krewe de groove
Krewe de Groove is a 6 alarm fire...a Cat 5 hurricane...a force of nature with the brute power of a runaway locomotive. Their first song, a tasty remake of the classic Jimmy Smith "Root Down," was a funk filled 9 minute beat down that could have easily been the encore after a nearly 2 1/2 hour set that built up steam from the first note to the final bow. Front man and guitarist Brandon Tarricone formed Krewe de Groove after returning to Massachusetts in 2013 following a nearly two decade run in New Orleans soaking up the musical history and basking in funk mojo. New Orleans funk, soul and jazz seeps into much of the Krewe de Groove repertoire and Tarricone's writing. The Meters, The Nevilles, Alan Toussaint, Chocolate Milk even back to Fats Domino and Lee Dorsey all find their DNA in the Krewe de Groove sound. You can tell by the covers he chooses that Brandon Tarricone has studied the roots and worked the soil of the great New Orleans funk garden. While those great New Orleans artists influenced a million musicians to follow, many don't know the origins and draw from the influences quite as openly as Tarricone and Krewe de Groove do...certainly not this far north of the Crescent City anyway.
What makes Krewe de Groove click? Could be the blistering dual sax attack of Henley Douglas Jr. and Eric Schindler. Or Tarricone's impressive guitar skill. Could be the unveiling of Derek Dupuis on keyboards, who made his Krewe de Groove debut at this Fallout Shelter taping and live broadcast of The Extended Play Sessions. Maybe it's the funk-thump heartbeat of drummer John Iltis and Dave Walker on bass. Any one of these cats could have controlled the night, or any other night, but this is a band that runs all 6 cylinders full speed. Everyone makes this motor run. Each of these accomplished players took a turn stepping into the spotlight on this evening and each one brought the crowd to it's feet.
Eric Schindler is a beast of a saxophone player. Part Charlie Parker, part Junior Walker part David Sanborn, Schindler took the reigns on a half dozen solos that were jaw dropping to watch. Playing off the senior member of Krewe de Groove and fellow sax ace Henley Douglas Jr., the two sparred like heavyweights at times but all the time serving the music and the show first.
As good as these guys are, all of them, this is Tarricone's project and the night revolves around his music and his incendiary guitar attack. He's a superbly skilled player with the right amount of stage smarts and humility to let the other members of Krewe de Groove take the lead when it's time. The music calls for that and a good band leader knows it. If there's a downside to Krewe de Groove, and that's a big "if," it's that at times Brandon Tarricone's vocals can, at times, seem just a bit out of place for a full on funk, soul sound but that 'is what it is' and it never appears as as a distraction...it's simply an observation and it needs to be noted that Brandon Tarricone isn't trying to be Aaron Neville and they are creating their own sound and their own take on the traditions of New Orleans funk. Krewe de Groove is a force to be reckoned with...and that's all anyone needs to take away from this night.
KREWE de GROOVE
Brandon Tarricone - guitar, vocals
Henley Douglas Jr. - tenor sax
Eric Schindler - alto sax, vocals
Derek Dupuis - keyboards, vocals
Dave Walker - bass
John Iltis - drums
The Session Crew
Produced and edited by:
H. Nat Stevens
Dan Busler Photography