Gathering of the Vibes Spotlight: Kung Fu and Twiddle
One of the biggest funk names in the jam-band scene right now is Kung Fu. Despite the fact that they got rid of my personal favorite key boardist Todd Stoops, the band can and still does throw down. Every Kung-Fu show is extremely memorable. Kung Fu was formed in November of 2009 and identifies themselves as a funk rock fusion outfit or “extreme funk.” This virtuoso group of funk musicians were formed in Connecticut and consist of Adrian Tramontano (drums), Beau Sasser (keyboards), Chris DeAngelis (bass), Rob Somerville (sax), Tim Palmieri (guitar). I am extremely eager to hear these guys perform since I have personally not seen them since they replaced their keyboardist Todd Stoops with Sasser. Kung Fu is composed of such incredible dedicated musicians that there is no doubt in my mind that whoever they choose is the right man for the job, (no matter how much I may miss Stoops). Kung Fu always brings the heat and leaves it nearly impossible for you not to dance; you will leave their set drenched in sweat. After seeing this band live you can almost guarantee muscle cramps the next day.
“Through discipline, practice & study KUNG FU has sought excellence in the art of improvised dance music. Schooled by the masters, The Headhunters, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa, the quintet of masterfully seasoned musicians blends electro-jazz-funk with an EDM informed dance ability at the highest level of skill & inspiration nightly. The resulting “NU-SION” is “captivating”, “explosive”, “jaw-dropping” and “musically mesmerizing. Prepare yourselves for a devastating, LETHAL FUNK to be rained down on you by a BAD-ASS BLACK-BELT BACKBEAT. For the uninitiated, the experience is typically shocking yet the focus is simple: ENTER THE DRAGON!” – Kung Fu’s Facebook
Twiddle is a smaller act on the lineup, however, they have certainly made a big name for themselves during the recent years especially in the northeast. Hailing from Vermont, Twiddle draws a lot of their musical influence from 90’s rock and Phish in particular. Listening to Twiddle is almost nostalgic in a way but the members of the band are by no means “old.” The band consists of Brook Jordan on drums, Zdenek Gubb on bass, Ryan Dempsey on keyboards and Mihali Savoulidis on Guitar. The band does a particularly good job at blending reggae and funk; their songs have wonderful hooks to sing along to and their improvisation rarely disappoints and always goes deep. I have heard friends compare them to Phish many times, I find this band to be an extremely exciting up and coming act with loads of potential. If you are attending Gathering of the Vibes, you may want to make an effort to get yourself over to Twiddle’s set. Their take on funky reggae and their masterfully refreshing songwriting may just steal your heart away and become your new favorite band!