fatdad
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fatdad

Band Jazz Jam

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Mar
16
fatdad @ The Nestor

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Mar
10
fatdad @ Jorgy's

Bismarck, North Dakota, USA

Bismarck, North Dakota, USA

Mar
08
fatdad @ Seven Seas

Mandan, North Dakota, USA

Mandan, North Dakota, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


3-30-06

Damn Sure Better Than Rain: Fat Dad and Friends Returns To Jokers.

Bismarck-based Fat Dad emerged last week after a short time woodshedding with new drummer Tommy McMahon and a rumored stop at a local recording studio. Fans of live music can celebrate. Along with Gypsyfoot, Public Market, and a growing number of musicians on both sides of the River, Fat Dad has helped forge a local music scene that now, suddenly, beats anything else in the state, including all points east. (Fargo, is that the sound of one hand clapping?)

Last week Fat Dad returned to Joker's Bar and Grill in downtown Mandan for a new run of shows in the "Fat Dad and Friends" series, begun last fall. The brainchild of Fat Dad frontman Jim McMahon, the Thursday night series provides a showcase for local talent and a friendly crossroads for music lovers everywhere.

The venue is just right. A sprawling main level at Joker's holds a large, open dining area, with some pool tables and a bar at either end. The food is good and cheap (a full menu with superb half-pound burgers and daily specials) and ready all night. A great place to grab a bite before the show or between sets. The music room down the stairs is a gem. The big stage on one end is surrounded by a wood dance floor and plenty of comfortable tables. A brick-like wall leads to a long bar in back with still more tables. Sound and lighting are top-notch. Trina and the rest of the friendly, good-looking waitstaff takes good care of everyone.

But the real draw at Jokers is the talent on stage. Recently, on their first Thursday night back from haitus, Fat Dad jump-started the buzz it lit last fall. Opening with John Scofield's funky A Go Go, the band launched into a trademark groove: dreamy and sustained at the start, jagged in the middle and nearly falling to beautiful pieces, then home again on time. The shape-shifting in the next two songs -- a Robben Ford blues called North Carolina and then straight-ahead hard bop with a fast one called 911 -- displayed the band's serious chops and ability to pull off virtually anything. This is inspired, nuanced, ensemble playing of the highest order. Bassist Adam Roberts' bedrock lines allow Tommy McMahon -- a gifted drummer -- to practice real Magic. Pianist Sarah McMahon packs it with spot-on counter-melodies, wonderfully textured rhythmic accompaniment and a voice from the angels. Pat Phillips, a guitarist's guitarist, plays impeccably, creatively in any style. Jim McMahon is so good on trumpet that you can close your eyes and be in Birdland or Cotton Club or Carnegie. And his lead vocals are heartfelt, thoughtful, beautiful. An example is McMahon's work on Van Morrison's Into The Mystic, a Fat Dad set staple and the fourth tune played on this Thursday night. McMahon sings the song the way it wants to be sung. Phrasing and melody that can take you to another place. Rounding out the first set, the band acknowledged a past promise to play something new and the Phish instrumental, Cars, Trucks, Buses, came out to a happy crowd.

As the night went on, Fat Dad burned white-hot. During the second set, Lee Morgan's Sidewinder, a hard bop number used to sell cars on tv in the 60s, was put to much better use: it set bodies shaking. Gypsyfoot's Joe McCauley was summoned from the audience and responded with roaring help on alto sax. Then, Tommy McMahon showed his deadhead colors, guiding everyone through a spacey Help On The Way, again nearly dripping to pieces and again saved in time by Mr. Roberts' glue. Help On The Way segued to Slipknot and then into Franklin's Tower, with Sarah McMahon's nice backing vocals and piano work. It was a crowd favorite. Jim McMahon's new sing-along take on Willie Nelson's Whiskey River ended the set.

After a long five-minute break, Fat Dad came back to play a third set. As if his expert guitar playing and catchy vocals weren't enough, Pat Phillips, joined by Sarah McMahon, showed that good rap on the prairie doesn't have to come from a turntable. Beginning with Roberts' thumping solo bass line, Fat Dad's take on Chameleon defied categorization. Twenty blissful minutes with lots of crunch. The band ended the night with the jazz standard Red Baron, again joined by saxman Joe McCauley who, along with McMahon on trumpet and Phillips on guitar, stretched everything out the right way.

Sound good? And there's a big, big bonus. Fat Dad plays without any hint of pretense. The music, their love for it and joy playing it with each other, is palpable. And the room glowed all night long.

Fat Dad plays Thursday nights through April at Joker's Bar and Grill and at various other times and places locally. Highly recommended. - Bismanlive


Discography

we've done some demo recording, with three tracks finished....Almost all of our shows are recorded live by tapers. We have live tracks available for streaming on our website www.fatdadmusic.com and also our music can be heard on our myspace account... myspace/fatdadgrooves

Photos

Bio

On any given night Fatdad can be heard amidst an improvisational jam with sounds no other band has created. Swirling trumpet effects over a burning hot rhythm section with funky guitar tones, a groovin' bass line and smoky rhodes pads. The next moment someone may recognize a familiar tune, only arranged in a unique and different way. All of the members of the band are highly proficient musicians, with the passion to create something that will move people, physically emotionally and mentally. The members of the band have had college level educations and have been diverse in their musical endeavors. Playing gigs from symphony concert to dive bar, Fatdad can appeal to a broad audience with something for everyone. Major influences are: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, MMW, Phish, The Grateful Dead, Derek Trucks, The Meters, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder to name a few. Our band is unique through the dynamic and harmonic contrast to which the crowd will be exposed, taking them on a journey through grooves deep and intoxicating. The listener feels a part of the music via the band to crowd interaction, which gives the fans a personal experience; a reaction to the frequencies that gives the audience no option but to move their body in sheer joy. Fatdad is about creating a vehicle that brings people together in peace and harmony to share moments in time in which they feel connected and yet free. The energy has never felt better in the band, and everyone in Fatdad is excited for what is going to happen next, what ever that may be. We just know that the spirit of the music will lead us to our destiny......