Strength In Numbers
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Strength In Numbers

Burlington, Vermont, United States | SELF

Burlington, Vermont, United States | SELF
Band R&B Pop


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



"I Am Burlington (and So Can You!)"


What’s the only thing better than a tribute band? (Aside from a fresh, original tribute band, obviously.) An all-star tribute band, that’s what. And this Saturday, a veritable smorgasbord of local talent is converging upon Nectar’s, Voltron-style, to pay homage to a living legend of jazz and funk, Herbie Hancock.

I know what you’re thinking. “Jeez, Dan. We sure have a lot of tribute acts in the area right now with — among others — Made In Iron (Iron Maiden); Ragged Glory (Neil Young); Led Lo/Co (debauchery); and The Dead Sessions (duh). What’s so special about these guys?” So glad you asked!

Led by ace guitarist Will Kirk (Strength in Numbers), the group consists of some of the most accomplished funk, jazz and rock players in the area. Featured performers include fellow Strength in Numbers cohorts Bryan McNamara (saxophone); Parker Shper (keys); PJ Davidian (percussion); and Dan Ryan (drums). Rounding out the group are bassist John Ragone (Rubblebucket Orchestra, The Dead Sessions) and trumpeter Alex Wolston (Absinthe Minded Love, Roku).

The crew plans to focus on specific albums — Headhunters, Manchild and Maiden Voyage among others — in an attempt to do justice to one of the most innovative and influential artists of the last half-century. Or, as Kirk himself put it in a recent email, “We’re gonna take it to the church!” Amen
- Seven Days

"Strength in Numbers, VT Union - 1/10/09"

Numbers Game

One of the more pleasant surprises of 2008 was undoubtedly the emergence of Bryan McNamara’s monstrous funk collective, Strength in Numbers. In less than the span of one year, the high-octane octet has become a legitimate local favorite, comprised of some of the region’s most accomplished young musicians. The group was also responsible for introducing a terrific new genre tag into our collective lexicon: “hip-pop.” With a debut album due out this spring, expect that term to be on the lips of music fans far and wide in 2009. In the meantime, catch them while you can this Saturday, January 10, at Nectar’s with local hip-hop heavyweights VT Union.

- Seven Days - Burlington, VT

"Capital Sounds: Musical happenings in and around the Capital City"

Happy New Year, everyone … now that the holiday hoopla is over with, we can get back to normal 'round these parts. Hopefully some of the college kids home for winter break will hang around for a few weeks and continue to boost business for our local nightspots. Traditionally, from January until spring, things get a bit sparse in the attendance department for many. Pickins are kinda slim this week, with the post-New Year's weekend seeing many of our local venues taking at least part of the weekend off, but there's still some things around for those lookin' to keep the party rolling into '09. Here's what's up:

Speaking of keeping the party rolling, Langdon Street Café is doing just that following their epic NYE show there two nights ago. Tonight they'll host funk/soul/hip hop group Strength in Numbers for a clear-out-the-tables dance party. The partially local group – some members hail from as far away as Montreal – plays an eclectic mix of hip-hop, funk, jazz, R&B, and good ol' bootie-shakin' music they self-describe as "Hip-Pop." Formulaic, yes, but definitely a whole lot of fun. Featuring some topnotch local talent – Rob Morse on the bass and Brian McNamara on the sax, as well as a great singer in Emma Frank – this band is sure to get you hittin' the dance floor, which is just what their formula is designed for. Check it out at 9 p.m., for donations. If you happen to be around earlier in the evening, stop by at 6 p.m. to check out Abby Jenne as she starts out her month-long happy hour residency at LSC. She'll be joined by various guests throughout the month.

And, speaking of Abby, she pulls double duty tonight as she appears at Charlie-O's on Main Street later on in the evening with her band The Enablers. Abby is a central Vermont institution at this point, having wowed local music lovers for years with her original compositions and her renditions of old standards and popular favorites. One thing you'll notice if you come to either gig is that she is glowingly, gloriously preggers. Her condition has not hurt her singing voice one bit; in fact, the lack of booze and smokes has her hittin' high notes she probably hasn't touched in years! She'll be singin' for two at the Ol' World Famous starting at 10 p.m., as always for the price of a drink at the bar.

Elsewhere tonight, the Mad River Valley gets back into the swing of things when The Dixie Red Delights bring their rockin' Americana sound to The Local Folk Smokehouse on the corner of Routes 17 and 100 in Waitsfield. Formerly the Mad Mountain Tavern, the venue was one of my favorites until they switched from being a freewheeling ski bar to the current family restaurant model. Owner John Morris is bringing back the tunes on Friday nights this winter, however, and the big stage and large open viewing area/dance floor remain in place. They picked a real keeper to start off the New Year with, as the Dixie Reds have been shredding it up lately on the heels of their first release "Bear Hoot" (copies of which will surely be available at the show). Their instrumental jams are reminiscent of The Grateful Dead's more bluegrass/Americana material (think first set, you Deadheads), and Doug Perkins' rippin' guitar work alongside Erin McDermott's powerful vocals and solid songwriting are sure to have the dance floor shakin' like Jerry was still alive. They'll kick it off at 9:30 for a nominal cover – highly recommended!

Saturday night has a few juicy musical tidbits to offer as well. The Black Door on Main Street in Montpelier cranks up their first weekend of '09 with the PanAshé Steel Drum Band. Playing a blend of sounds from hip hop to bebop, Brazilian samba to Caribbean soca music, the band has been putting out the sounds of the tropics for many years now under the direction of longtime local Emily Lanxner. Not sure if they'll have umbrellas for your drink, but you can pretend you're in the Caribbean and get your dance on starting at 9:30 for the usual honor cover. A heckuva lot cheaper than a flight to the islands, fer sure!

Another residency continues at the Langdon Street Café Saturday night when The Hungry Rat Revue takes its slot for the first Saturday of the month. The event features a plethora of high school-aged local talent putting their various compositions to musical accompaniment with the help of more accomplished professionals. Their material is followed by a performance from said pros. Tomorrow nights version features Montreal-by-way-of-North Montpelier's Eliza Moore along with NYC-by-way-of-Montpelier's Kris Gruen as performer/mentors. Expect some cool indie-folkish material from these two, who both are established artists in their own right. The event kicks off at 7:30, and if the attendance to the inaugural version last month is any indication, I recommend arriving early if you want a good seat.

For those still lookin' to get their dance on, pop on in to Charlie-O's Saturday night and check out some reggae! – no, that's not a typo! Burlington's PMP Band will take the back of the barroom Saturday night to kick down some riddims for the Ital-faithful. From what I can tell via MySpace, their sound is based in the classic R&B that much of early reggae was built on, with modern influences such as some rudimentary rapping thrown in for good measure. Whether they can pull it off live remains to be seen, but it's worth checkin' out if you're a reggae fan, as it is quite the rare occurrence at the Ol' World Famous. They'll kick it off at 10 p.m. – irie, mon!

To round things out for the week, there are a couple of good shows coming up at Langdon Street Café. On Wednesday, chamber folk ensemble The Speedbumps return to LSC on tour from their home state of Ohio. "The band has been called neo-acoustic, folk, chamber rock and everything in between. Their sound is influenced by artists like Nick Drake, Wilco, Iron and Wine and Damien Rice, to name a few." If that sounds good to you, it's 'cause it is – they are a straight-up excellent band and should be a weeknight treat, and they even feature a cello ta boot. The only place to be in Ol' Montpeculiar on Wednesday night, hands down, for donations starting at 8 p.m.

And finally, on Thursday, Portland, Maine-based Turkish-Armenian folk ensemble Okbari makes its debut at LSC for the old-world folk faithful. The Gypsy music-based style has been wildly popular of late, and is great for dancing and listening alike. It kicks off at 8 p.m. for the usual donations.

Until next week, when things start to pick up again after everyone's NYE hangovers are put to rest, grab the perfect hangover cure and go see live music!

Ed DuFresne is the talent coordinator for the Langdon Street Café and occasionally produces concerts. He lives in Montpelier with an aspiring lawyer, a budding artist, a bird named Lucy and a clutter of submitted CDs that are steadily being replaced by Web links.

- Times Argus - Ed Dufresne 1/2/09


It’s a big week for reggae fans as this Friday marks Bob Marley’s birthday. Had he lived to see it, he would be turning 64. Though he left us far too soon, his legend lives on. And not just via cheesy T-shirts from Hot Topic. I don’t need to tell you that Marley was an artist of incalculable importance, not just in reggae but in the entirety of popular music. And if I do need to tell you, you should stop reading this column right now. You are beyond my help. Sorry. The rest of you will have two opportunities to celebrate Marley’s birthday this weekend. And as a bonus, you’ll have an excuse to go to Plattsburgh other than shopping at Target! But I suggest taking the bridge . . . ahem. This Thursday, increasingly impressive Montpelier label Halogen Records presents a trio of irie local/regional talent as reggae outfits Spiritual Rez (Boston) and Pulse Prophets join hip-pop all-stars Strength in Numbers at Olive Ridley’s. I’m not very good at prognostication, but I envision a “Best New VT Band” Daysies award for the latter band this year. One, because they’re rad. And two, because half the band lives in Montréal . . . that’s right. I went there. And if you haven’t been to Olive Ridley’s, I’d recommend it. It’s a nifty joint and boasts one of the region’s better stages. Back in Burlington, Eclectic Music Productions is presenting the same show, minus Strength in Numbers, the following night — Bob’s b-day — at Club Metronome. Tickets for both shows can be purchased at
- Seven Days - Vermont


It is hard to believe, but Montpelier’s Positive Pie 2 is turning 3 years old this week. The quirky pizza joint has become a Golden Dome staple and a cornerstone of the city’s thriving music scene. I submit that this is due to one or several of the following reasons:

1. Their pizza is the bomb.

2. They book some really great acts.

3. Their back door is within spitting distance of Charlie O’s back door, which regular readers know is the greatest bar in the world. Hands down.

To celebrate, this Friday the venue is throwing a “White Party.” It’s a concept brilliant in its simplicity and popularized by hip-hop mogul P-Diddy. The gist is this: everybody shows up in sexy white clothing and gets down and dirty. The man is a genius.

The grooves will be provided courtesy of sax savant Bryan McNamara’s (Turkey Bouillon Mafia, Soul’s Calling) new hip-hop band, Strength in Numbers.

Oh, and while you’re in town and wearing white, swing by the Langdon Street Café and check out experimental salsa ensemble Bio Ritmo. Yes, I said experimental salsa.

- Seven Days, VT (Dan Bolles)

"Strength in Numbers "I am with Them" May Tour"

Just Announced!

Strength in Numbers will be touring May 7th - May 16th 2009 w/ Akil the MC's "Bring Your A Game Tour" from Vermont to Nova Scotia. The dates include:

May 9th @ Bennington College - Bennington, VT
May 10th @ The Trash Bar - NYC
May 11th @ The Word Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
May 12th @ Paramount Theater - Moncton- NB Canada
May 13th @ The Paragon Theater - Halifax Nova Scotia Canada
May 14th @ The Asylum - Portland, ME
May 15th@ The Elevens - North Hampton, MA...

Currently booking thier July 19th - July 24th & Eastcoast August Tour. - Halogen Media Works


Confluence (Full-length album 2010)
Less is More (EP 6/1/09)
Live at Nectars (EP 8/30/08)



Old-school backbeat hip-hop groove and lush harmony frame butter-smooth soul singing as hot horns sizzle bright and lullaby low, and everybody boogies down to the sounds of a visceral hip-pop that goes on and on long after the show is over….

Riding on the success of a recent tour of the Northeast and Canada, Strength in Numbers has enjoyed raucous receptions in packed houses from New York to Moncton to Burlington to Montreal. They have opened for such heavyweights as Immortal Technique, The Wailers, Akil of Jurrasic 5, Philadelphia Slick, and the Alchemystics, among others. The success of their debut EP, "Less is More," and a busy summer festival schedule have established Strength in Numbers not just as a fixture of the local scene, but as a creative powerhouse with the impetus--and the means--to add their voice to the modern musical movement