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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Portwood’

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra & Galen Kipar Project
Isis Restaurant & Music Hall

Saturday, March 15, 2014
www.isisasheville.com

Isis Music Hall in Asheville is proud to host an evening with Jonathan Scales Fourchestra and Galen Kipar Project on Saturday, March 15th. Both bands have been busy writing new music for upcoming albums and are excited to present some of the tunes at the show. Scroll to the bottom of this for a couple of videos of Jonathan Scales Fourchestra and Galen Kipar Project Performing live.

Doors are at 5pm if you would like to sit down for dinner prior to the show. The show starts at 9pmas and general admission tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. There will be some balcony seating available. Call 828-575-2737 for dinner reservations or with questions. Isis Music Hall is located at 743 Haywood Road Asheville, NC 28806.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. Photo by Mike Morel.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. Photo by Mike Morel.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra is heading into the studio in the middle-of-nowhere Virginia at Summit Sound to record the bands first TRIO record, no guests, not extra orchestration, just raw Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. This will be their most ambitious record for the band, inspired by Roy “Futureman” Wooten, the album will be their first real attempt to put together an “epic, long-form masterpiece.” The new release, Mixtape Symphony, is expected to drop in late spring through Ropeadope Records.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra is an example of musical sincerity. Weaving together collective and individual influences without compromise, they are as much themselves as they are a unit—a crucial trait of landmark instrumental ensembles. Equally captivating is steel pannist and founder Jonathan Scales’ compositional skill as is his tasteful, avant-garde improvisational approach.

“Scales is to steel pans ….what Béla Fleck is to the banjo—an über innovator,” says Driftwood Magazine. Drummer and percussionist Phill Bronson drives the Fourchestra’s time-shifting, modern grooves with graceful polyrhythmic chops and the listening ability of a true master. (His talent has been praised by Victor Wooten, Oteil Burbridge, Ellie Mannette, and others.) Bassist Cody Wright rounds out the ensemble with a groundbreaking hybrid picking style stemming from his background as a highly practiced fusion guitarist. With gut-wrenching grooves and blistering, soulful melodic lines, Wright’s mix of flash and feel adds a unique depth to the Fourchestra.

Together, the group explodes onto stages with an indescribable sound that is as much felt as it is heard, and is said to have “a Thelonious Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.” (Pan on the Net) The group’s self-titled debut collaborative album features unparalleled sonic density and envelope-pushing compositions. Guest collaborators include Grammy winning masters Victor Wooten and Howard Levy (Béla Fleck and the Flecktones) and is fully orchestrated with horns and strings.

For more about Jonathan Scales Fourchestra and tour dates, please visit www.jonscales.com.

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Galen Kipar Project. Photo by Folktography

Galen Kipar Project. Photo by Folktography

Galen Kipar Project has been on the rise since 2006, and are currently recording their fifth album at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, NC and at the Jefferson Center with Summit Sound’s engineer in Roanoke, VA. They will be launching a kickstarter campaign soon to help fund getting the new music out to the world and expect to release the album by the end of the year.

Crafting a fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues, Galen Kipar Project has been hailed as “complex yet accessible” and “cohesive and poignant” with “experimental folk masterpieces.” Based in Asheville, GKP is Lyndsay Pruett (violin/ vocals), Jeremy Young (Drums), Ben Portwood (upright bass/ vocals), Galen Kipar (guitar/ harmonicas and vocals), Aaron Ballance (lap steel guitar/ dobro) and Jon Morrow (8 string Novak guitar/bass).

Galen Kipar Project has released four albums, the most recent being The Scenic Route in 2010. “The aptly titled effort is loaded with images of mountains, rivers, forests and streams, and backed by lush arrangements, fluid vocals and Appalachian instrumentation that bring to life what is essentially a musical portrait of Western North Carolina,” says the Mountain Xpress.

Songwriter and host of the Grateful Dead Hour, David Gans states about the album, “It’s like a collection of short stories, brilliantly constructed and with a unique and compelling literary voice. I keep coming back to each song, listening more deeply and being drawn more deeply in.” Gans says about Galen’s music, ” I was hooked right away… Strange, slightly other-worldly acoustic music sung in a sweet, slightly distracted voice. I think of it as a sort of American Primitive, with hits of Sandy Bull in the guitars, Brett Dennen in the voice, Donna the Buffalo in the rustic simplicity, and something altogether new in the wonderful orchestrations… In the words of Tina Fey, “When I hear the sounds of this nearby world, I want to go to there.'”

For more about Galen Kipar Project and upcoming shows, please visit www.galenkipar.com.

 

 

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Effortlessly crafting a fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues, the Galen Kipar Project has been hailed as “complex yet accessible” and “cohesive and poignant” with “experimental folk masterpieces.” Based in Asheville, in 2011 GKP released their fourth album The Scenic Route which features the unique sonorous sound that has become the band’s trademark. GKP is vocalist Galen Kipar on guitars & harmonica, Lyndsay Pruett on violin & vocals, Jeremy Young on drum kit, Ben Portwood on upright bass & vocals, along with with frequent guest Aaron Ballance on dobro and lap steel. “This is folk and blues done so well, with bits of jazz and funk thrown in making it that much more enjoyable,” states Origivation Magazine.

Galen’s other endeavor keeps him on the water as he serves as a fly fishing guide with Curtis Wright Outfitters to Western North Carolina which has over 3000 miles of Trout waters and streams. He gets much of his inspiration for songwriting while standing waist deep in a river. If fans would like to go fishing with Galen this summer and talk music, they can visit www.curtiswrightoutfitters.com.

True to his inspiration, Galen sings in the song Riversong, “Headin’ on down to the waterside, gonna take some time, to rest my mind. Gonna break there, gonna stay there. For a moment there, I’ll sigh.” Water is a consistent theme in his uplifting music that WNC Magazine describes as, “intricate and memorable, sophisticated and relaxed.

The GKP was featured on WNCW’s 2010 Crowd Around the Mic Compilation CD with artists such as Darrell Scott, Jeff Sipe and Ike Stubblefield, Muddy Waters Reunion Band, Drivin & Cryin’ and Jim Lauderdale. Their hit October Snow was used in a commercial promoting the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) and the WNC Farmers Market Association and was also a finalist in the Google TV for All Contest. ASAP has released a Spring 2011 video for the farmer’s market with one of GKP’s songs at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg-82R0QB7U.

Here is a video interview and show clips from the last time GKP played the LAB by Jeremiah Greer Live:

Show details at a glance:

Galen Kipar Project
The LAB
Friday, July 8, 2011

9:45pm doors 10:15pm show
Donation $7 minimum
828.252.0212
39 N. Lexington Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
www.lexavebrew.com

** There will be a pre-party at Highland Brewing from 6-8pm in East Asheville. **


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Galen Kipar Project. Photo by Jake Pelham- Folktography.

Effortlessly crafting a fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues, the Galen Kipar Project has been hailed as “complex yet accessible” and “cohesive and poignant” with “experimental folk masterpieces.” Based in Asheville, GKP recently released their fourth album in five years The Scenic Route which features the unique sonorous sound that has become the band’s trademark. GKP is vocalist Galen Kipar on guitars & harmonica, Lyndsay Pruett on violin & vocals, Jeremy Young on drum kit, Ben Portwood on upright bass & vocals, along with with frequent guest Aaron Ballance on dobro and lap steel. “This is folk and blues done so well, with bits of jazz and funk thrown in making it that much more enjoyable,” states Origivation Magazine.

Galen Kipar Project did a recent interview Jeremiah Greer Live at their show at the Lexington Ave Brewery (The LAB) in Asheville, NC. Check out the interview as well as clip from the show here:

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Great review of  The Galen Kipar Project from a recent show in Roanoke, VA! Check it out:

Pop Life: A Promising “Project”

September 7th, 2010 · New River Voice

Since the halcyon days of first grade, I’d been told never to begin a story with “Once upon a time.” The universal tenet being that such a preface should be reserved for homilies and fairy tales. Not to mention that the appearance of these words typically portends banal storytelling: “Once upon a time this thing happened at this place around this time, and some stuff went down after that, and people learned lessons about the virtues of Cornhole tournaments (but not everyone because some people are just inherently evil), and that’s really all I have to say, so thanks for reading; enjoy the lobster bisque.”

And yet for the tale of Galen Kipar and his Asheville, North Carolina-based band, The Galen Kipar Project, “Once upon a time” seems just as appropriate an introduction as any. Notwithstanding the fact that they’re about to put the finishing touches on album number four in nearly as many years, they may as well have just materialized out of thin air.

Of course, the burgeoning swell of die-hard followers, I’m certain, would take issue with such a promulgation, but c’mon. Apart from a Facebook page, a few CD review quotes, and a couple of YouTube videos, there seems to be precious little information on these guys circulating the excessively waterlogged World Wide Webfoot platypus. I mean they don’t even have their own Wikipedia entry! Who doesn’t have their own Wikipedia entry?  OK, I don’t.

But never mind. If you’re unfamiliar with these troubadours’ dynamic body of work, you probably won’t be for too much longer. Kipar and company have frequented the New River and Roanoke valleys often during their five-year lifespan, and if the Pied Piper-like migration of people to the stage during their FloydFest performance this past summer is any kind of barometer, the band is on an immutable trajectory of permeating Southwest Virginia with their versatile, yet immediately attainable sonority.

The Project’s Facebook page describes the band’s sound as “a fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues.” When I saw them recently play Blue 5 in Roanoke, my mind reflexively conjured up Dave Matthews Band comparisons, which I think will be inevitable for any first-time indulgers, if not slightly unfair. More so, however, I found they reminded me of the now defunct Blue Mountain, a band whose foundation was similarly fashioned through roots music, and the dissolution of which I still mourn. Yet while speaking with Kipar during a set break, I get the impression he’s not exactly high on genre labels or comparisons to his contemporaries anyway.

“Everything’s already been done before, right?” he says with an amiable shrug. But then, with just the slightest hint of mild sardonicism in his tone, he provides an example of a same-yet-different trend in Americana music to underscore his point: “I mean now they got guys playing punk music with banjos.”

Now, although he doesn’t actually list names, you get the sense that he could be referring to any number of artists comprising all the vastly ambiguous classifications of music that have “folk” somewhere in the title, including folk rock, folk punk, and—my personal favorite—freak folk. (I’m still waiting to hear the emerging artists from the folk accountant and folk serial killer movements.)

With the multitude of style amalgamations suffusing modern music, genre classifications have become essentially superfluous, if not all together inaccurate. Alternative music of any kind is no longer the exception, but the norm.  And who cares? Attempting to affix some kind of a half-assed, culturally resonant moniker to a style of music these days is merely a result of this inherent compulsion to “explain” what it is you’re hearing. Palpable, engaging music requires no explanation or deconstruction. And Kipar and friends deliver on that premise in spades.

While comparisons to the aforementioned Dave Matthews Band may be inextricable, DMB’s relentless touring schedule during the early ’90s—which slowly but surely transmogrified them from humble, bootleg tape-condoning road warriors to monolithic megastars—is not a path Kipar has any interest in emulating.

He gave that a go a few years back, and found it both physically and mentally exhausting. Plus, the reality is that, at the moment, the band’s coffer does not serve as the exclusive source of income for each of its constituents. Bassist, Ben Portwood has his own edible landscape architecture business, (yeah, I didn’t know what that was either until I looked it up; prior to that, I just had images of flavorful sawdust), and Kipar himself brings home the bacon as a fly fishing guide, a passion he explores in the ebullient song entitled, naturally, “Fishing.”

Now, with the Internet serving as the ultimate dissemination tool, the need to be on the road constantly is no longer a prerequisite for reaching a wide audience. Instead, Kipar can allocate more time to focus on songwriting and development, and the overall cultivation of his artistry.

So, five years into this gig, the story of the Galen Kipar Project is just beginning. Looking for a good intro? How about this: Once upon a time, a guy named Galen Kipar picked up a guitar, people listened, and good things followed.

Todd Guill is a columnist for the New River Voice, music fan, and an astute observer of pop culture.

READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE: http://newrivervoice.com/archives/4783

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Check out this new video for the Galen Kipar Project:


The songs in the above video is from GKP’s newest release, The Scenic Route. It is Galen Kipar Project live @ Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC 8-12-10. Musicians: Jeremy Young – drums, Lyndsay Pruett – violin, vox, Aaron Ballance – dobro, Ben Portwood – upright bass, Galen Kipar – guitar, harmonica, vox.

We are pleased to announce that WNCW has selected “Rushing Over My Bones” off the new release The Scenic Route, to be featured on their annual Crowd Around The Mic Vol. 14. Thanks WNCW for all you do for music!

Galen Kipar Project’s fourth album in five years, The Scenic Route, was recorded in Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina-[Others who have recorded there include Donna the Buffalo, Avett Brothers, and Band of Horses]. Featuring eight songs, the album promises to satisfy the musical longings of loyal fans as well as the uninitiated.  Mastered in NYC by Richard Morris Mastering – Iron and Wine, Nora Jones, Wiyos, Felise Brothers (richardmorrismastering.com). The Scenic Route was published by Paper Sailer Publishing and released nationally on June 29th 2010.

Here is what the press has to say about GKP:
The Scenic Route is luminous and warm; Kipar’s vocals as light and syncopated as water cascading over rocks…Each song on Routes is carefully orchestrated and worked with the tender care of a master painter at his easel. Kipar elevates this eight-song collection far beyond standard singer/songwriter fare, wringing emotion and texture from each song and adding layers of interest with rich, resonant percussion and an intricate dance of string tones. He pushes the envelope of how many sounds can be introduced without reducing the sum to a fuzzy, sonic snarl.” ~Alli Marshall, Asheville’s Mountain Xpress

“In Asheville, fans call his act a ‘small-scale symphony.’ It’s probably more like chamber folk/pop, sometimes reminiscent of Adrian Belew’s quieter moods.” ~Tad Dickens, Roanoke Times

“I was given a copy of his CD Why It’s Needed [2007]  … and I was hooked right away.” … “Strange, slightly other-worldly acoustic music sung in a sweet, slightly distracted voice. I think of it as a sort of American Primitive, with hits of Sandy Bull in the guitars, Brett Dennen in the voice, Donna the Buffalo in the rustic simplicity, and something altogether new in the wonderful orchestrations. I have heard this CD about four times all the way through since it hit my car’s CD player two days ago. One of the songs… made me cry the first time I heard it. In the words of Tina Fey, when I hear the sounds of this nearby world, I want to go to there.'” ~David Gans, KPFA’s Dead to the World, Host of Grateful Dead Hour
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