THE BRIDGE | 2.1.03 | RECHER THEATRE

Sometimes the music is all that you need to bring you back. And if you have to cross a bridge to get there, the better it can be. If you haven’t heard of them, you will get to know them over the long haul. The Bridge is one of the best bands out there. They make some mean grizzle! Near as I can tell they have this urban, groovalicious bluegrass sway to their vibe and it really makes folks go over the edge. Especially when that sax just begins to stir the air, lingerin’ in the admixture of their collective musical acuity. There’s not much music out there that’s nearly as good.

What really freaked me to the core was there journey through “Liz Reed”. I about died. They put such a tremendous spin on that it shocks me into sheer dismay that I am still standing, breathing and thinking in this waking life. They cut the waves with some new material and one of their new songs came right on the flow of it after their bumpin’ trip through the Allman’s pasture. “Slow Flame”, really shines both musically and lyrically. That burning fire of creativity cooks the grease well on that song. It is not often that you can have the best elements in music come together and these folks have been blessed with it all and they are generous for sharing it with us.

The Bridge can write songs that have meaning and damn, can Cris Jacobs sing! That man’s got soul and the band exudes it through their fingerstips as they just send you well up on you own way. They can spread the jam for damn sure. The groove they supply is in high demand and they deliver every moment, always hittin’ it dead on target. Especially Kenny Liner. He brings in the urban cannons with his impeccable human beat boxing. That he can actually pull that off and be a mandolin player confuses me to no end and it makes me real happy, naturally.

Kenny messed with our heads by breakin out, "Hot in Herre", that featured their friend Brooklyn dancing onstage as he went off on this outlandish beat box solo replete with a savage vocal scratch sesh that made most djs look like fools. But that wasn’t the end of it all. Hell no! They went straight into “Rising Sun”, one of the best songs in their repertoire and certainly one of the most soulful and downright dadgum good songs ever written. I put that one on the same damn cloud as “Blue Sky”. If their abilities do not strike you I don’t think much else will in this life.

They ended the show with “Never Stops” and I sure wish that were the case. This is a band that I could easily follow around the horn. They are just that good. They came out for a quick encore of one of my favorite journeys they make: “Pakalolo”. I just about fell out on that one. The Bridge are at home playing through a sweet foot stompin’ and heel kickin’ jam like The Greyboy Allstars or even Galactic. Then they can just punch you in the eye with a deep message from a fella who can really sing the way a soul should always howl like JB. Then within in it all, they are having fun and not takin’ it too serious with an ego in the way.

What you can find out there in the muckety-muck are a lot of bands that have just a couple of the elements that make you go boom, but in the end, it’s a band that can bring them all together that really stands apart, makin’ kind folks dance and broken spirits heal. Once you cross The Bridge, there is no need to go back.

Laurin Wollan
JamBase | East Coast
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[Published on: 2/3/03]

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