Patchwork BLu
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Patchwork BLu

Band Rock

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Music review: Flidop Fest"

Some day it's gonna rain... some day it's gonna pour." The song playing over the loudspeaker seemed ominous as storm clouds loomed over Point State Park's Volkswagen Stage Monday night at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
However, as the crowd strolled in, the clouds rolled out at Flidop Fest, the festival's showcase of local bands.

Patchwork Blu opened the fest, their tight funky sound inviting passersby to take a few minutes to enjoy some music. Drummer Nick Miller and bassist Bill Smith held down a solid groove for keyboard player Aaron Bennett and guitarist Brian Carol to trade solos over.

The band's jamming explored each song, occasionally bringing the music down to a tantalizing whisper. Carol's vocals, backed by Bennett and Smith, were sparse in the musical mix, but all were sung well.





The next band to perform, Octavius, did not have or need vocals. Their fusion-inspired sound was mesmerizing. Each player had plenty to say musically. The band's warm sound was punctuated by the frenzied keyboard and guitar solos of Ben Karp and Mark Ignatius, respectively.

Kevin Barefoot played his bass sublimely until, during their third song, he started popping and slapping those five strings faster than the eye could process. Holding the bass against his side, it almost looked and sounded like he was playing a five-string machine gun. Drummer Chris Parker's subtle percussions nicely accented the songs and shone during an exciting, yet tasteful, solo during their last song.

Next was Flowdown, playing for the second time that day. Their assault of "Groove Rock" was a musical left hook, giving the audience no choice but to listen and share the groove. Jon Check's guitar growled and screamed as singer and guitarist Matthew Harkness sang and rapped an exciting path through the music. Check and Harkness showed off their dancing skills during one of Kent English's keyboard solos, and Jere Bucek showed his versatility drumming and singing backup. Brad Barron's bass drove the funk, rock and reggae throughout the 45-minute set.

The June night had cooled down, but the music started heating up when The Boogie Hustlers commandeered the stage shortly after 8 p.m. People of all ages came to the foot of the stage to boogie with the eight-piece Hustlers.

Vince Wylie's vocals were soulful and his percussion precise, but it was the manic energy he displayed as he danced upon the stage that most fueled the energy flowing between band and audience. As he sang, he held on to the microphone stand as if it might leave him forever. One brave audience member met the challenge to dance as much as Wylie, making her way onstage.

Sean Bell's trumpet and the tenor sax of Darnel Anderson alternately accentuated and accelerated the songs, their fills and solos drawing well-deserved cheers from the crowd. Greg Barbone's keyboard playing soared and kept the vibe going between songs. Singer and guitarist Sean Rig and guitarist Ryan Meals grinned at each other across the stage as each added to the funky soul that drummer Dave Jamison and bassist Kevin Barefoot laid down.

The Boogie Hustlers songs were of love and good times, but stayed real with lyrics that touched on topics such as war and fatherhood. Each band member seemed to enjoy playing their blend of jazz, soul and rhythm and blues as much as the audience enjoyed listening and dancing to it. The Boogie Hustlers appropriately closed the evening with the S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. song, "Lovely Day."





- Pittsburgh Live


Discography

A formal studio recording is currently in the works. We have plently of high quality live recordings for review.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

We started playing together in the summer of 2003. We have influences such as Zepplin,Widespread Panic, The Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughn, MMW, The Black Crowes...etc. We love playing with each other so much that it is obvious in our music. The on stage chemistry of our group is what makes us special, that and the love of the crown feeling what we are playing. Its something special.