Turkey Bouillon Mafia
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Turkey Bouillon Mafia

Band Rock Funk

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Turkey Bouillon Mafia performed at St. Michael's on November 13.
Eddie’s place in Alliot Hall looked and felt more like a night club in Burlington than a student lounge in Alliot. The room had a red tint to it from onstage lighting that set a social mood unlike any townhouse party on a Saturday night.

A crowd of more than 40 people gathered in Eddie's for the Nov. 17 Coffeehouse to catch a glimpse of Turkey Bouillon Mafia, an up and coming jam band based out of Burlington. The seven-piece band includes bass guitarist Pat May, a St. Michael's alumnus. Coffeehouse, a club that runs weekly shows in Eddie's, considers Turkey Bouillon Mafia to be one of the biggest acts of the year.

Making a mafia

Coming together in 2000, the band's members were introduced through friends at parties during college. They all expressed an interest in forming a band.

Since its start, the band has been touring throughout New England, New York, and Pennsylvania and is trying to establish a name and a following.

The group has been touring in 2005 throughout the Northeast, sharing the stage with big jam band names in the industry like Addison Groove Project. The unpredictable price of gas today has limited touring beyond the Northeast borders, a problem that many bands today are facing. This problem has caused the touring circuit to be in a lull, according to May. So the band has decided to build a reputation in Burlington, New York City, and Philadelphia, then hopefully expand further across the U.S.


The band makes frequent appearances at Nectar's in Burlington.
(Photo courtesy Turkey Bouillon Mafia)
"We want to ourselves to grow popularity with 1,000 people in local cities, and then expand," May says.

The band makes frequent appearances at Nectar's in Burlington, the same nightclub that became the center of growth for Vermont's most famous band, Phish.

Phish drummer Jon Fishman and keyboardist Page McConnell of Phish have made guest appearances at Turkey Bouillon Mafia's performances at Nectar's over the past year.

The show must go on

The set lasted about an hour and a half and attracted a steady crowd throughout the night. The seven members of the group each bring a unique aspect to the stage creating a blend of sound as powerful and intense as the band moe., but also jazzy and smooth like Addison Groove Project.

Keyboardist and vocalist Adam King presented a strong melodic voice for the slower tunes, including the band's final song of the night. Guitarist and vocalist Ben Yurco voiced lyrics to match the groove and funk of the band especially in the song, “Cosby’s Clone.” Drummer Owen Price backed an intense string of long jams that switched from steady jazz beats to more defining metal-sounding pounds.

The band was limited for space onstage, forcing baritone sax player Luke Laplant to stand off to the left side, but he remained completely in tune with the audience and band. He wooed the crowd with a few bursts in the climaxes of jams enticing the audience to get up and dance during the last few songs.

“I saw the band on Saturday night and I thought their sound was powerful and exciting, so I came back to see them again,” says sophomore Ali Fogel.

Others in the audience hadn’t seen Turkey Bouillon Mafia put on a show yet, but were anticipating an amazing performance.

In the end, some students in the audience started shouting “one more song, one more song!” The band couldn’t resist and picked up their instruments to play one final piece.

Positive vibes

Coffeehouse is run by only two students on campus. Rachael Horneman, a sophomore, as well as Micah Sanguedolce, a senior, are running the show for the first time. In past years, Ed Burke, a 2005 graduate, organized Coffeehouse.


Turkey Bouillon Mafia in New York City
(Photo courtesy Turkey Bouillon Mafia)
In past years, Burke booked bands from beyond the Burlington area. Horneman and Sanguedolce chose to stay local this year in order to book more shows and use less money in paying for travel and lodging.

“This year we are trying to get local bands so we don’t have to pay for lodging like we did last year,” says Horneman.

The Turkey Bouillon Mafia is considered Coffeehouse’s biggest name so far this year. Horneman got in touch with May, a 1998 graduate, and he offered to help set up the show.

“A lot more when into production for tonight’s show than any other night,” says Sanguedolce.

- Laura Tuveson | SMC Denfender


"Jazzy jammers TBM are staples on the Btown-area club scene. Their groove-laden, horn-driven sound is clever yet accessible -- good qualities to possess in a college town. Well-oiled and agile, the band is loaded with inventive twists as well as friendly grooves – be prepared to sharpen your mind while you shake your ass.” Casey Rea, 11.07.05 – - Seven Days Newspaper


“I have never heard the Turkey Bouillon Mafia, but I hate them.” University of Vermont Cynic Newspaper, - 01.22.05 - University of Vermont Cynic Newspaper


They seem to have this innate ability to create a deep, natural, funky, and fluid jam. They also give off this professional onstage ambiance that makes me feel like they are just content playing music, whether it's in front of one person or a hundred. The fact is, they are all such young incredible musicians with lots to say, and they speak perfectly through their musical skills. Nate Hereford, Jambase.com – 02.09.02 - Jambase


Turkey Bouillon Mafia was one of the first local bands I stumbled upon when I moved to Burlington in the summer of 2001. The group consisted of guitarist/vocalist Benny Yurco, vocalist/keyboardist Adam King, and drummer Owen Price. They looked like they had just gotten home from being on Phish tour—disheveled, unkempt, rebellious, and free-spirited—and the music was, well, disheveled, unkempt, rebellious, and free-spirited. Yes, it was loose and unpolished, but they really went for it, and immediately you heard their personalities in the music.
After discovering them I would go out to see them as much as possible. They ruled a small (now defunct) bar called Valencia, and with each passing gig the band got tighter and the shows achieved new levels of insanity. During those days at Valencia they developed a loyal fan base through friends, and then friends of friends. The camaraderie between the band and their fans was the core of the Mafia. King says, “We’ve always tried to make the band be something that all our friends are a part of.” The band would party their asses off, rage just as hard as their friends, and everyone loved it. The music was sloppy but fueled with passion and demonstrated beautiful rock and roll debauchery. The Mafia created their own scene, detached from the rest of the music scene in Burlington. “We had this youthful, cynical look on everything in the world,” King says. “I think people were afraid to play with us because they thought we were crazy.”
The band has improved by leaps and bounds since those days. Pat May, one of the most versatile and solid bassists in Burlington, has been in rotation as the band’s bassist since the early days, and in the past few years has taken over the role full time. Over this time, May and Price have developed a tight rhythmic language and form a solid backbone for the group. The music pours from the stage with undeniable energy. The progression of their sound has turned them from once being the crazy outcasts of the Burlington music scene to the community band. Commonly, you will see anyone from saxophonist Dave Grippo to trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick joining in on the Mafia madness. The talent level of the musicians joining forces with the band is a byproduct of the Mafia growing into their own talent
The most impressive aspect of their progression has been in the way they structure their music. Yurco has developed into a serious composer. With the full-time additions of saxophonists Bryan McNamara and Luke LaPlant, Yurco has dived into exploring harmonies and counter-melodies in his writing for horns. The sound has become very full, and in the past year Yurco’s compositions have become more and more sophisticated. Yurco says, “Now we have a very big, tough sound. It has moments where it just completely rocks. And that’s what we were going for.” Yurco’s growth as a composer along with King’s charm and knack for writing instant fan favorites (“Bill Cosby’s Clone” and “Sloppy Seconds” are two of my personal favorites) make the Mafia well-rounded and big sounding. Though their sound has changed dramatically over the years, one thing hasn’t: people in Burlington are still raging to them.
There is a refreshing dose of seriousness and maturity within the band now, which is obvious in the music. It is clearly more focused, and well-thought out. This growth is even more evident in their approach to operating as a band. It’s all about the music for the Mafia these days. Yurco explains about bringing in the latest addition to the band, fellow guitarist Dave Diamond: “We brought Dave into the band. Why? Because he’s an incredible guitarist. He’s going to make the music better.” The music first, and the ego second—the Mafia are on to something. King says, “I think one of the things that is keeping us all so motivated about it is we haven’t tried to be anything at any one point. It’s all been just lots of random songs that people come up with and we just run with it. It comes to the point where it’s all about trying to make a song that doesn’t sound like anything else that you’ve done.” He adds, however, “At the same time, we’ve collectively started figuring out what common grooves we actually have and not writing songs that sound like each other, but at least have some sort of common intent. It seems like the closer you can come to pinpointing something like that, the easier it is to write some of the music.” While they continue to cite themselves as “the best excuse to party in Burlington,” it is apparent they have also evolved into one of the most promising bands in the Northeast.
The Turkey Bouillon Mafia will spread out across the Northeast this fall. Be sure to check them out late this month at Camp Bisco. As Yurco states, “We’re ready to take the world by storm.”
- State of Mind


Seth Yacovone Band Returns For Liggy's First Waltz



On Friday June 22, Higher Ground Lighting Director Jason "Liggy" Liggett celebrated his birthday in Higher Ground's Ballroom with an all star celebration dubbed "Liggy's First Waltz." The evening offered sets from Burlington's Turkey Bouillon Mafia and a reunion set from the Seth Yacovone Band. True to its name, "Liggy's First Waltz" then culminated in an All Star set featuring Marie Claire and Brett Hughes of Mike Gordon's Ramble Dove, members of the Turkey Bouillon Mafia and Seth Yacavone Band, singer/songwriter Lowell Thompson, as well as Chris Friday of Touchpants. The lineup tore through "Cripple Creek", "I Shall Be Released", "Makes No Difference", "Don't Do It", "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" as well as a few songs not associated with The Band.

- Jambands.com


Words & Images by Jake Krolick

Dancing Wu Li Festival :: 05.19 & 05.20 :: Snipes Farm :: Morrisville, PA



Dancing Wu Li Festival
Giovanni LaRosa and Paul Leitner have been Philadelphia's artistic gardeners for years; promoting live music, dance, film and art at the venues around Philadelphia. Over the years many late night planting sessions led the green thumbs to discussions of throwing their own festival. Where to plant the seeds was a constant question. They had studied festival harvests from Bonnaroo to Berkfest to figure out what conditions would work best for their launch into the festi-mix. Plans came to fruition on the weekend of May 19th and 20th with a bountiful offering at the foot of the Delaware Valley. The Dancing Wu Li Festival at Snipes Farm in Morrisville, PA was a success! Situated about one hour from Philadelphia and New York, the festival created a unique experience of both sound and nature for both artists and fans.

I've known Giovanni and Paul for a number of years, so I wanted to do something different for their fest. This piece is a series of questions proposed to the majority of the performers. This is NOT a review, but merely a ride along on my shoulder for a series of interviews. The interviews are in the order of the performers' stage times and were conducted after each performer played. Join me as I witness the planting of the Dancing Wu Li Festival.





SATURDAY, MAY 19

1:45 P.M. – The neighbors were restless all night, and the field was set a blaze with drums and raucous. The coffee had worn off and a new feeling had kicked in for a chat with Ben Yurco and Adam King, Vermont's Turkey Bouillon Mafia.

TURKEY BOULLION MAFIA

Q: What do you think makes a festival a success?



Turkey Bouillon Mafia :: Wu Li
A: Relaxed security, lots of sunshine, mind-melting and quality musical mix.

Q: Is there a personal experience you can share from attending festivals?

A: Here is when you know you are really in the festival mix. It was three in the morning, and there was a huge drum circle at the Vibes in 2000. I was there watching as this dude who was well into something jumped into the circle buck naked and started dancing. We all knew immediately that he really needed to be dancing, and dancing was about the only thing keeping him connected to the ground. On the far side of the drum circle was another kid who was also equally as lit, and you could tell that he needed to be playing drums at that very moment. The naked dancing dude worked his dance over to this kid and had his ass right in the kid's face dancing away. This poor kid had a look of wanting to get away, but he's so lit up he just has to play his drum. We stood there for a good half-hour just watching this drum kid shake, thinking, "Yeah, this is a good weekend."

Q: Do you feel that sound vibration and resonance in music help human evolution?

A: Read the book The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life.

Q: Favorite summer-time treat?

A: Creamies – aka soft serve – definitely the swirl, but they don't do the dip up in Vermont.

3:20 p.m. - At this point, The Turkey B Mafia and I were booted from the green room for passing the peace pipe a little too heavily. Tim Palmieri from the Breakfast joined me for a few minutes before he was off to watch Stanton Moore.
- Jambase.com


TURKEY BOUILLON MAFIA
December 2006

The Turkey Bouillon Mafia is dedicated to a mission and one mission alone: to fight both heaven and hell for the pompous possession of the eternal soul of rock and roll. Born from the brimstone of the early days of the new millennium, The Mafia has spent the past few years digging a strong foothold in a potential top leadership roll in the modern rock revival. Based upon the distinct writing styles of guitarist Ben Yurco, and keyboardist Adam King, TBM are the embodiment of the full spectrum of rock. With strong roots in jazz and other exploratory music, the band brings a technical artistry to their brute sound that sets them leagues above most of their peers and even some of their heroes.

Centered around their viscious live performances, The Mafia is supported by a tight network of mortally dedicated fans. Known to hook many a virgin ear with their tongue-in-cheek attitude, a Mafia show can be at the same time both mesmerizing and disorienting. With the music always moving in oddly new and inspiring directions, fans have come to expect anything from TBM: exploding amps, gangster rap battles, slam dancing hippies, pie fights, guitar wars with weapon masters, brass parades through the crowds, punk rockers with tears in their eyes, psychedelic send offs, or maybe just 400 sweaty pranksters pouring beer over their heads and singing about a bag of donuts.

2006 is proving to be an extremely exciting time for Turkey Bouillon. With the permanent addition of guitar virtuoso Dave Diamond, and a departure from the horn-dominated sound that they have embraced over recent years, TBM is bursting with new material and a rejuvenated primal life force that is not for the light-hearted. A sound and attitude both underground and over the top, The Mafia's energy is undeniably infectious, and the band thrives on an open wounded bond between them and their audience. TBM is presently at work on their first full-length studio album, highly anticipated to be out later this year. Already the young heartthrobs of New England, New York, and Philly, these old souls are ready to welcome the rest of the world home.
http://www.turkeymafia.com
- www.highergroundmusic.com


Discography

First full length album in production at present.

Photos

Bio

Ever evolving into their own brand of ferocity, Turkey Bouillon Mafia has become an all-out rock and roll event. With years of relentless Northeast touring, and countless sold-out nights of vibrant destruction in their hometown of Burlington, the Mafia has reached a new comfort zone of underground innovation. Touching on multiple genres, TBM centers on a core of viscous funk, heavy rock, jazz, and metallic Americana. This death-funk emerges from the tight bond of a trusting four-piece, but on any given night there can be a dozen people on stage, all feeding from the undeniable energy of modern rock creation at its’ finest.
Presently at work on their first full-length studio album due out in the Fall, the ingenuity of Yurco and King’s distinct writing styles will finally be heard in a context outside of their brutal live performances. The band thrives on an open-wounded bond between themselves and the audience, and this has led to a endless list of the finest musicians in the game joining Turkey Bouillon Mafia on stage: Jen Hartswick, Dave Grippo, and Andy Moroz of Trey Anastasio Band, Christina Durfee Of T.A.B. and Phil Lesh and Friends, Seth Yacovone and all of SYB, Rob Marscher of Addison Groove Project, Lowell Thompson, Brett Hughes and Marie Claire of Ramble Dove, members of Strangefolk, Peter Prince of Moon Boot Lover, members of Insane Clown Posse, Chris Michetti and Todd Stoops of Raq, and members of TBM have also performed with all four members of Phish, Mice Parade, Vorzca, Gordon Stone, Sean Kelly of The Samples, Jerry Gaskill of King’s X, T. Lavitz of Jazz is Dead and countless others.