Editor’s note: Jelly Bread plays the Red Room after-party Sunday at the Crystal Bay Casino. The Revivalists are the Crown Room headliners.
With a little help from their friends, Cliff, Dave, Eric, Sean and Jeremy introduced their fabulous second full-length album to their hometown in one of Northern Nevada’s most venerable venues.
Jelly Bread’s sound still doesn’t fit in any certain musical box, but more than 400 smiling music lovers squeezed into the lower lever of the Nugget Casino Resort’s Celebrity Showroom on Oct. 9 for a 2-hour, 17-song celebration.
The band played each of the 11 songs from the new release, “Here, There, & Everywhere.” As the album title suggests, Reno busiest band has roamed the country, building a fan base and developing a singular sound rooted in soul, rock and pop with a sprinkling of funk.
Jelly Bread became a potential breakout band a few years ago with the addition of keyboardist and talk-box singer Eric Matlock, followed by gaining bass player Jeremy Hunt. Now, with the recent acquisition of guitarist Sean Lehe, it has become undeniably superb.
At exactly the midway point of the concert, the band played an extended rendition of “Come Together,” boldly reveling in the notion that “Here, There, & Everywhere” is to Jelly Bread as “Revolver” was to The Beatles.
A couple of years after the British Invasion, The Beatles moved beyond emulating American bands and created its own identity and great sound. The greatest hit from 1966’s “Revolver” perhaps was “Here, There and Everywhere,” making Jelly Bread’s album title a bold proclamation that it has made its own invasion, and its album release party, coincidentally, was on John Lennon’s 75th birthday.
The friends lending their hands were backup singers Jessica Vann (who sings on the new album), Tawny Hernandez and Susan Young. A three-piece horn section, which played together for the first time, was tenor saxophonist Eric Johnson, alto sax player Karl Busch and trombonist Davis Corl.
Longtime Reno sound engineer Todd Rold was at the helm of the exquisite production, his last show before joining his family in Germany. While the move to Europe is permanent, Rold said he will continue with the band that he says has worked harder than any with which he has been involved.
“Let’s get funky,” drummer and singer Cliff Porter said, introducing the show to the Celebrity Showroom. And the 11-piece powerhouse was off, starting the party with “Diggin’ On a Groove,” from Jelly Bread’s 2014 EP, “Lessons Learned.
Next was one of the night’s two covers, “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.” Like the Temptations, Jelly Bread has multiple lead singers and an undeniable groove.
“Gotta Get Up,” from the 2012 LP “No Dress Code,” did, in fact, get the crowd up, and the pit area in front of the stage, cleared of its customary tables and chairs, was the dance floor.
“We gotta couple old songs outta the way, now we’re going to jump into the new album,” Porter announced, and the “Here, There, & Everywhere” showcase was under way.
The addition of the horns and the backup singers gave the performance a big sound worthy of such an event. But Lehe’s contribution gives Jelly Bread a cohesive and complete style.
Guitarist Dave Berry wanted to hire Lehe, who continues to live in Sacramento, pretty much from the first time he heard him play. Lehe formerly was with jam bands Poor Man’s Whiskey and Isabella. As it turns out, jam is the perfect accoutrement to Jelly Bread.
“We always had the ability to groove but Sean helps open us up,” Porter said after the show. “He shreds it up and fills in the spaces.”
Before resuming its relentless grind across the country, the band will take a short break, taking a moment to savor what it’s achieved. Being the biggest little band in Reno doesn’t mean it will achieve worldwide fame and fortune. Nevertheless, it sure seems Jelly Bread is ready to spread its love.
“How do we afford our rock and roll lifestyle?” Matlock said, smiling after the show. “It’s a small living, but it’s an honest living.”
Editor’s note: Tahoe Onstage copy chief Randy Hashagen contributed to this story.
RELATED STORY: Album review of “Here, There, & Everywhere” LINK
- Jelly Bread, album release performance
“Here, There, & Everywhere”
Nugget Casino Resort Celebrity Showroom
Sparks, Nevada. Oct. 9, 2015
- “Diggin’ On A Grove”
- “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” (Temptations cover)
- “Gotta Get up”
- “Gone/Train Song”
- “Let It Burn”
- “Hole In My Pocket”
- “By And By”
- “Fixin’ to Run”
- “I Can’t Give You Up”
- “Come Together” (Beatles cover)
- “In My Head”
- “Don’t Talk What You Don’t Know”
- “In You”
- “Bad Man”
- “Funk To The Left”
- “Gotta Give Somethin’”
- “Don’t Let Nobody”
Bold indicates songs from the new album