Michigan’s own Smokestack has seen plenty of smoke filled bars and clubs as they’ve grown into a touring rock band . But where they differ from many up-and-coming Jambands is that these four guys are equally comfortable playing funked-out jazz standards or intricate neo-classical instrumentals. For Smokestack, music is a way of life, and each style breathes unique energy into its original sound. Members of the band have studied under such legends as Roy Haynes, Rufus Reid, Terry Lynne Carrington, John Clayton, Dennis Wilson, and Matt Michaels as well as played in Latin, bluegrass, funk, and jazz bands. Despite Smokestack’s dedication to the art of improvisation, they place equal attention on song writing and lyrical content.
After getting their start at small clubs around Ann Arbor, Michigan in late 1999, Smokestack has recently generated a huge buzz outside of their home state. The band has played over 150 shows in the last year including sharing the stage with such acts as moe., Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Umphrey’s McGee, Particle, the New Deal, Dark Star Orchestra, The Slip, JGB, ekoostik hookah, The OM Trio, Oteil and the Peacemakers, Stangefolk, and The Shantee. Smokestack has steadily built a following through their high-energy live performances and the talk that follows them. Through mass circulation of live recordings (the band and it’s fans burn 100’s of live CD’s and give them away to fans) the band was able to sell out venues in Colorado during their first visit to the state. Since then, the Stack has returned for two successful Colorado Tours with another 3-week Mountain Tour set to begin in mid-July. Smokestack’s live shows have also been widely traded and talked about north of the border through Canadian websites such as Jambands.ca and Jamhub.ca. In addition, Smokestack has recently been accepted as part of the Home Grown Music Network (http://www.homegrownmusic.net).