The Absynth Quintet:
Humboldt County California is well known as a Mecca for pot cultivation and culture, long heralded as one of the premier hotspots for new strains and potent varieties. Now, an entirely new type of “grass” is emerging from behind the Redwood Curtain, and it’s likely to give you a nice, warm buzz – High Energy Gypsy Jamgrass.
Humboldt is home to one of the most rapidly rising jamgrass bands in the country, the Absynth Quintet. A tasty fusion of genres, the Absynth Quintet melds the familiar and the avant-garde with a unique and provocative palette of tone and texture. This is foot stomping bluegrass, exotic gypsy swing, and virtuosic jazzy folk intertwined with playful forays into the depths of funky experimentation. The synergy of these seemingly divergent styles ends up sounding something like Yonder Mountain String Band meets Phish... with a hint of Zappa thrown in for good measure. The blend is unique, yet familiar.
2008 saw the Absynth Quintet break onto the national scene with the release of Indigo Shoes, their stellar full-length studio album. Indigo Shoes was recorded in Humboldt County at the band's studio, The Sonic Dimple, over the course of three wet winter months. Jazzmando.com calls the album "fierce acoustic energy that never betrays a carefully crafted sophistication." And Gratefulweb.net immediately placed the group in their Band of the Month slot after hearing only a few tracks.
While Indigo Shoes showcases the band's chops in a studio environment, their 2007 live release Kevlar Mariachi Pants offers a glimpse into the honed improvisational skills the group has cultivated over four years of touring. Kevlar primarily consists of originals, but also includes a fiery treatment of John Coltrane’s “Mr. PC.” The Arcata Eye said "...listening to Kevlar Mariachi Pants is akin to being served an exotic meal (or mind altering beverage) one could never hope to replicate at home. You have to go out for this kind of stuff. Delicious.”
The albums are available on iTunes, CDBaby and direct from the band through their Web site. This High Energy Gypsy Jamgrass band is touring this summer, check the Web site for dates near you and taste a bit of Humboldt’s newest strain for yourself.
Tofu Mike Schwartz: Drums
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