Side Project Spotlight: String Cheese Incident
Words By Nicholas Stock (phatphlogblog.blogspot.com)
String Cheese Incident has many different creative juices flowing through the members of the band, so it’s no surprise that they overflow into many other projects. Not to mention the couple years that SCI took off gave the respective members plenty of time to let their musical aspirations expand. In this edition of the Side Project Spotlight I’m going to give a breakdown of the different projects from all of the members of String Cheese.
Emmitt Nershi Band: Essentially a super group combining members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon the Emmitt Nershi Band is a chance to see an amazing bluegrass collaboration live. When I saw them touring with Assembly of Dust in 2009, Moseley was on bass, however Railroad Earth alumni Johnny Grubb has filled that slot beginning this year. Current Leftover Salmon banjo player Andy Thorn rounds out this stellar group of musicians. This group really is a meeting of minds between Drew and Bill. It’s a raw display of their passion for string music and one of my favorite SCI side projects.
Kyle Hollingsworth Band: Kyle took the plunge about a half-decade ago finally taking his rightful place at the helm of his own band. Sometimes touring as Kyle Hollingsworth and Friends Kyle Hollingsworth Band is funk-infused super group in their own right. Combining members of The Motet and SuperCollider with Kyle’s Cheesy roots they have been wowing audiences across the country since their inception. Having released two albums they have truly developed a great sound that is both approachable and interesting. Recently touring with Michael Kang they are one of the best projects to emerge from the String Cheese family.
EOTO: Formed by Michael Travis and Jason Hann this duo has taken their love EDM to a whole new level. Playing their first show at Sonic Bloom in 2006, by 2008 they were playing 200 shows a year. They’ve released three studio albums with each being the product of one live take. Their sound took a distinct shift after they witnessed a dubstep show by DJ Skream in 2008. Utilizing Ableton Live as their primary software for their loops and utilizing a MIDI attached to their laptops. Travis loops keyboards, bass, guitar and vocals while Hann loops electronic percussion and vocals as well. They have become enormously popular with the younger segment of String Cheese fans, but I find myself more enamored with the other side projects.
Michael Kang: The man has been a roving musical nomad of sorts. Playing with a wide variety of projects including KHB, Everyone Orchestra, Panjea, and many more. I think this is because Kang has such a veracious appetite to play but has yet to find the sort of intensity that Travis and Hann have for EOTO. Not to mention the fact that he has a predilection for travel and he has recently had a child which takes up a lot of his free time. Kang is so incredibly talented that he can just play with anyone, which makes for some interesting live shows with a very diverse group of bands.
Grant Farm: Much like Kang, Moseley roams around trying to find his niche. He has played with Emmitt-Nershi Band, Honkytonk Homeslice, Keller Williams and the WMD’s, and several other groups. He also fills a regular slot playing his bass with Grant Farm, which is one of his most interesting collaborations out here on the Front Range. Grant Farm is a melding of the minds of Tyler Grant and Andy Thorn. Grant is one of the best flatpickers in the country, winning the National Flatpicking Championship in 2008. Andy Thorn as stated above is quite simply one the most dynamic banjo players touring today. Moseley fills the gap of Grant Farm by bringing his lock tight bass skills to the table. I would go on to say that when Grant Farm plays Moseley penned songs it adds a whole new layer to the group.
So here is a breakout of what happens when String Cheese isn’t getting ready for a run or touring. The assortment of musical output from the members of Cheese is so varied that it becomes obvious as to why SCI themselves dabble is so many genres. Each member brings something different to their performance, which is whey they are one of the best jambands of all time in my humble oppinion. It’s just one more reason I am so looking forward to seeing their tour-closing run in Chicago.