ALO plus special guest Rabbit Wilde
The Center for the Arts presents
Saturday, February 18, 2017, 8:00 PM
This is an all ages show.
$24 members, $27 general public
(Ticket price includes $2 facility fee. Does not include applicable fee for online purchases.)
DANCE CONCERT – Limited Theater Seating
“Little bit of funk, a little bit of pop, a lot of energy and a big dollop of dance-worthy music – that’s the recipe that’s brought ALO a fan base far and wide.” – San Diego Magazine
“…weaving jazz blues and funk into a soulful California party blend.” – Relix
ALO is more than a band. It’s a musical relationship that has endured for over two decades, with band members playing in numerous projects together and apart. Following the 2012 release of their freewheeling Sounds Like This, the band took time off to work on various side projects. Zach Gill (keys/vocals) toured the world with the band’s college pal Jack Johnson; Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz (guitar/vocals) played shows with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh; Steve Adams (bass/vocals) toured and recorded with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers; Dave Brogan (drums/vocals) joined up with Utah band, Mokie. These and other endeavors have all influenced the band’s new album Tangle Of Time.
More than previous releases, Tangle Of Time really taps into what makes ALO unique. It’s that special blend of classic songwriting and the ability to stretch out jams and distill dance floor grooves. It’s heartfelt lyrics that make you smile, reflect and just want to sing along either way. It’s four great musicians who all write and sing. And four friends who’ve been through a lot together and still support, challenge and inspire one another.
“I really appreciate the guys right now, more so than ever,” Gill shared, excitedly adding, “Years ago the feeling was, ‘I wanna get to my songs and see how they sound while we’re all here’, whereas now I’m rooting for everyone else’s songs. It’s great.”
Lebo described the shared respect and admiration the band felt during the recording process this way: “There are four strong opinions in the room, but playing together for so long we’ve all become pretty good at the empathy thing at this point; we can be very Zen about it. We truly value being together at this point in our careers, and whatever we get from our solo and side gigs, no matter how much fun we have, it’s not this.”
Put the record on your turntable, and you can clearly hear the band’s excitement to get back on the road and explore these songs with their audience. Improvisation is a staple of what the band does, and as Adams stated: “Being in that unknown is such a great life lesson beyond just the music. For all the careful planning and preparing we do, being in the moment is really when it all matters.”
“Rabbit Wilde captures the wind, the streams and the mountain air in their songs. Their beautiful vocal harmonies take you down a well-beaten path in the wilderness accompanied by rhythm and melodies from the classic Americana folk instrument family…This quartet of incredible musicians have lassoed the Northwest spirit and infused it into their own brand of storytelling lyrics and deep and passionate hearts for the land they grew up in.”
Though all four members of Rabbit Wilde grew up running around wooded areas of the same small town in the farthest Northwest corner of Washington state, brothers Zach and Nathan didn’t meet Miranda, the third founding member, until they had all ended up in New York City. This kind of backyard folk seasoned by the edge, polish and fervor of big-city inclinations is at the root of their high-energy sound and stage presence. The quartet revamps classic string band instrumentation with heavy percussion and the unique integration of electronic melodies, six-string ukulele and Jillian Walker on cello. With their widely varying influences, four distinct vocal styles and copious amounts of foot-stomping, they demonstrate a sound and presence that’s at once original and familiar, appealing to audiences of all generations and genres. On their 2016 full length The Heartland, Rabbit Wilde deliver on the promise made by their stellar fall 2015 EP Southern Winters; melding the choicest bits of indie rock, pop, blues, soul, and orchestral arrangement in with their trademark brand of front-porch-shaking Americana.
Rabbit Wilde wrote the bulk of their newest full-length album The Heartland on the road, in bits and pieces, between the warm wheated tones of the Midwest and the shivering pines and rambling rivers of the Pacific Northwest that they call home. Rooted deeply in the front-porch songbook of American acoustic music but never afraid to move outside the bounds of tradition, their music is alive and effusive with the shared connection and exploration of the human experience.
Brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer have been playing music and reading each other’s minds since their earliest days running around the woods of their family farm in the far northwest of the U.S. On the other side of the same small town, Miranda Zickler was playing Radiohead and Jackson 5 covers at her high school’s lunchtime concerts. Yet it wasn’t until fate found them gathered at the same Manhattan diner that they decided to start making music together. They moved back to the Northwest in the summer of 2012, and have since dedicated their lives wholly to playing, writing, touring, and stomping. With the addition of Jillian Walker on cello at the end of 2013, the group has rounded out into a very unique breed of string band.
Their 2013 debut The Wild North propelled the band out of the woods and into the national spotlight. Recorded at the famed Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, WA (Fleet Foxes, The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile), the record debuted high on the CMJ Top 200 Chart and led to featured performances at festivals like Northwest Folklife and Summer Meltdown, and shared stages with the likes of Paper Bird, Leftover Salmon, Shook Twins, and The Family Crest, as well as several successful national headlining tours. With their widely varying influences, three distinct vocal styles and copious amounts of foot-stomping, they demonstrate a sound and presence that’s at once original and familiar, appealing to audiences of all generations and genres.
When it came time to record the next chapter in their songbook, the band returned once again to Bear Creek, a giant converted barn outside of Seattle, WA. While melodically cohesive, the three primary songwriters intertwine their own stories and themes throughout the record. “Most of these songs were written over the last year and a half, and we’ve all had very different paths and experiences that often end up converging, mostly because we live, work, write, and tour together” explains Zickler. “There are some very candid torch songs, but we strive to take every experience as it comes and often write about moving forward when moving forward feels impossible. Our home in the Northwest is a consistent influence on our music, but we’re also hugely inspired by all the traveling we do, and a lot of our writing ends up being rooted in a restlessness and changing landscapes, both literal and figurative.”
“Our writing is very emotionally driven,” says Zickler, “and our favorite thing to hear from people is that it helps them deal with their own emotional lives, whether it’s because they’re relating to the lyrics or because they’re dancing so much that they’ve forgotten what they were worried about in the first place.”