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Published: 2001/12/12
by Dave Siegel

Addison Groove Project w/ The Recipe, Pearl Street Clubroom, Northampton, MA- 12/8

On Friday night, as the first snow of the season made its way down to the Pioneer Valley, Addison Groove Project was lighting it up inside the Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton. Having missed their last two shows in Northampton, a headlining gig at Pearl Street at the end of September and a performance at the Calvin Theater opening up for Dispatch, I was very excited to see what these guys were up to. Growing up in Natick, MA, this by no means was my first experience hearing these guys. I became familiar with these guys early in my high school, when they performed a number of shows at their hometown Wellesley High School, just one town over from Natick. I can honestly say that at these early gigs, they were quite talented for their age. Since these first shows however, they have progressed with leaps and bounds creating a full, robust sound all their own.

Opening the show, was the West Virginian acoustic, roots rock band The Recipe. This seven piece coed ensemble blends eclectic earthy jams with some tight bluegrass flair. With a tight rhythm section and an astounding fiddle, these guys really soar. This show was their first ever in Northampton and I sincerely hope they will be back soon.

At a few minutes past 10 o’clock, the six men that make up Addison made their way to the stage to the delight of the full Club. These guys have been the beneficiaries of an amazing buzz going around the jamband scene. From a few solid festival performances this past summer, they are finally beginning to draw crowds outside of New England. Gaining success and notoriety off their latest live album, Wicked Live, these guys are steamrolling, only being held back by the fact that all six of them are full-time college students.

They started off their first set with "Shugy," a tight song off their album named. This grooved-up funk tune showcased the talents of lead man Brendan McGinn, who played trumpet. Next up was “All the Boot to That,” with Brendan moving to guitar and vocals. Then the guys changed pace a little bit with a bluesy, slower song named “Divergent Perspectives.” They ended the first set with another high-energy faster jam with tenor sax player Ben Groppe leading the way with an interesting, dissonant solo.

After a very short break, Addison Groove took the stage to what seemed like a smaller crowd. Either people got confused and thought it was the end of the show or maybe they just left in fear of the sloppy road conditions from the snow. Whatever the reason, they missed one hell of a set, with the band showing its versatility. Opening the set with the fast-paced “Wabadoo, Wabada,” the guys pushed into a spacey jam. This segment answered any of my own lingering doubts about whether Addison can step up to the challenge of playing to ever bigger rooms. The band’s music sounded much fuller during this deep bit of exploration. Next they played another groove track off Wicked Live before the highlight of the show, a great funky version of “Beat Me til I’m Blue” driven by keyboardist Rob Marscher. After the Meters’ “People Say,” the set ended with a thunderous song showcasing the diversity of Addison Groove’s sound. From a killer drum solo by Andrew Keith to the tight funky jams held together by the intricate bass work of John Hall to the blaring horn solos by Groppe, alto saxaphonist Dave Adams and McGinn on both trumpet and guitar.

Overall, I felt this was a fine, fine show. With the high energy bubbling over from the crowd, the band had to be pumped up. I know that I for one, will be seeing these guys in the near future, possibly on New Year’s Eve where they will be opening up for Strangefolk at the Worcester Palladium

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