A very unique, rootsy band from Philadelphia, sharing a common thread of multi instrumentalism and free art form songwriting, Boris Garcia tells the tale of America with pop sensibilities and quirky twists.
In the past eight years since inception, BORIS GARCIA has set about trouncing genre “lines in the sand” and has fused Pop, Bluegrass and Jam into their own undeniable sound. BORIS GARCIA was born when friends recorded for fun only to find an audience beyond their wildest dreams. “We put together a band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” “It worked so well we did it again, and again, and again.” BORIS GARCIA quickly evolved into one of the most unique Americana / Jam bands in the land. They masterfully blend acoustic and electric instrumentation. Their latest studio CD “Today We Sail” was produced by Railroad Earth fiddler Tim Carbone and is their fourth national release. The eleven tunes showcase Boris Garcia’s ability to tell a story and forge a lasting melody. Love and compassion, tales of higher order and sometimes personal disorder, songs that speak to the human condition.
Boris Garcia has seen significant commercial airplay charting AAA and Americana pacing them “outside” most of the Jamband crowd, "real song’s that resonate” despite any monikers or genre classification. Boris Garcia’s “Once More Into The Bliss” factored in the Jambands.com charts and placed in the top 10 for over 8 months peaking at #6 overall. “Today We Sail” has already begun to climb the Jambands.com charts, debuting at #11.
See Boris Garcia:
Jeff Otto - Vocals, Bass, Guitar, ukulele
Bob Stirner - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Bud Burroughs - keys, mandolin, Backing Vocals., bouzouki
Tim Kelly - Drums
Chip Desnoyers - Pedal Steel Guitar
2013 "Boris Garcia Live"
Produced by Boris Garcia
2011 "Today We Sail"
Produced by Tim Carbone
2008 "Once More Into The Bliss"
Produced by Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth)
Featuring Buddy Cage (NRPS), Donna Jean Godchaux (Grateful Dead) and Carbone. Porchwerk Music / Dig Records
2006 "Mothers Finest"
Produced by Jeff Otto & Bob Stirner
2005 "Family Reunion"
Produced by Marcus Neimoeller
Boris Garcia - Today We Sail - CD Review
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April 19, 2011 Brian Robbins - JamBands.com Ah, those Boris Garcia boys: shape-shifting trickster...April 19, 2011 Brian Robbins - JamBands.com
Ah, those Boris Garcia boys: shape-shifting tricksters who never lose track of who they are; psychedelic-folked-up-Kokopellis-of-the-highest-order; navigators of oceans of genre-blending sweet goo.
Somehow, over the span of four studio albums, Boris Garcia has managed to establish a recognizable sound and vibe while evolving and expanding their sonic palette at the same time.
Think about it: “Point of Grace” off 2005’s Family Reunion was basically multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jeff Otto multi-tracking ukulele and bass parts over Stephe Ferraro’s brushes-on-a-pizza-box rhythm track – it could snuggle right in amongst any of the tunes on Today We Sail and wouldn’t be out of place. How do you explain it? Group understanding and dedication to a particular vibe? Works for me.
One way the Borises work their magic is to lay it on subtly: they welcome you in and get you good and comfy in the just-right arm of an old familiar tie-dyed easy chair. It’s not until you’ve already lifted off that you realize the thing has booster rockets strapped to the bottom of it – but by then it’s too late to turn back … and who wants to? Let the warm wind blow your hair back and blow your cheeks out like a Redbone Coonhound with his head out the sunroof. Never seen a sky that color before? Good for you. Just go with it and let the music play.
Try it for yourself: Today We Sail kicks off with “Walking Barefoot”, where we find Bud Burroughs’ happy mando dancing and skipping over Ferraro’s straightforward drums and Bob Stirner’s chopped-out electric guitar. What’s this – some threads of pedal steel woven in? No shock there: the band brought pedal maestro Buddy Cage in as a guest for their last studio effort (2008’s Once More Into The Bliss ) and made good use of the extra texture. The lessons learned on Bliss have morphed into the addition of Chip “Dr. Steel” Desnoyers as a full-time member of Boris Garcia … and his impact on the band’s overall sound is so right – yet so natural – that you’ll be going back to their early albums just to make sure that he hasn’talways been there.
“Everybody says I’m crazy, but I’d have to say – probably okay,” sings Stirner just before the band swirls into a break, with Burroughs laying down some English country garden tea-and-acid-laced-crumpets on the keyboards before we hear the sweet voice of Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone’s fiddle, followed by Desnoyers’ pedal steel soaring and cascading all over everything. For a moment, the music is miles-deep and full of chambers that keep opening and closing (just how many sets of strings are there, anyway?) until everything spirals up and pops just past the three-minute mark, bringing us back to the present dimension.
How did they accomplish that? It’s hard to say … but that’s just typical Boris Garcia – it’s what they do.
Besides providing tasty guest fiddle, Carbone returns as producer on Today We Sail, having proven himself totally in sync with the Boris Garcia vibe on Bliss. It would be too easy to refer to Carbone as Boris Garcia’s George Martin, but it honestly and truly fits the bill. The insight he brings to the table as a non-member is always true to the band’s established karma. It makes for a good team.
Knowing that Stirner and Jeff Otto are the principal songwriters for the band, one might be surprised to read the liner notes and find that they didn’t actually write any tunes together. The songs dovetail nicely on Today We Sail with no obvious segregation of “Jeff songs” vs. “Bob songs” – it’s all Boris Garcia music. Both of them write solid tunes that could stand alone just fine in a stripped-down acoustic setting, but easily lend themselves to be jammed-out as the moment dictates.
More highlights: Otto’s epic and deeper-than-you-might-think “Song Dog”, featuring blistering mando by Burroughs and wild-ass steel work by Desnoyers; the slow, glorious churn of Stirner’s “Mighty High”; the joyous hear-me-now declaration of “Song of Love”; the ghostly twang-and-snap of “Long Black Hair” (which sounds like a cross between an Appalachian-flavored Robert Hunter tune and one of Steve Earle’s ballads); and the absolute sweetness of the album-closing “Christmas In June”, as fitting a place to end as “Walking Barefoot” was to begin.
Bud Burroughs has always made the transition from things with strings to keys effortlessly, but Today We Sail sees him step to the forefront with some killer piano/organ work, whether it be subtle accents or lovely leads. (Check out his where’d-that-come-from break during the funk of “Good Home”.) Ferraro’s drumming can be as straightforward or as out-there as needed; he’s equally at home sitting by the fire or soaring off on a rhythm mission to some faraway place. (Again, check “Good Home” and Ferraro’s work when the jam takes over and the band begins to roll and tumble at 3:20 – somebody’s gotta keep the thing in orbit and give the others a safe place to return to.)
All in all, Today We Sail is no surprise because it’s full of surprises – and all of them sound just like Boris Garcia.
Brian Robbins - JamBands.com & Relix magazine
Intro: Point of Grace
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The snow was just plain nasty: thick and wet and heavy. No doubt, the ride home later on in the even...The snow was just plain nasty: thick and wet and heavy. No doubt, the ride home later on in the evening would be a challenge. But there was no room in our souls for worry at that moment as right now reigned supreme. And right now, we were tucked inside One Longfellow Square, a sweet little venue in downtown Portland, ME enjoying being among the few who had chosen to not think about the weather and experience the band Boris Garcia. And right now, we were deep into the heart of the song "Point Of Grace", comfortably wrapped in the warm folds of a joyous jam. I nudged my wife and pointed toward the band, shaking my head: you had a front line consisting of Bud Burroughs on bouzouki, Gene Smith weaving sweet recorder riffs, and Jeff Otto head down and driving the rhythm with his ukulele – all the while, Bob Stirner rolling a bass line along on top of Stephe Ferarro's jazzbo-flavored drums. I shook my head in wonder and my wife grinned back at me, knowing exactly what I was thinking. "But it works!" she said.
Yes, it did.
Interview: The Winnebago Tape
Composed of five longtime friends, the Pennsylvania-based band had sailed their Winnebago up into the northeast as part of a voyage to promote their latest album, Once More Into The Bliss. Featuring guest appearances by Donna Jean Godchaux, Buddy Cage, and Tim Carbone (who also produced the album), Bliss is the third installment in a series of albums chock full of, well, in the band's own words, "Boris Garcia music.”
Between soundcheck and the gig in Portland, ME, we were invited aboard the Winnebago, where we talked with the Boris boys about their sound, their inspirations, and their friends. (Please note: the finished interview, apart from laughter, only contains one quote from Bud Burroughs, who tends to the quiet side. Not to worry – Bud did his talking later on during the show via mandolin, bouzouki, and keyboards … big time.)
To read the interview follow this link to jambands site
Into The Great Unknown
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No, this is not a family relation to the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia. It's the name of a band that ...No, this is not a family relation to the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia. It's the name of a band that has learned from that era and pushed it forward with a graceful, jamgrass touch. The music echoes a cross between the acoustic-sided Dead of "American Beauty" and the hedonistic pleasure cruise of New Riders of the Purple Sage. In fact, former Dead backup singer Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay and New Riders pedal-steel ace Buddy Cage are along for the trip. But the core of the Philly-based Boris Garcia is three singer-songwriters - Jeff Otto, Gene Smith, and Bob Stirner - who each bring striking skills to this project. Stirner's "She Wasn't Born to Follow" (a clever play on a Byrds song) is a great, mandolin-laced tune about a woman who answers to her own muse. Otto's "Riverman" suggests Harry Chapin's "Taxi" with lyrics influenced by Hermann Hesse's "Siddhartha." Adding color are uilleann pipes, Mellotron, and bouzouki. It's an album that the real Jerry Garcia might have loved. [Steve Morse]
There is no typical set. But the average set will contain 8-12 songs and run about an hour and 30 minutes. BG has been known to play 2 hours and 45 minute sets if the mood is right. Boris Garcia plays all original music written by the songwriting duo of Otto and Stirner. An occassional cover or traditional tune can sneak into a set, always to the appreciation of the audience.
Point of Grace
Nine Fine Wines
She's No Happier
The Bully Song
Red White & Blue
Through the Window
She Wasn't Born to Follow
Song of Love
Deaf Dumb & Blind
Boris Garcia writes and plays pop inflected Jamgrass-Americana with quirky storytelling, Socio-Political commentary and outragious instrumentalism. Multiple instrument changes abound at a Boris show !!!