Fresh Hops
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Fresh Hops

Crown Point, Indiana, United States | SELF

Crown Point, Indiana, United States | SELF
Band R&B Funk


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




I can imagine some jambands looking to spice things up by haphazardly throwing a few unique instruments in the mix. The saxophone is a nice place to turn, and many bands have done this well. But a saxophone and a fiddle? Now that's an interesting combo. But not only is it interesting, it works phenomenally well for this band. It's extremely rare to find the fiddle in such a groovy sound but these guys have made it a great thing. The hand drumming from Mikey Clark really stood out to me throughout the show. His efforts, combined with the stout basslines from David Van Vlymen, laid the funky underbelly for the guitars, sax, and fiddle to jam over. I enjoyed just about everything about this hour-long set. But I think what really got me were the fiddle-saxophone harmonies; I simply haven't heard anything like that anywhere else. These guys are definitely making moves in the Midwest. -

"12.18.10 | Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, Strange Arrangement, Land of Atlantis, Fresh Hops & Willie Waldman After-Party"

This killer night of music actually had four bands on the slate. First up was Fresh Hops. When they started there was maybe 20 people in the room, and most of those were bands & other staff. This was a bummer because the Hops were pretty damn good. The main distinction of this band is that they feature a fiddle (Stephan Cook) to accompany their jammy sound. At times I felt like the softer sound of the fiddle clashed with the heavier jams of the rest of the band, making the entirety of the sound lacking a bit. But this was only in sporadic patches. Most of the time they were on point and had me engaged. I was especially impressed with the hand drumming that was a constant force driving through the songs. At their peak, the fiddle blended in perfectly --often harmonizing with the guitars-- and it reminded me a bit of Cornmeal's psychedelic bluegrass attitude. The final song was a real ripper. It was accompanied by an intense light display and had me on my feet & moving. I liked what I heard from these guys and I'm looking forward to seeing them again. -

"Preview by Elle Fassler FRESH HOPS with When not If Be Here Now :: Muncie, IN"

Fresh Hops is a culmination of 7 musicians, who have a passion for music. They all come from different backgrounds. This talented group takes their own blend of music and traditions of each instrument and fuses it with what they are interested in. Joe Marcinek says, “This is why you can hear a bluegrass fiddle breakdown in the middle of a modal jazz waltz tune that is inspired by Zelda.”

Fresh Hops plays at venues like these because it is comfortable. Marcinek says, “The connection with the audience is paramount.” They like playing at venues that they could see themselves hanging out at: places that put music first and make sure everybody is treated equally with respect.

Marcinek says, “Being onstage comes with a plethora of emotions. It can be euphoric or frightening at times and sometimes both. But when it is really locked in and everything is flowing its like your not actively present. Your watching everything takes place.”

Marcinek says his favorite part of being in a band is the sense of community that it brings out. You truly do feel a part of something and being alive in the moment. Meeting different people that all have this similar ethos about life. -

"Tuesday, December 21, 2010"

Hey, blogspot readers, more rockin' around the holiday tree! Saturday night's adventure took this fearless reviewer to a quiant Irish pub/venue - The Abbey for Strange Arrangement's 3rd Annual Holiday Party. This rockin' shindig also featured performances by Land of Atlantis and UV Hippo. SouthSide suggests checking out the lively funk-tastic sounds and rhythmic groove of Fresh Hops. She enjoyed this band's unique twist on the Jazz-Blues combination having lots of soul which included one heck of a rhythm section (percussions, keyboards and saxophone) and violin. This string instrument (the star attraction of Fresh Hops, in SouthSide's opinion) provided some cool breeze to this band's hot groove while the keyboards kept the edgy three-guitar sound mellow but energetic. The music itself was breathtaking especially during classical-inspired song done in a waltz tempo yet performed with a modern neo-Jazz tone. It was also passionate with Fresh's gradual crescendo rises within the tempo and rhythms ...and coupled with the lighting fx - the stage seemed to be pulsating at the same speed and direction of the music. Visit Fresh Hops at for more information about this band and its music. -

"Wuhnurth Music Festival"

Wuhnurth Music Festival PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tyler Henry
Monday, 21 September 2009 21:50

The Water Bowl is one of Indiana’s hidden gems, it is a 200 acre music venue conveniently located just outside of Muncie Indiana. It is far enough outside of the city that it is quaint yet close enough for festival-goers to make trips to town for their daily necessities. The Water Bowl gets its name from the two ponds located inside the venue. One of the ponds near the front of the venue has a beach that was utilized at all hours throughout the weekend. The festival had three stages: a main stage located at the bottom of a hill, the hill state located at the top of the hill, and the field stage.

Wuhnurth Festival | Muncie, Indiana
With Wuhnurth being in its second year the high expectations were certainly met if not exceeded. The festival bolstered a lineup of heavy hitters such as Kyle Hollingsworth, Cornmeal and the Pnuma Trio as well as regional and local bands. There were nearly 2,300 in attendance throughout the three days.

Friday 09.11

Bloomington Indiana’s Shaggy Wonda kicked the festival off with a 5:00 p.m. set on the main stage. Although the crowd was sparse, Shaggy Wonda came out firing with a solid set infused with their signature funky sound.

Sweet Japonic kept the tunes going on the main stage following Shaggy Wonda. With the evening growing older more festival-goers ventured to the main stage for the Sweet Japonic set. Their smooth folk-influenced tunes had the growing crowd dancing. Sweet Japonic was a fitting band to lead up to Friday night’s headliners Cornmeal.

Coming off of the “official unofficial” Wuhnurth pre-party Thursday night in Bloomington, Indiana Cornmeal didn’t waste any time keeping the party going. A strong “”Doin’ My Time” opener instantly got the crowd dancing. Every Cornmeal show I have seen contains two things: positive energy and a mass of foot stomping smiling fans, this show was no exception. After a solid two songs Cornmeal busted into fan favorite “Hasten Jason” which featured a stellar Allie Kral fiddle segment. Following a nicely played “Feather” was a dark “Troubled Land” which was lead by Wavy Dave Burlingame. As the set progressed the band seemingly pulled out all the stops as they dove into the Grateful Dead’s “Cumberland Blues.” What would a festival be without a Grateful Dead song? One thing I noticed while watching the quintet was the smiles on each of their faces, the chemistry was on point Friday night as Cornmeal played a flawless set of down home bluegrass. With one song left in the set, they did not disappoint as they busted out the bluegrass classic “Rocky Top.”

The main stage hosted a variety of genres on Friday, closing out with New Hampshire’s Roots of Creation. The jam-reggae hybrid band kept the main stage going as they made their contribution to Wuhnurth. Roots of Creation laid down their signature upbeat and positive licks to keep the main stage going until nearly 1:00 a.m.

On the Field Stage, Muncie’s own MC Sparkplug composed of Tony Z and Lanie performed a 30-minute set of their unique hip-hop.

Although they faced some pa troubles Fresh Hops was determined to play their scheduled late night set. After a slight delay Fresh Hops took the stage by storm with “” segueing into a rhythm jam featuring bassist Dave Van Vlymen, drummer Kevin Mardirosian and recently added percussionist Mickey Clark. The Hops kept it fresh by bringing out frequent collaborator B.C. for a pair of his original hip-hop songs. Bloomington Indiana’s Herm Productions ran lights for the field stage all weekend and definitely lit it up. Herm’s lights matched the Fresh Hops performance almost as if he was their full time lighting director, accenting each member at the correct time. Fresh Hops closed out the night right with a fierce guitar driven jam.

Saturday 09.12

As the sun peaked on this blistering Saturday afternoon The Hue took the stage to kick off the festivities for the day with a nice dose of progressive rock.

Family Groove Company
On the Hill stage Indiana’s “One man jam band” Derrick Howard played a short set between The Hue and The Vessel.

The Vessel put on a stellar performance considering they had a substitute drummer who filled the spot nicely. The unique folk/roots sound fit the vibes of the afternoon like a glove.

Family Groove Company took the stage around 4:30. The Chicago quartet opened with a song by the name of “New Tune 22” followed by fan favorite “Falling Off the Fence”, which proved to be a smooth combo. A spicy version of Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va” featured some fancy fretwork by guitarist Adam Lewis. During “Guns of Ticonderoga”, Lewis said “Janis is gonna play some bass for ya’ll right now” as him and keyboardist Jordan Wilkow left the stage. The drum and bass segment started out somewhat chaotic but eventually built into a funky rhythm jam before diving back into “Guns”. FGC ended the set with a smooth trio of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay>West Egg Party>Trying to Live Up”.

Originally scheduled for the 9:00-10:30 p.m. slot, up and coming electronic musicians Papadosio took the stage early due to some travel issues for Pnuma Trio. Papadosio kicked things off with a synth-heavy jam which eventually mellowed out. Throughout the set Papadosio weaved in and out of trancy jams that built up but went flat. They also hit it hard with funk heavy jams that had the crowd in dance frenzy.

Finally the Pnuma Trio arrived after some travel difficulties. They were conveniently flying out of the same airport as President Obama and their flight was delayed. The delay of their flight turned out to be a blessing in disguise, taking Pnuma back to the days of playing later in the night. In typical Pnuma fashion, they came out hard and laid down dirty electronic jams infused with smooth melodic beats. The highlight of the set was the “Tall Tree” bust out, they nailed it to a T. The Wuhnurth performance was the third consecutive festival performance for Pnuma, following a Thursday set at Trinumeral and a Friday set at Harvest Fest. The three consecutive shows didn’t phase them as they played one of the strongest Pnuma sets I have seen all of 2009. The set was so strong; they blew an amp and had to end the set with a computer track.

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus @ Wuhnurth
Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Ultraviolet Hippopotamus performed Saturday’s late night set on the field stage. Last year Ultraviolet Hippopotamus was scheduled to play a Sunday afternoon set but was forced to move their set to a local bar due to heavy rains. With that in mind, they came out firing with a solid Dusty’s Trumpet> Matt’s Atlas duo. Keyboardist Dave Sanders took control of Dusty’s Trumpet making sounds reminiscent of firing lasers throughout the crowd. Obviously they didn’t mind as the tent busted into a frenzy of dancing bodies. The “Cream Soda> Georgie> Cream Soda” showcased a fan favorite surrounding a politically driven song about the former president. Following the sandwich was the debut of a new song, currently titled “Dave’s New Tune” “So new even Z-brah hasn’t even heard it” said bassist Brian Samuels. The “Imperial Death March” made an appearance at the end of the set during which I noticed a member of the crowd walking like a storm trooper around the stage for added effect. The dueling guitars of Russell James and Sam Guidry resembled light sabers in the “Imperial Death March” Ultraviolet Hippopotamus.

Sunday 09.13

Opening the final day of Wuhnurth was Euforchestra, Kyle Hollingsworth’s tour mates on the Midwest tour. Euforchestra’s global rhythm sound was an excellent way to wake up; they’re easy on the ears and tough on the feet as one can’t help but dance.

21-year-old Daphne Willis and her band performed the mid-afternoon set. The soulful voice and bluesy rock of Daphne Willis & Co. attracted a healthy sized crowd at the main stage in the blistering sun.

Kyle Hollingsworth | photos by Nicholas Pandorf
Sunday’s headliner Kyle Hollingsworth rolled into Muncie on the last stop of his Midwest tour in promotion of the new album “Then There’s Now”. Having seen Kyle Hollingsworth solo before, I knew the remaining crowd was in for a big surprise. Although his key rig is downsized from the one he uses with the String Cheese Incident, Kyle still fires bullets when he sits down on his bench. The theme of most festivals continued as a lot of people cleared out but during Hollingsworth’s set I heard one fan say, “Only the strong stick around for all that is Kyle Hollingsworth.” The Highlight of the set was the “BAM! > Eyes of the World> BAM!” sandwich in the middle of the set. Although I am unfamiliar with the titles of the songs from “Then There’s Now” the ones that were played were very impressive. They have a lighter and catchier sound to them; Hollingsworth’s voice shines nearly as much as his keys do. Midway through the set, a girl decided to entertain the crowd herself as she got on stage before being removed. “All Inside” a track from the new album began with a funky hip-hop influenced intro before dropping into a smooth key-driven melody. Throughout the set Hollingsworth and his band were joined by saxophonists Ryan Jeter, Austin Zaletel who are collectively known as the Stank Horns and percussionist Matt Grundstad of Euforchestra.

The final performers of Wuhnurth were Chicago electronica musicians Future Rock. Future Rock drew in a nice size crowd for closing out a festival and they gave those who stuck a healthy extended set. Apparently the crowd was excited enough to light a good portion of sparklers during the opening song. Future Rock treated Wuhnurth to the first performance of FM2 in nearly a year, shelving songs always makes the bust out that much more fun. Future Rock also came off of a 3 festival weekend like the Pnuma Trio and they too showed no signs of fatigue or exhaustion as they did what they do best, play beat heavy late night shows. The band’s interaction was on point, as they didn’t miss a beat. To close out the festival Future Rock did a nice rendition of Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock.” Bassist Felix Moreno constantly reminded the crowd to “pick something up on your way back, we’re at Wuhnurth, keep it clean!” -

"Wuhnurth Music Festival - A "Wuhn"-Derful Weekend"

My final surprises of the day were The Roots of Creation and The Fresh Hops. The Roots of Creation closed out the main stage with an electric set that mixed most every type of music from folk to ska at which got the crowd up and dancing. Heading over to the field stage I discovered that they were having a problem with the generators and that some acts, such as MC Sparkplug, were moved to later in the evening on the main stage. When the members of Fresh Hops arrived, they were informed that the power was fluctuating and there was a real danger of shorting out. They talked it over for about twenty seconds and then started hauling their equipment on stage. Already enamored by their Rock-n-Roll attitude I was amazed as they took the stage. Fronted by a flamboyant gypsy style violinist and occasionally joined by a freestylist of Arabic decent, who whipped the crowd into a frenzy. I mentioned his ethnicity for a contextual reason, as this performance took place on September 11th and I felt the healing power of time and music. Eight years have passed since that horrible day, and here we were, united, locked in a celebration of life. Besides the killer jams, the Fresh Hops were also generous with their stage space as by the end of their set they were sharing the stage with a dog, a couple of dancing girls, a guy in a penguin costume and a twelve year old displaying front man chops many full grown adults should envy.

Pictures and Words by Rex Thomson -


The Relish Tray EP



Fresh Hops is a 6-piece band from the Tri-Town Area of Northwest Indiana. The band has played over 400 shows in 9 different states. After 4 years of being together, their sound continues to evolve, as the fans and family continue to grow. Fresh Hops has created a love for the "live" show, incorporating the concept of "having fun" as the main idea. Each show is different, consisting of a mixture of creative originals, and catchy/crafty instrumental cover songs. Fresh Hops puts the emphasis on real music while blending their influences into something brand new. The band celebrates the rich history of each instrument playing bluegrass/classical songs through the violin, classic soul/jazz with the tenor sax, and heavy metal with distorted guitars. Somewhere along the way all the elements combine to create a truly unforgettable experience.