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Published: 2011/12/27

Jennifer Hartswick, The Stepkids and Others Celebrate the Holidays with Kung Fu

Kung Fu hosted a big hometown holiday show at New Haven, CT’s Toad’s Place on Friday night. The show featured opening acts like Wyllys, The Stepkids and Rizzo’s Dilemm as well as a guest appearance by Deep Banana Blackout’s Cyrus Madan on “Bringing Up The Rear.” In addition, Trey Anastasio Band trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick sat in with Kung Fu for their entire second set, including the Kung Fu originals “Gung Ho”, “Killcullen” and “Chakrabarty Overdrive.” She also led the group through “If You Don’t Want To Wait” and “Walk Away” off her new studio album.

Hartswick returned during the group’s encore for Chaka Khan’s “You’ve Got The Love” and remained onstage as Melodica player Dan Edinburg and Stepkids frontman Jeff Gittleman returned for Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.”

Though Kung Fu is part of the jamband scene and The Stepkids are more associated with the indie and R& B worlds, the two bands share a rich history. As an article in the Connecticut Post explains, “[Kung Fu guitarist] Tim Palmieri and Jeff Gitelman have a lot in common: both were raised in southwestern Connecticut, both have been playing guitar since they were youngsters and both have an affinity for Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead. But as their careers have progressed, the longtime friends have ventured down different stylistic paths: Palmieri has become a fixture of the jam band scene, while Gitelman has staked out territory in the indie rock and neo-soul spheres.”

Kung Fu will perform at Manchester, CT’s The Main Pub on January 14. A solo Palmieri performance recorded on the Relix roof is also now available online.

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