Euforquestra: The Great Local Jam
Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (www.phatphlogblog.blogspot.com)
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to hop off the mainstream jam band path and transition towards coverage of some lesser-known acts floating through the ether. There are tons of great regional and local bands out there that deserve our attention and work very had to get it. If you know of any, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
The first band I would like to discuss is one that is near and dear to my heart... Euforquestra. The band formed in April 2003, and only a few months later, I first caught them at the now defunct Iowa City Festival known as Exodus. They are and always have been about creating a dance party. By blending elements of afrobeat, reggae, dub, funk, rock, soca that are combined with the traditional sounds of Cuba, Brazil, West Africa, and other locations around the globe, they have truly created something unique. The self-titled sound of Afro Caribbean Barnyard Funk has been captivating audiences for almost a decade. What began humbly enough in Iowa City as a local show has grown into a stage busting dance-plosion. They show their versatility with every concert performed which number around 120 concerts a year. By touring relentlessly, they have built a following nationwide; from Burlington to Bozeman, they are known to bring the funk and the fun. In 2008, the whole band up and moved out to Fort Collins, Colorado. It was a move that, after months of planning and some serious perils, proved to be a good one. Much like Iowa City, Fort Collins is a college town with a laid back demeanor. They have done well here by playing to huge crowds at Bohemian Nights and tons of festivals including NedFest, Dancing In The Streets, and many, many more. They also host their own Camp Euforia which has become a premiere Midwestern festival in the heart of Iowa corn country. Staying true to their roots while continuing to expand their sound, they released their third full-length album, Soup, and chose to distribute the music for free online rather than sell it. Download it here:
In order to give you a better idea of what Euforquestra is all about, I want to discuss their set from Summer Camp 2011. It was the boys from Iowa’s 3rd time playing the festival. Here’s a video of the band being introduced by yours truly:
It was fun to introduce them and not nearly as intimidating as giving the intro for moe. the day prior. As the video points out, I have a little bias towards Euforquestra having been in school at U of I while they were getting their start. I was just lucky enough that the band decided to make a move to Colorado. I get to see them a ton and it’s always a great show. Within the last few years, they have revamped their rhythm section moving Grosso to drums and putting Ben Soltau on bass. It took them a second, but they are playing so tight now it’s disgusting. Their guitarist Mike Tallman is a rock, always making jaws drop in the crowd. This set at Summer Camp was no exception. The elements of brass do a lot to fill out their sound, and Grundstad’s percussion and vocals add a dub element to their music. They opened with a sick “Cause a Reaction” as soon as I finished my introduction. A massive version of the Zalatel-penned “Free” led into their now-classic ode to grandma’s cooking, “Soup”. Throw in some Talking Heads and it was a quintessential Euforquestra set. They are comfortable and ready to play to larger audiences. The thing about going to see them live is that as soon as you are there, you become a believer. I have taken countless friends to see them live and they just keep coming back for more. That is what this series of articles will be about. We are looking for great live bands that deserve more exposure, so help us by adding some words to the comments section below or MusicMarauder’s facebook page. Let us know who you think should get more attention!
To learn more info about the band, check out NoCoast.TV’s new video titled, “A DAY IN THE LIFE with Euforquestra”.