BoomBox is producer/DJ Russ Randolph and singer/songwriter/guitarist Zion Rock Godchaux. This pair of dynamic artists uses their rich musical history and their vision of music and popular culture to deliver a style of music distinctly different from anything heard or seen in music today. This signature sound and show brings live music to a new, elevated level.
BoomBox evolved through the common visualization of a pair of forward thinking artists from diverse musical backgrounds. Raised by supportive and musically inclined parents, both Godchaux and Randolph had an obsession with music at very young ages. Godchaux, who grew up with deeply embedded rock and roll roots, began playing drums at the age of two, and played guitar and wrote his own songs as a teen. During the 90s, Godchaux was a well-received touring DJ based out of the San Francisco area. Randolph began as a young drummer, but it’s what was happening behind the scenes that attracted him most. As much producers as they are musicians, it is Randolph’s understanding of soundscape and Godchaux’s knack for songwriting that keeps BoomBox resonating at higher levels.
Randolph, previously known for his production credits (Rex Foundation, Saliva, Sugarland, Los Lobos, Chuck Berry) crossed paths with Godchaux, while they were recording the Heart of Gold Band album, “At The Table,” with Godchaux’s mother, Donna Jean, formerly of the Grateful Dead. Godchaux had a heavy hand in creating the album through writing and singing as well as playing multiple instruments, while Randolph guided and engineered the album’s development. The rest, they say, is history, and together, Randolph and Godchaux’s talents tear apart previous notions of music and sound as experienced through their debut album “Visions of Backbeat.”
BoomBox originates from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which is recognized openly by the music industry as one of the few areas that remains famous for contributions to popular music. Muscle Shoals is credited with producing some of the most revolutionary styles and creative artists in the history of Rock and Roll. The community holds a vibe that stimulates the development of an unofficially trademarked sound. BoomBox incorporates this rich history into their music, allowing for the grand entrance of a greater style and fusion of Rock and Roll, Vintage Psychedelic and House.
BoomBox’s high-energy show remains the essence of the group. Night after night the group draws people of various ages, musical interests and backgrounds, guiding them on a journey into sound and revelation. The union of Randolph and Godchaux combines a producer/DJ with a vocalist/guitarist in a real-time live format creating a genuine and fulfilling performance for the mind, body and soul.
Chad Denney -GM - Degy Booking International Inc.
c/o Tree Sound Studios
4610 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30071
Zion Rock Godchaux - Guitar, Vocals
Russ Randolph - Machines (Sequencers/Samplers/Turntables)
Released Nov. 2005 - "Visions of Backbeat" the debut album
Bama's BoomBox to bring 'funky, sweaty dance party'
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BY JOHN LIBERTY KALAMAZOO -- 11/1/2007 KALAMAZOO -- Russ Randolph and Zion Godchaux of the Muscle...BY JOHN LIBERTY KALAMAZOO -- 11/1/2007
KALAMAZOO -- Russ Randolph and Zion Godchaux of the Muscle Shoals, Ala., duo BoomBox don't believe in set lists.
The crowd determines the direction of their live shows, as will be the case when BoomBox rocks Bell's Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., downtown Kalamazoo, at 9:30 tonight. As Randolph tells it, each show is the ``sum total of the energy in the room.''
Randolph DJs and Godchaux, whose parents Keith and Donna performed with the Grateful Dead in the '70s, plays guitar and provides vocals. They've been described as ``jamtronic,'' a blend of jam and electronic music, although they protest the label. What they are sure of is their ability to respond to a crowd.
``On a really good night, it's like people are almost telling us what to play,'' Randolph said during a phone interview from tour stop in Dalton, Ga. `` ... It's not that difficult to read a crowd. You know real quick if something is working or not. You can see energy exchange and if people are paying attention or not.''
When they're on, the audience will look like they just climbed out of Lake Michigan.
``I can't emphasize the sweat enough,'' Randolph said. ``Everyone is drenched, drenched out. It's a funky, sweaty dance party.''
The two men came from different musical paths when they met while recording and mixing 2004's ``At the Table'' CD from The Heart of Gold Band, a group started by Godchaux's parents after their stint with the Grateful Dead. Godchaux contributed heavily to the album. Randolph, a native of the rich Muscle Shoals music scene, collaborated with Godchaux, who was born and raised in San Francisco, on the title track to provide drum programming. Randolph said they ``understood almost immediately'' that they were on to something.
``In my mind, we had a moment of clarity that we could work on these things,'' he said. ``One hundred doors opened at the same time.''
Randolph joined The Heart of Gold Band on tour and in 2005, BoomBox released their debut, ``Visions of BackBeat,'' on the Heart of Gold label.
BoomBox has been touring extensively this summer, including a spot at the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival in Lawrence, Kansas, in June and headlined by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.
Tonight's show is their Kalamazoo debut and Randolph knows what he'll be looking for from the audience.
``I personally prefer to play to people who came to get down,'' he said. ``Or who at least achieve some level that they can connect with a band for a time.''
Around the corner
Randolph and Godchaux said they are planning to record a new CD and release it before next summer. Godchaux said it's not going to be ``a big studio, opus kind of thing,'' but that they'll ``get in and make a rock record.'' They also said they are planning to release a series of downloadable singles before the full-length release.
It's a merger of jam band music and electronic music -- a relaxed genre given a jolt, like hippies on ginseng. Although they have been categorized as a jamtronic band, BoomBox said they don't consider themselves that. They think of themselves as DJs first, unlike most jamtronic bands. ``(Jamtronic is) heavy on the live music and light on the electronic. It's more of a jam thing than an electronic thing. Jamtronic, to me, is jam bands trying to sound like a DJ,'' Zion Godchaux said. ``We think of ourselves as just one DJ ... DJs are constantly reading the crowd and can move on a dime and are constantly gauging the audience and playing appropriate records for that moment. Bands already have their songs, they have their sets. They're looking at it as they're performing. A DJ is trying to make the party happen.''
Nickname: ``The Captain.''
Hometown: Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Quote from bandmate: ``Russ is the man. He cements the technical aspects of BoomBox from his knowledge of sound. ... There's a million things that Russ brings to the table. He's a drummer, so when we're working on the tracks, he does the fine-tightening to get things right on the track. ... We bounce ideas off each other all the time. I trust Russ' filter. If there's something I'm doing or an idea I have and it doesn't pass his filter, I move on. ... That is absolutely crucial with everything we produce, on any level, is going through Russ' filter. He's got a pretty d--- hip filter.'' -- Zion Godchaux
Other: Attended the University of North Alabama's School of Commercial Music.
Skills: Vocals/primary songwriter/guitarist/DJ/producer.
Hometown: San Francisco.
Quote from bandmate: ``Me and Z are similar in some ways and very different in others. Together, we complete each other. Together, we've got everything covered. ... Generally, when we put both of our perspectives together, we have a good grasp on the entire world and what we want to do.'' -- Russ Randolph
Other: Owned his own drum set at 4 and by 6 was performing with his mother.
On The Web
BoomBox -- 9:30 tonight, Bell's Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, $7. 382-2332. www.bellsbeer.com.
WHO THE HELL IS BOOMBOX?
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By: Alan T. Goodman For those of us who grew up in the 80's, listened to the Breakin' 2: Electric...By: Alan T. Goodman
For those of us who grew up in the 80's, listened to the Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo soundtrack, wore Moonpants, and danced on pieces of old cardboard and linoleum, well, we know what boom boxes are. Or at least what they were. How about a new BoomBox, especially one that takes old school styles and combines them with Beck, Gorillaz, St. Germain, AND delivers live performances that have the entire Southeast turning their heads. Would you check it out?
Formed about three years ago, BoomBox is not your traditional group. It only has two members - a guitar player/vocalist and a DJ - that combine live instruments with multi-track sequencing, turntables, and samplers for a unique brand of infectious music. Zion Godchaux and Russ Randolph came together while working on an album that Zion was collaborating on with his mother, former Grateful Dead member Donna Jean Godchaux. Russ was engineering the record and the two connected immediately.
After forming in late 2003, BoomBox spent most of 2004 in the studio developing both their sound and their unique approach to live performance. Since then, they've been refining that sound, which has stirred up a nice buzz with promoters, media, and other bands.
At the time they met, Randolph was tired of playing in traditional bands. He says, "I had pretty much given up, too much of a pain in the ass, not fun nor fulfilling, either musically or creatively." Zion, who had practically grown up with the Grateful Dead, was feeling similarly jaded. Together, they had an original vision of what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go.
In the mid 90's Zion was a DJ in the San Francisco house music scene, and pondered the possibility of fusing DJ tracks with live instruments. A decade later that fusion has come to fruition with BoomBox. With musical influences from house to the Grateful Dead, Zion says his vision is "not just jamming live, but to write full songs in dance format like a singer-songwriter, retaining the lyrics, the melody, and the song. It's the best of both worlds, something everybody could groove and have a good time with. But, when the show was over they could still take away the meaning and the songs as a whole."
In just three short years, BoomBox's shared vision has come a long way from their home in Florence, Alabama. What began as local gigs and playing aftershows has blossomed into a full-blown touring act. With one studio release under their belts, they're working on remixing some live tracks for a new album. "We want to establish BoomBox as a legitimate act in a bigger market, to take it to the next level on a bigger scale," Randolph says. By the overwhelmingly positive reaction to their debut, their rapidly growing fan base, and Randolph and Zion's infectious dedication to their music, their legitimacy seems almost inevitable.
Despite their unique instrumentation, every song does have a somewhat traditional structure which they're able to flesh out live. They jokingly say that "we share one brain between the two of us," which is evident in the way they finish each other's sentences and thoughts. Onstage, they are "two people as an extension of one DJ" and the chemistry between them is undeniable.
So, what does the future hold for BoomBox? "We are always experimenting in the 'Lab' towards a bigger vision. We want to keep everything fresh and new, and exciting for us as musicians. We want to take it as far as it will go," says Randolph. Zion adds, "It's still a mystery to us. We know the path we're on will have twists and turns but we have a good idea where we are going now. I'm blown away by what is possible and am happy to experience the adventure."
BOOMBOX TOUR DATES
03/08/07 | Georgia Theatre | Athens, GA
03/09/07 | Mellow Mushroom | Tuscaloosa, AL
03/17/07 | The Funky Bean Farm | Yellow Springs, OH
03/23/07 | The Soul Kitchen | Mobile, AL (w/ Perpetual Groove)
03/24/07 | Club 29 | Decatur, GA (w/ Green Lemon)
03/29/07 | Two Stick | Oxford, MS
03/30/07 | Two Stick | Oxford, MS
03/31/07 | P Sally's | Monroe, LA
04/04/07 | Newby's | Memphis, TN (w/Particle)
04/05/07 | The Granada Theatre | Lawrence, KS (w/Particle)
04/06/07 | The Blue Note | Columbia, MO (w/Particle)
04/12/07 | The 8X10 |Baltimore, MD
04/13/07 | Uncle Buck's Ranch | Athens, OH
04/14/07 | Magic Stick | Detroit, MI (w/Particle)
04/17/07 | The Buffalo Icon | Buffalo, NY (w/Particle)
04/19/07 | Mellow Mushroom | Tuscaloosa, AL
04/20/07 | Smokehouse | Florence, AL
04/24/07 | Exit/In | Nashville, TN (w/Particle)
04/25/07 | The Bottling Company | Hattiesburg, MS (w/Particle)
04/26/07 | Barley's Taproom | Knoxville, TN
04/28/07 | Oldfields on High | Columbus, OH
05/02/07 | Canal Street Tavern | Dayton, OH
05/03/07 | The Blue Gator | Athens, OH
05/05/07 | Nelson Ledges Quarry Park | Garrettsville, OH
05/11/07 | Mellow Mushroom | Tuscaloosa, AL
06/07/07 | Wakarusa | Lawrence, KS
06/24/07 | Park Street Tavern | Columbus, OH
07/04/07 | Nelson Ledges Quarry Park | Garrettsville, OH
07/13/07 | Kinetic Playground | Chicago, IL
07/27/07 | Hoxeyville Music Festival | Hoxeyville, MI
JamBase - Go See Live Music!
[Published on 3/6/2007]
Band "Booms" in Athens
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By MIZ KITTIE September 05, 2006 I had a little sit down with BoomBox last week and found ther...By MIZ KITTIE
September 05, 2006
I had a little sit down with BoomBox last week and found there is more mix to the madness than I ever realized. Russ Randolph and Zion Godchaux are boldly going where no one else would ever want to go. I'm just having some fun with them, but this great sound is really very technical and is the first of its kind. The sound is live and created by multi-track sequencing with a mix of live vocals and guitar. You really have to hear it to appreciate it and beware you can't help but get taken in by the sway of the music. Before you know it your booty is on the floor and you don't want to stop.
Russ and Z played at the Blue Gator last Saturday and we all had a great time. BoomBox is from Alabama but has been touring in the Ohio area and picking up a great deal of fans. Remember: You guys promised to come back! I want to note that Kim Hagen is usually with the guys and she's recovering from an auto accident and we wish her well.
These guys came together because they wanted to do something different and they don't have anyone they can look to for guidance on their style. They are truly alone in the biz on this one. Neither of them are new to the music scene with Russ always mixing music and Z playing guitar with his mom, Donna, in bands.
Zion is the son of Keith and Donna Godchaux who really made their mark in history with the Grateful Dead. Donna was the only female who ever sang with the band and Keith played keyboards. Keith died in a car accident not long after he left the band. Even though Z didn't have much time with his father, he is very close to his mother and helped her with music and vocals on her last cd. Both Russ and Z find the Grateful Dead a big influence in their lives.
"I'm in just as in awe of the Grateful Dead as anyone," says Z. "I put together many things I've learned from mom and dad is just a part of who I am."
BoomBox's music is free and spontaneous with a little old and new mixed in. Russ says there is a lot of old soul, like some Percy Sledge, mixed in with his techno wizardry.
"We are not looking for perfection here," Russ says. "It's the energy and the experience of the music taking us and the crowd on an incredible journey. We are trying to express to people, not to impress people."
The new buzz word for BoomBox's music seems to be jamtronic, but the guys would really prefer their music not be describable to a point. They bring together many worlds of music and pull it off. The only part that really matters is that the crowds are having a good time and believe me they are.
BoomBox is getting ready for another CD that should make people feel good and love to dance. That is all that matters, they say.
Grateful for the Fest
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Gratefulfest 7 - June 30 - July 3, 2006 - Nelson, Ohio By JON STEN July 05, 2006 The last b...Gratefulfest 7 - June 30 - July 3, 2006 - Nelson, Ohio
By JON STEN
July 05, 2006
The last band I saw play was called the BoomBox. I was running low on fuel, and I truly didn't know what to expect. I was standing there in front of that stage-when I experienced one of those indefinable, indescribable musical moments. The very same moments that happens only a few times in a lifetime if you're even lucky enough to get one. The lights bend low as the band begins to shift into some wild disco music with a spoken word rap driving the sound on. They are playing "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie" which was written by the master himself, Bob Dylan. It is the poem that destroys all poems. My face begins dancing. My soul feels a rip and I leave the universe for one brief moment of bliss. It was better than time travel. It was the best feeling. Life does not get any better than that one pure moment of musical madness which I experienced that morning. So I'd like to thank the BoomBox for taking me there. I really missed that place. The true power of music and only music is greatly underestimated.
Several witnesses have filed reports claiming that they observed numerous heads ejecting off the torsos of dancing hippies during Gratefulfest weekend. However, it gives me great pleasure to inform everyone that all heads have been returned to their rightful owners, and that most of these victims have no memory of the mind blowing event.
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There are at least two bands called Boombox. Information about the Ukrainian band Boombox can be fou...There are at least two bands called Boombox. Information about the Ukrainian band Boombox can be found under its name in Cyrillic: Бумбокс. This page is dedicated to Boombox from the United States.
The music of Boombox is something that can only be described as truly unique and extremely catchy. Zion Godchaux and Russ Randolph make up this two piece band that caters to nearly anyones musical tastes. Godchaux(guitar and vocals) and Randolph(turntables) use a very technical mix of live improvisation, multi-track sequencing, and turntable grooves to create a sound that sounds like soul, jazz, funk, techno, and dance all rolled into one.
With their debut album "Visions of Backbeat"(2005 Heart of Gold Records) Boombox has been touring in several states and making numerous fans everywhere they perform. Their shows are truly something to experience.
One 1-2.5 hour set or two 45-60 minute set(s).
Intro - China Cat Sunflower Remix
In the Forest
Round & Round
Last Thought on Woodie Guthrie
There are no upcoming dates at this time.