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"District Jam Band with funky, jazzy, grooves to perform"

District jam band with funky, jazzy grooves to perform

Changes abound this year at the College. While summer winds down and the school year rolls along, routine weekly events are often overlooked by students who are too focused on what the new Caf looks like or where the new parking garage is being built.

Fridays @ 5 is one such weekly event that brings music to the UC Terrace on a weekly basis. This afternoon, the rock-fusion quintet Laidback looks to be anything but routine.

“This concert will definitely spice things up a bit,” sophomore Jacob Dreyer said..

According to the band’s homepage, their jam-based style mixes “funk, jazz, rock, soul and blues,” to create an amorphous sound which can vary from powerful and driving to smooth and funky.

Based out of Washington, D.C., Laidback’s sound recalls that of the Grateful Dead and Phish. However, the rhythm section has an undeniable jazz influence. Bassist Bradley Hodson studied jazz at the University of Seton Hall, and drummer Garrett Wilhelm admits to using mainly funk, jazz and hip-hop grooves. Adding a dash of soul to the mix is lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist Brett Whitson. Back-up vocalist/electric guitarist Brian Raubacher and percussionist David Adams round out the group.

In a style all their own, Laidback has created a niche in the overarching genre of jam bands. Their experimental nature and improvisational flair allowed them to attract a large and varied audience. One could compare the band’s funky bass lines and rhythms to George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic. Their freewheeling solos and improvised melodies create an effect similar to that of String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic or Moe. Lastly, Whitson’s vocal style can be compared to the smooth sound of G. Love and Special Sauce and New Orleans fusion group Galactic.

On tour, the energy of Laidback makes their live show a must-see.

According to University Center Activity Board’s chair of the music committee, Sam Rogers, “If you enjoyed the spirit of [reggae group Soldiers of Jah Army’s] Sept. 2nd show, come out for more top-notch free entertainment,” UCAB’s chair of the music committee, Sam Rogers, said.

Laidback, while not as reggae-based as S.O.J.A., still places emphasis on high quality live shows with good entertainment value and dance-encouraging beats.

According to, Laidback started out with Hodson, Whitson and Wilhelm in Hodson’s basement. The trio played a regular gig at The Cincinnati Café in Reston, Va. where they met Raubacher, who was performing as a solo act at the time. Playing together as a foursome for two years, the band found its fifth member in Wilhelm’s mentor, Adams. Laidback recorded their first, self-titled EP in 1999. Their first full-length album, “The Birdfoot Sessions” was released in 2003 and contains 11 tracks.

Laidback’s enthusiastic live show will feature considerable musical variety. Their sound will stretch from thumping bass and jazzy licks to straight rock ’n’ roll. Throw in a twist of soul and a hip-hop feel, and let the jam begin.

- The Flat Hat

"Laidback featured in Relix Magazine September 06"

Laidback was featured in the "Listen Up" section of Relix magazine. - Relix Magazine




21. LAIDBACK - Mike McHugh

"WASHINGTON (June 28, 2005) - One of the hottest bands in Virginia will bring its heat to Washington Borough for the first annual Washington Business Improvement District’s “Festival In The Borough” on Saturday July 16."

Laidback, Settle among ‘special guests’

at Washington’s ‘Festival In The Borough’

WASHINGTON (June 28, 2005) - One of the hottest bands in Virginia will bring its heat to Washington Borough for the first annual Washington Business Improvement District’s “Festival In The Borough” on Saturday July 16.

In addition to “Laidback,” a hugely popular rock group from Virginia, Easton, Pa. favorite, “Settle,” will also take the stage during the 10-hour downtown music and street festival. With three stages of entertainment and more than 20 bands, as well as dozens of vendors, Festival in the Borough promises to be a great day for everyone.

The festival takes place along the Route 57 corridor from 12 noon to 10 p.m. The event is free.

Laidback ( is a staple on the southern festival circuit while Settle ( enjoys a phenomenal following in eastern Pa.-NW New Jersey.
- Dan Hirshberg


The Birdfoot Sessions, Tin Roof Green "live at the Barn", Live in Baltimore (April 2006)



Laidback has defined a sound all their own by cleverly blending elements of funk, jazz, rock, soul, and improvisational jam. Laidback has been compared to bands such as The String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Moe, G Love and Special Sauce and Galactic.

It all started out with Brett Whitson, Brad Hodson, Garrett Wilhelm and the Hodson basement. The three began their musical career playing music that could only be desribed as laidback. They wove their way in and out of local dives and clubs by way of open mic nights until they scored a weekly residency at The Cincinnati Cafe in Reston, Va. This weekly gig would be the start to all that will come.

In steps Brian Raubacher. Brian had spent the last year as a solo artist at the same open mics Laidback did, just never on the same night. Brian happened to be at the very first Cincinnati Cafe show, and soon after joined the band. It was there that Laidback built their following and earned enough money to cut their first record "The Birdfoot Sessions."

Two years after playing together as a foursome, Laidback's long time friend/session player on Drums, Dave Adams, joined the band adding a whole new layer of rich, rythmic energy. Now, as a fivesome with two albums, Laidback is ever progressing foward their own unique style, and its about time you experienced it

Some bands Laidback have played with:

Perpetual Groove
Ekoostic Hookah
Barefoot Manner
Garaj Mahal
Weekapaug Orchestra
Modern Groove Syndicate
Yo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band
The Breakfast
Dj Williams Projekt
Brothers Past
The Recipe
The Wood Brothers (with Chris Wood of Medeski, Martin and Wood)
New Monsoon
The Dereck Trucks Band
Virginia Coalition
Robert Bradleys Blackwater Surprise
Hot Buttered Rum String Band
LB Shortbus (featuring members of Sublime and LB Dub Allstars)
Jimmys Chicken Shack
The Grove
The Bridge
Whirled Blue
The Ordinary Way,
Juggling Suns
Walnut Grove Band
True Sound
2nd Naycha
Davisson Brothers
The Burning Dirty Band
Trip Lizard
Ernest Goodlife Band
The Jeremiah Prophett Band
Wrinkle Neck Mules
No use for Humans
Sundried Opossum
Roots A'Risin
Apex Watson
Lucy Vincent
The Indobox
Unwritten Prisms

Some Venues Laidback have played:

The Knitting Factory-New York, NY
Kennys Castaways-New York, NY
The Bitter End-New York, Ny
The Green Apple Music Festival-New York, NY
The State Theatre-Falls Church, VA
Alley Katz-Richmond, VA
Fatty J's-Fredericksburg, Va
Whitlows-Arlington, VA
William and Mary College-Williamsburg, VA
The Pub-Harrisonburg, VA
Rhodeside grill-Arlington, VA
Clarendon Grill-Arlington, VA
Top of the Stairs-Blacksburg, VA
Highlawn Pavilion-Harrisonburg, VA
Mulligans-Farmville, VA
Sign of the Whale-Alexandria, VA
Natural Chimneys Regional Park-Harrisonburg, VA
The Cove Campground-Gore, VA
Herndon Town Green-Herndon, VA
Ned Devines-Herndon, VA
Ned Devines-Fairfax, VA
Jammin Java-Vienna Va
Champps-Reston, VA
The Auld Shebeen-Fairfax, VA
Sweet Carolines-Winchester, VA
KC's Music Alley-Fredericksburg, VA
The Strasburg Theater-Strasburg,VA
Schooners-Newport News,VA
Cary Street Cafe-Richmond,VA
The Zodiac-Gaithersburg, MD
Bushwallers-Frederick, MD
The Vault-Baltimore,MD
The Royal-Baltimore, MD
The Funk Box/8x10-Baltimore, MD
Duncans Bar and Grill-Frostburg, MD
Orion Studios-Baltimore, MD
Goucher College-Towson, MD
Billy Beams-Frederick, MD
EJ's Landing-College Park Md
The Rusty Ruddder-Dewey Beach, DE
Tammany Hall-Worcester, MA
Alexanders-Fleetwood, PA
Loozapalooza-Harrisburg, PA
Sunshine Daydreams-Terra Alta, WV
Chic 'N' Bones-Morgantown, WV
WBID Festival- Washington, NJ
The Grog and Tankard-Washington DC
DC9-Washington DC
Juggling Gypsy-Wilmington, NC