Fraser / Live Music: One Time, U-Melt offer ‘deeper sense of connection to the universe’
February 1, 2008
Local laid-back band One Time and visiting musicians from groove-based progressive jamband U-Melt are scheduled to get audiences moving to their similar sounds during a unique two-part concert at the “Creek” tonight.
One Time members Tom Camillo (base guitar), Matt Holliday (lead guitar), Chris “Willy” Williamson (rhythm guitar) and Ian Morlock (drums) play the first half of the special performance and can always be counted on for a good, energetic show. Their music is Southern-rock oriented, playing anything from originals to classic Johnny Cash to Snoop Dogg and favorites by Widespread Panic. The band has also spent quite a bit of time recently rehearsing some new songs, which will most likely be showcased Friday night.
U-Melt, said to be one of New York City’s favorite jambands, follows One Time’s performance with what turns out to be a very similar free-flowing musical repertoire. “U-Melt rips,” Camillo said, adding that they are already huge on the East Coast and have a similar style to Phish.
The funky “jamcentric” quartet – made up of Rob Salzer on guitar, Zac Lasher on keyboards, Adam Bendy on bass and George Miller on drums – is known far and wide through a rigorous tour schedule for its elongated sets and brilliant musical moments on stage. Front-of-the-house engineer Josh Parrish will also be there Friday night and, as Lasher pointed out, if all five aren’t there, it’s not U-Melt.
Although they can certainly put in a full evening of spacious jams into the wee hours of the morning, they are also versatile enough to fill up any window of time with a great concise set. Not only do they have a growing list of fans supporting them, but several media personnel and fellow musicians like Rob Derhak, Chuck Garvey and Vinnie Amico of “moe.” – all of whom have joined U-Melt on stage for special performances.
Other inspirational musicians U-Melt has sat in with include Jake Cinninger and Kris Myers of Umphrey’s McGee, John Trafton, Russ Laston, Erik Glocker, Luke Patchen Montgomery and Don Scott of Strangefolk, Rob Somerville of Deep Banana Blackout, Ed Palermo, Gordon Stone, members of the Addison Groove Project, Perpetual Groove, Brothers Past, Max Creek and The Bridge.
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Influences the band cites include The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa. Albums include “The I’s Mind” and their 2004 debut “The Unbelievable Meltdown” whose song “Schizophrenia” has had significant radio airplay.
“There’s jambands that are rock bands, jambands that are jazz bands, jambands that are funk bands, jambands that are trance bands … and we are none of those,” Lasher said. “But then again, at times we’re all of those.
“The guys are all incredible musicians. So I have to write music that will be challenging and fun for them to play,” said Lasher, who writes most of the songs, along with Salzer. He said, “There’s inspiration to be found everywhere,” that he’s constantly inspired by New York City, and that most of their writing is philosophical dealing with nature and purpose of existence. “We all find tons of inspiration in the beautiful mystery of life itself and definitely in other music,” he said, but to pick a particular inspirational song or musician would be as difficult as picking out a favorite grain of sand on a beach.
Friday night’s show marks a first for the band playing in Colorado and Lasher said they are all really looking forward to it. He said the band has a couple brand new songs that they might showcase and that they had heard that there’s a significantly receptive audience out here for their kind of music. Hopes are that guests leave exhausted “from getting down so hard,” and that they come away with “maybe a deeper sense of connection to the universe.”