Hambone Relay
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Hambone Relay

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Funk




"Hambone Relay deliver high stepping grooves with heavy, swaggering rhythms!"

If you’re even remotely interested in Funk, Jazz or Soul-infused Fusion, then you need to get into the Philadelphia-based trio Hambone Relay. The band consists of co-founder Mark Brown (Hammond Organ, Keyboards), John Udinsky Jr (Guitar, Bass) and Rob Tait (Drums, Percussion).

Their self-titled album delivers grooves and syncopations strong enough to stand on their own, extremely tight playing, lisping cymbals and infectious organ and guitar riffs.

One of the first intrinsic qualities I notice about Hambone Relay is the genuine creative meaning they see within music. They take the tangible and intangible elements of their craft to reach a deeper level of understanding, making it clear they don’t see music merely as a commodity to be bought and sold. That almost exclusive 60’s/70’s ethic seems to be such a strong influence on everything this trio does musically.

“One-Eyed Jack’s” kicks off the 9 track album with an infectious melody, in the pocket grooves and lots of spontaneous musical combustion. And from there on out, the way out is up. This sounds like an album where all the elements the trio are experimenting with reaches its apex and comes together for one consistently engaging recording.

“Steam Shovel”, “The Line”, and “Cramp Your Style (Live)” all have their moments of brilliance, but what for me, makes this recording memorable, are the songs “Sick, Brah!” and “Spyhunted” with bags full of goodies helping to make this disc a near masterpiece.

These two tracks are down and out high stepping grooves with heavy, swaggering rhythms and a like-minded attitude in the soloing as well. These compositions are worth the album price alone.

Hambone Relay is not only continuing their musical quest with this album, they are also refining and expanding it even further. The trio have a really great sounding vibe with this new album, and an astoundingly large percentage of very good tunes – nine out of nine ain’t bad! The tracks are all tight and dynamic, with a much focused ‘live-feeling’.

Of course apart from the masterful Hammond soloing by Mark Brown and the snappy guitar interludes by John Udinsky Jr, it’s the never-loosing-the-grip grooves, ably supported by Rob Tait that balances the rich and complex sounding palette.

With extrapolation from these songs into the future we surely will be in for an extremely interesting up and forward ride – an ever deepening exploration of funky jazz fusion – the proof of a continuously expanding musical universe. Who says we only have computer-programmed music? There is hope in Hambone Relay! I’m in! - Jamsphere

"Rant ‘N’ Roll: The True Essence Of Musikfest"

Rant ‘N’ Roll: The True Essence Of Musikfest
—by Mike Greenblatt, August 27, 2014

PHOTO: The author (right) with friends at Musikfest 2014

BETHLEHEM, PA—It’s a time to discover new music. It’s a time to be with friends, experiment with international cuisine, walk walk walk from show to show, have a party, dance, sing and scuffle with security (but only if you go to any of the 10 big shows where bumrushing the stage at set’s end is a no-no). The only “big” show I attended was the sublime Steely Dan who gave the people what they wanted. My cousin Rich drove up from DC to be my +1. Donald Fagen and company didn’t disappoint. Fagen’s a curmudgeon whose slightly rumpled appearance masks the soul of a white Ray Charles while peppering his hucksterism with vague beatnik glory…with one of the best bands in the land behind him. And yeah, I danced. When security manhandled me, I manhandled her right back, swooping the volunteer into my arms and slow-dancing while the band covered Joe Tex. It worked. A magic moment for sure. Lazily sauntering over to another stage, we met some friends and rocked out under the stars to Stone Flower, a Santana tribute band. (I must say, I have given in to the joys of a good tribute band, after pooh-poohing such acts my whole life.) As we happily walked back to the car, the strains of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me” drew me like a magnet to the band Zaire from Phillipsburg, NJ, with perfect three-part harmony.

Ultimately, it’s not the big acts but the hidden treasures which are the true essence of this 10-day festival which kick-started August into a kind of unreality that permeated my very existence for the duration. In the interest of full disclosure, true, I went but five of the 10 days yet with my huge mug filled with warm red wine, I traversed the perimeter with a smile on my face and a yen for sound.

And oh boy I got it.

Day #1 was a disappointment only because ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill had kidney stones and the band had to cancel. Ouch!

By the time I got my act together, it was Day #4. I sat under a hot sweltering sun grooving to The James Supra Blues Band, a local harmonica player who really belted his blues (including a cover of “Walkin’ The Dog” by Rufus Thomas and even a time-out for a surprise “Memphis Underground” by Herbie Mann complete with a high-flyin’ flute solo). When vocalist Sarah Ayers came out for three songs, the sun, the heat, the wine, the sound and the band’s propensity to hard-charge the blues like a steamroller coalesced into perfection. A great way to start my 2014 festing! I stayed for the whole set (a rarity) before venturing inside to see Hambone Relay, a great Philly soul-jazz-funk organ trio who blew me away. I finished my night sitting outside on a big rock listening to Sheryl Crow.

The next afternoon, I happily sweated while being mystified, hypnotized and willingly befuddled by the Arabic jazz of Nashaz from Brooklyn. They were so good, especially the guy playing an oud, I stayed for two sets! A first! Then it was time for Joyous, a soul/gospel cover band that did some Al Green fit to drool over.

I took two days before going back to totally freak out to the music of The Kinks, maybe my favorite band of all time, as performed by The Blue Meanies from Staten Island, NY. Why they’re named that is still unknown but their lead guitarist is Damian Fanelli of Guitar World magazine. I was wondering how deep they’d go into the Kinks Katalog and they surpassed my highest expectations by doing almost every single one of my favorite under-the-radar Kinks Klassics like “She’s Got Everything,” “Victoria,” “Sunny Afternoon,” “A Well Respected Man,” “Village Green Preservation Society” and oh so many more, and, yeah, I stayed for both sets dancing like a fool and singing at the top of my lungs (caught on camera by a roving TV guy being silly but who cares). The British Invasion Tribute band from Edison, NJ was cheesy and I walked out while they led a sing-along to “I’m Henry The Eighth I Am” by Herman’s Hermits.

After Minas, a delicious samba band from Philly that had me swooning in delight, my absolute personal highlight of the fest was Black Masala from Washington DC. With an adorable female front, and the kind of horn section one would expect from a New Orleans outfit, this Euro Gypsy brass band had me dancing and prancing around the venue. I even waved my arms in the air like I just didn’t care.

It ended for me with Nashville singer/songwriter Kevin Gordon who should be a huge star but I must say no more due to space restrictions. Believe me, I can go on. Consider him a poor man’s John Hiatt.

Musikfest 2014, the nation’s largest non-gated festival, drew 1.1 million people from 43 states and seven countries. And it didn’t rain! There were 41 arrests but you gotta figure there’s gonna be idiots at any major event. I’m already looking forward to Musikfest 2015 for 10 days starting August 7. - The Aquarian Weekly


Creating your own lane in the music industry isn’t an easy feat, but Philly based jazz/funk band Hambone Relay have already solidified themselves as one of the grooviest groups on the East Coast.

Made up of Mark Brown, John Udinsky Jr., and Rob Tait, Hambone Relay has been building a fan base and a solid catalog of audible awesomeness that’ll get you on your feet and moving to the rhythm. Having just returned from a mini tour, the guys are ready to deliver their new project Free Hugs to the public and take their rightful spot on your favorite playlists.

Be sure to keep up with Hambone Relay on Facebook, and make sure you come out to the Free Hugs Release Party at Bourbon and Branch on November 4th to enjoy some great drinks, awesome people, and groovy tunes. - Vain Culture

"[ Album Review ] Hambone Relay - Free Hugs"

Hambone Relay is a Rock/ Funk Organ Trio from Philadelphia, PA. Mark Brown (Hammond Organ/Keys), Rob Tait (Drums), John Udinsky Jr. (Guitar, Bass) make up this powerhouse trio. As multi-instrumentalists, songwriters, and touring musicians; their unique backgrounds, creativity, and pure happiness shine through on this collection of songs. Their exciting instrumental album "Free Hugs" is set to be released November 4th.

Track By Track:
Tenth & Market – Center City, on a crisp fall afternoon. Imagine just stepping out into the sunlight from the dark subway platform to be greeted by constant sounds of the busy street and inaudible chatter of people walking by. Electric guitar blends perfectly with sustained organ, transcending effortlessly between jazz and rock feels. With influences of Jimmy Preston, The Meters, and Jimmy Smith, there are countless musical avenues to wander down, while also carving out their own. Free Hugs is an exciting ride, so buckle up!

Mr. Square Peg + Miss Round Hole - A lo-fi radio version of Hambone Relay's sound is poured over this song like hot maple syrup on a stack of fluffy hotcakes. It sends you back to the days of spinning records all night that you bought at your favorite vinyl shop, then, immediately you're zapped back into today with all the smooth and crisp production, deep warm tones of electric guitar and organ. Reinforcing the idea of a modern rock band that continues to evolve, while simultaneously staying true to their roots. Organ and Guitar sing out as a duet, courting each other with melodies. Midway through the song you might find yourself doing double take when the band shakes things up like an Etch-a-Sketch, transitions that would make the most seasoned band run up to throw the band high fives on stage.

Boilermaker – Just as the name suggests, a shot of well whiskey and a beer would go well with this tune. Smooth, with a little bite, followed by ice cold awesome organ vibes. Percussive jazz guitar riffs, and boasting a non-stop, ever evolving rhythm section. All in perfect harmony and time, building and breaking down intricate melodic sections.

Chicken n’ Biscuits – Steaming hot, buttery flaky goodness right here. Picture sitting down to eat with extended family for a celebration. Sharing a table of home-cooked food on a late Sunday afternoon before the big game. Your uncle single handedly trying to drag you outside for a game of football, while maintaining eye contact with the last chicken drumstick on your plate. You might find yourself clapping along with the band halfway through the song, the music drops out to just claps and a lyrical jazzy guitar solo, when the whole band comes back in you feel the energy dripping, like condensation on an ice cold glass of your favorite beer.

Peacefully Idle – (personal favorite) Peacefully Idle is a song that shows off the softer side of Hambone Relay. It starts off with a laid back, mellow R&B feel. The first rays of sunshine peeking through your window on your day off. Lazily making your way to the kitchen to start brewing some coffee, your puppy-dog already smiling at your feet. Smooth organ pads, light crispy guitar solos that pull right at your heartstrings. A beautiful ballad with one of the most serene moments on this album, as a cascading guitar solo brings this song to a satisfying end.

(We Gonna) Make It Right – Ready to get back to rocking? Well these guys waste no time jumping back into their stride, warm upbeat grooves, impressive drum chops and more air-tight organ and guitar features. Hambone Relay has a way of making you feel at home in their songs. If you were having even an inkling of a bad day, this tune will make it right.

Scoop and Slap – Transported back to the seventies, rolling down the street in a souped up El Camino. Windows down, music up! Crazy funk breakdowns, organ and guitar really take over the bass lines, and then flare up into the sky like fireworks on a hot July night.

High On The Five – Bouncy, fun, zippy, groovy, driving, this is a solid rock 'n roll tune. Something fun to listen for throughout the album is the little background noises at the end of tracks, or the excited shouting during songs when things start to get rambunctious.

Free Hugs – The title track of their album shows a wide range of the band's unique style, skill, and finesse as a dynamically driven trio. The tune starts off with a bright piano build, tight as a freshly packed tootsie roll, smooth organ flows seamlessly as the whole song gets flipped on its head. I imagine a live show of Hambone Relay being off the walls, high energy and fun. A band that really draws you in and doesn’t let go.

Sick, Brah! – A rowdy, explosive ending to a fun, rock solid, prominent release. Careening through the air waves, percussion storms in fast and strong, musicianship at its finest, their transitions melt and reform effortlessly. Being in Hambone Relay must feel like being the fastest runner during the bulls on parade. Talent and pure style for days. If you’re looking to move your feet and steal the spotlight on the dance floor, lace up your shoes, because this is your song.

Make sure to pick up a copy of Free Hugs on November 4th, online or at their CD release show in Philadelphia. - The Spin Cycle


Get ready for a full frontal funk attack with Hambone Relay’s latest album “Free Hugs”. Led by the second generation of Hammond B3 players, the band features Mark Brown...

by Staff November 3, 2016

Get ready for a full frontal funk attack with Hambone Relay’s latest album “Free Hugs”. Led by the second generation of Hammond B3 players, the band features Mark Brown on keyboards, and University of the Arts classmates Rob Tait on drums and percussion, plus the double trouble bass/guitar talents of John Udinsky. Hambone Relay who tours regionally up and down the East Coast, can funk it out with the best of them, but they also like to showcase how all sorts of music can come together and push the boundaries of what funk music is. Reimagining the genre, they keep it all fresh by incorporating elements of blues, jazz, R&B and some good old rock ‘n’ roll.

“Free Hugs”, the band’s second full-length release, is more than a worthy funk record that delivers pleasures from start to finish. You get flavors of funk that takes you back to the day when funk ruled. It’s a welcome departure from the current urban landscape that is sounding tired, tired, tired.

Every track encompasses a different slant; from the opening fusion-funk driven, “Tenth & Market”, to the airy jazz stylings of “Boilemaker”, and then the Blues inspired “Peacefully Idle”. On both these track John Udinsky delights and teases with his clean and tasteful guitar musings.

Things heat up even more by the time you reach the psychedelic groove of “(We Gonna) Make It Right”, where both John and Mark Brown step up to the plate. “Scoop and Slap” is a great vehicle for Rob Tait to shine with his time keeping and creative rolls.

But John Udinsky won’t give up the ghost, and lays into the track with some down and dirty lead soloing, which is equally challenged by some great call and response Hammond playing by Mark Brown. That the trio is on the boil here would be an understatement.

For all of us who appreciate strong grooves, outstanding musicianship, and creativeness nurtured on history and tradition, this is one of the best bands out there. And if you’re thinking that Hambone Relay can’t tone down and slow-burn, listen to the title track, “Free Hugs”, and think again!

The fast-paced closer, “Sick-Brah”, will certainly raise the roof with the combined power of Mark Brown, Rob Tait and John Udinsky on an all-out jam. Grooving-wise it doesn’t get much better than this. These guys have a great chemistry together. So many of today’s artists don’t know what direction they are going from track to track.

They just don’t have a clear idea of who they are. Hambone Relay know exactly who they are and where they’re coming from, and the result is a very tight band and that can groove it up or tone it down without losing their identity.

These cats can do it all, but they do it with a sound all their own; incredible grooves, pockets, breaks and solos are all over this record. Every track burns and funk, jazz, and soul fans will instantly love it, but this is truly a great record that should make waves in all music circles. - TuneLoud!

"Philly’s Fantastic Four: 4 Philly Acts to Watch in 2018"

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to get funky with Philly’s musically adept trio Hambone Relay. It’s impossible to stay seated through a Hambone Relay set as their intoxicating tunes will have your head bobbing and your feet shuffling the second they start jamming. Don’t believe me? Check out some of Hambone Relay sonic goodies, and see them live when they head off on their Winter 2018 tour. - Vain Culture



Available on CD, Vinyl and Digital DL

1. Dustbowl Circus

2. The Low Down

3. New Soul Tune II

4. Here Come The Fuzz

5. Star Climber

6. Sit On It

7. New Dog, Old Tricks

8. Roxie

9. Let's Go Get Stoned feat. Jordan August (CD/Digital ONLY)


Released January 5, 2018

1. Grape Soda

2. Alan Thicke

3. New Soul Tune 


Released November 4, 2016

Sick, Brah! Records

1. Tenth & Market

2. Mr. Square Peg + Miss Round Hole

3. Boilermaker

4. Chicken n' Biscuits

5. Peacefully Idle

6. (We Gonna) Make It Right

7. Scoop and Slap

8. High On The Five

9. Free Hugs

10. Sick, Brah!

Released August 11, 2015

The band's first full length album.  

Produced by Mark Brown & Devin Coleman


1. One-Eyed Jack's  

2. Pass The Crawdads  

3. Sick, Brah  

4. Steam Shovel  

5. Catskill Children Got Soul  

6. The Line  

7. Free Hugs  

8. Spyhunted  

9. Crap Your Style (Live)

Recorded at Musik Haus Studios; Riverton, NJ  &  ATS Studio; Norwich, NY



Founded in 2012 by Hammond organist Mark Brown, Hambone Relay has been touring up and down the east coast for 5 years bringing their brand of instrumental originals and covers to the masses.  Brown who came onto the jam band scene in 2008 as the keyboardist with the Baltimore-based band THE BRIDGE,  is joined by the incredible talents of Rob Tait on drums and Luke Ferracone on guitar.  Despite being primarily instrumental, Hambone Relay is known to have many guest sit-ins including male and female vocalists playing everything from Led Zeppelin to Sam Smith.  

The Philadelphia-based trio draws their inspiration from such organ greats as Jimmy Smith and Billy Preston while combining funky grooves and dauntless guitar lines in the same vein as The Meters. Staying true to their jazz roots, Hambone Relay’s live shows are a mixture of danceable grooves, psychedelic overtones and improvisational jams that are sure to leave you wanting more.

You can check out their music, videos and more info at: www.hambonerelay.com.  Their music can also be found on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and Bandcamp.

Band Members