatile vibe that comes of their chemistry is undeniable.

Dang-nab-it, here I am, back at work, leashing myself to my cubicle for another go-around-work-week, and I couldn't stop thinking about the juice I sucked up from the new band that holds a place in my old heart, the people who kindly make room for someone dancing harder than they, and the rampant smiles that can be gathered from the corners of the porch. God Bless America and The Recipe; as the ingredients change, they seem to taste better, especially with a side dish of hugs from the spinners in the front. Get turnin, y'all and keep looking at the skies.

Elias Makrides
JamBase | East Coast
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