Addison Groove Project | 1.30.04 | Revolution Hall | Troy, NY
It was a blustery cold winter night along the Hudson River in upstate New York. While the temperature dropped outside, things inside Revolution Hall in Troy, NY were about to get hot. That's because the Wellesley, MA band Addison Groove Project was about to grace the stage and bring their phat grooves.
The evening held two firsts for me: I had never seen Addison Groove Project live before, nor had I ever seen a show at Troy's Revolution Hall. Revolution Hall is a relatively new music club situated right along the Hudson River, in the birthplace of Uncle Sam. It is a huge room owned by the neighboring Troy Pub and Brewery and along with a great beer selection, huge dance floor, large stage, wonderful sound system, and great balconies to chill and enjoy the music, it also appears to becoming one of upstate New York's jam-friendliest clubs, based on its upcoming schedule (which includes Soulive with Lynch, Reid Genauer, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Paranoid Social Club among many others).
Addison Groove Project by Regan Teti
I had always heard a lot of good things about Addison Groove Project (just the fact they've been around since 1996 is a good sign that they've been doing something right), but I always tend to be a bit skeptical of bands I'm unfamiliar with (because so many bands I see are not worth the price of admission). And being that it was a freezing cold night, it was even harder for me to leave the warm confines of my couch. But I am glad I did! AGP did not disappoint.
If a band has the word "Groove" in their name, they better bring the funk. And Addison Groove Project did. From the opening beats of "Brown Sugar" to the last crescendo of "Sing, Sing" they brought the groove and they brought it good. Revolution Hall's large dance floor was almost completely full and the mass of friendly folks danced their asses off the entire night. Although I don't think they funk as hard as Parliament/Funkadelic, The Meters, or The Headhunters, they definitely do groove, and their music is perfect if you want to dance the night away or chill and listen to some burning fusion.
It's clear that each member of Addison Groove Project has spent some serious time in the woodshed. The dual sax attack of Ben Groppe (tenor saxophone) and Dave Adams (alto saxophone) was deadly; both saxophonists played tasteful melodies and scorching solos, usually within the same song. Keyboardist Rob Marscher also played many inspiring solos and is giving Neal Evans (Soulive) a run for his money as one of the funkiest left hands around. Brendan Mcginn was equally impressive, playing his guitar as he was playing trumpet, and also helped bring variety to AGP's show by singing on several of their songs. And let's not forget to give the drummer some! Andrew Keith was funky and fluid and had the grooves that kept everyone's feet tapping and asses dancing.
Addison Groove Project isn't new to the scene, but they are hitting some new towns and venues on what seems to be a pretty extensive tour. My suggestion to all of you is to make sure you check them out when they hit your town. You won't hear AGP on your radio and I'm sure you'll never see them on MTV (thank the Lord), but they are a groove band that sticks with what they do best--putting a smile on you face and a dance in your step.
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