It takes more than superb musicianship to create transcendental energy. Camaraderie, rapport and love are key ingredients, as well.
Truckee-based bass player Steve LaBella felt the magic when he and some old college buddies, including “Brod” Rob Broderick, recently played at a friend’s wedding in Crested Butte, Colo.
“The energy I felt onstage with these guys was just phenomenal,” LaBella said. “I hadn’t felt energy like that in a long time, I would say almost years.”
Although everyone is busy with other bands and teaching assignments, getting together again was obvious.
Brod Rob will perform in Truckee for the first time, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22-23, at J.J. Morgan’s Moody’s Bistro. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Broderick will front the group, a collection of players from myriad bands. LaBella also plays with Mama’s Cookin,’ Funky Miracle and the Scarecrow Project. Todd Holway is with Mama’s Cookin,’ Downbeat, Peter Joseph Burtt’s King Tide and Moody’s regular Quartet Minus One. Drummer Paul Oliphant plays with the Afrofunk Experience and formerly with Afrolicious.
While attending Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., Broderick and Oliphant had a band called Redhouse and Holway and LaBella played in Mama’s Cookin.’ Members of both bands had a like-minded musical approach.
“Vocally, I am highly influenced by R&B music,” Broderick said. “And as far as music goes, I try to incorporate that into a lot of rock and electronic music.”
When he wrote “Giants of Jazz” in 1956, Studs Terkel highlighted the classic author-musician conundrum. Writers seek to describe music while artists don’t want to be defined.
“I hate trying to pigeonhole myself,” said Broderick, continuing the tradition before he acquiesced. “If Radiohead had Michael Jackson as lead singer, that would be exactly what I was going for.”
Broderick has a passion for waterfalls, and on his album “Falls,” upon which LaBella plays four tracks, he is pictured on the cover wearing a suit jumping off a waterfall while playing a guitar. He annually backpacks Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.
“He was always a leader as far as wanting us to all go on an adventure,” LaBella said. “We’d always go on epic journeys all over the place. He’s kind of a spiritual guy, very nature-based. He’s a friend and a lovable guy. He’s an epic man. If I would use one word to describe him, it would be epic. He’s always going big. … It will be a more personal presentation at Moody’s.”
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22-23
Where: Moody’s Bistro, Truckee