There's a new sound taking over the town known as Boston. If you're by the banks of the Charles River as the moon glows over the muddy waters you very well may hear some thick, groovy beats banging out a trail for raw guitar licks and a soul-drenched Hammond organ. Yes indeed, ladies and gentleman who are down with the funk, it's time to get rocked by your new favorite band: Otis Grove.
Otis Grove began as a collective experiment in crossing the traditional organ jazz sound with funk, hip-hop, and rock tones. It was the beginning of a sonic realization based in groove and free in improvisation, yet rooted in songwriting and melodic structure. In early 2004, on the heels of their self-titled debut album, the band began spreading their sound to clubs around the New England area. The music, which has since evolved into a unique blend of aggressive rock n' roll and high-intensity organ funk (some fans have dubbed their genre 'Runk'- a mixture of rock and funk), pays tribute to the masters while consistently pushing itself in new directions. It's as if jazz organ legend Jimmy Smith had been the fifth member of Led Zeppelin, or if the Meters had joined forces with Black Sabbath. Performer Magazine writer Sam Merrick described it best as "a monstrous funk groove that probably would have sent Godzilla running had he been in the neighborhood."
This larger-than-life sound is crafted by three talented musicians, Sam Gilman plays a plethora of instruments in Otis Grove, including Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, Moog synthesizer, clavinet, Rhodes piano, and mellotron. He's a piano technician at Berklee College of Music so he's constantly being exposed to new techniques and approaches. This could explain why the band has such sonic diversity. Tyler Wayne Drabick plays the electric and acoustic guitar for the band, but that's not his only contribution to Otis Grove's sound. Because he owns and operates a Hammond Organ repair shop in Boston, he was able to customize the band's organ and Leslie speaker to achieve more gain and overdrive, as well as chest-pounding deep bass tones which the band describes as "Booty Bass." Last, but not least, Blake Goedde lays down the backbone of Otis Grove's sound on drums and percussion. Having studied with James Brown's drummer Kenwood Dennard, as well as spent countless hours transcribing hip-hop, jazz, funk, rock, and reggae beats, he has come to develop his own intricately funky style.
Six years and over 500 shows after its conception, Otis Grove has shared the stage with musicians and bands John Medeski, Billy Martin, Charlie Hunter, DJ Logic, Eric Krasno of Soulive, The New Mastersounds, The Jerry Garcia Band, The Brew, Spiritual Rez,Trombone Shorty, and many more. With a few national and European tours under their belt, Otis Grove is hitting it harder then ever, having played venues from the Paradise Rock club and House of Blues in Boston to Sullivan Hall and the famous Blue Note jazz club and in New York City. The trio-known for their cranked-up, dance-inducing, dynamic live performances- signed with Ropeadope Digital records in early 2008 and are currently promoting their second release on the label, The Runk.
Otis Grove is:
Sam Gilman - Hammond Organ
Tyler Drabick - Guitar
Blake Goedde - Drums
2004 - Otis Grove (self-titled)
2005 - Live at the Middle Earth
2007 - Crank It UP
2010 - THE RUNK
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