Midweek jam: The Werks in the Red Room

The Werks

The Werks are in the Red Room tonight, April 5.
Phierce Photography

Never mind the accoutrements, the Werks are tonight’s entrée.

The Red Room will be jammed Wednesday, April 5, when the band from Dayton, Ohio, hits the bandstand. The Werks are Chris Houser (guitar), Rob Chafin (drums), Dino Dimitrouleas (bass) and Dan Shaw (keyboards) hail from Dayton, Ohio. The Brothers Gow open the free show at 9 p.m.

“The members have changed a bit, but we’ve been called the Werks since 2005,” Houser said. “This is our 10th year at it; things just seem to be getting better as we go along, we’re really grateful to be able to still be doing this.”

The fellows hit upon the band’s name while grabbing a midnight snack.

“We struggled over naming the band for a while until one night, it was a late night,” Houser said. “Rob ordered a burger with the works, and that was how we came upon the name.”

Onstage, the band offers up a musical menu commensurate with its fully-loaded title.

“We’re a jam band for lack of a better term,” Houser said. “We like to call ourselves high energy improv rock, but we mix it up a lot, we play everything from dance music to ballads, to bluegrass to rock to just straight funk.”

Variety is a key part of the Werks approach to a performance.

“We play so many genres, that every show is really different,” Houser said. “We even try to make sure we’re not repeating songs in certain markets. It’s something we want to do for the fans because obviously we couldn’t do it without them.”

Improvisation is also a central theme in the band’s tunes. The group will play out extended instrumentals if the mood strikes them, sometimes up to 15 or 20 minutes, Houser said.

“It’s different every time, that’s the beauty of improv,” Houser said. “We always try to play a different set from city to city to keep ourselves entertained, and the band.”

-Josh Sweigert

About Josh Sweigert

Josh grew up on the California coast with a deep appreciation for bluegrass and string band music as well as the great outdoors. A guitarist and singer, he plays solo acoustic gigs in South Lake Tahoe.

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