Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7
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Guitarist Jimmy Herring is no stranger to adventurous new environs: The North Carolina native has fearlessly honed his now-formidable technique via stints with some of the giants of improvised music -- from his earliest days in the van with Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit to high profile gigs with the Allman Brothers, The Dead, Project Z, Phil Lesh and Friends, and his ongoing role as lead guitarist in Widespread Panic. He recently collaborated with iconic guitarist John McLaughlin when Herring’s band The Invisible Whip joined McLaughlin’s 4th Dimension for an acclaimed run of shows celebrating the legacy of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. This fall, Herring unleashes his latest visionary concept upon the world: Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7.
While the Invisible Whip focused on the instrumental side of Herring’s musical persona, the newly assembled The 5 of 7 places his uniquely probing, responsive fretwork in the context of a vocalist-fronted, song-driven ensemble. At once accessible and provocative, The 5 of 7 finds Herring joined by bassist Kevin Scott, drummer Darren Stanley, longtime collaborator Matt Slocum on keyboards (Hammond B3, clavinet), and vocalist and guitarist Rick Lollar. “Rick, Matt, and Kevin had a band together called King Baby,” explains Herring from his home in Atlanta, “and I heard their record...I couldn’t help but think, man, if I could get together, play some of Rick’s songs, some of my songs, some covers, and maybe write a few things together, we may be on to something…”
“In addition to being a fine guitar player, Rick is a really powerful singer,” Herring continues. “Some of his favorite singers are Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, and those are some of my favorites, too.” Supporting Lollar’s soulful vocals, Herring, Scott, Slocum, and Stanley provide a roiling sonic undercurrent drawing from all walks of their respective musical journeys -- with one common thread: “We all have the Atlanta, Col. Bruce Hampton connection with each other,” Herring says, acknowledging their shared roots in Hampton’s spontaneous, dynamic, and challenging groups. “That’s important to me because it’s such a different thing -- if you’ve been through that school, you want to play with people who have been through that too...you understand how to think on your feet and exist in the moment.”
From fatback, roadhouse R&B to more expansive, jazz-inflected explorations, The 5 of 7 demonstrates Herrings chops not just as a musician, but as a bandleader and catalyst. The novel vocal element is just one more texture at his disposal. “With instrumental music,” he reflects, “people expect to hear your solos, but they’ve just heard you play the melody! You can overexpose your voice. With Rick, I can play behind him, then step out with a solo, and give a fresh feeling to the song -- take it to another place.”
Setting out on the road this September, Jimmy Herring is typically modest when describing what audiences can expect from The 5 of 7: “There’ll be vocals, there’ll be instrumentals. There will be funk and rock and roll, with some songs leaning towards more sophisticated harmony...but, to me, it’s just music.”
Following three European tours, four full-length albums, and a tour schedule packed with more festivals and venues than ever before, The Vegabonds are forging into their second decade spreading the gospel of pure New South Rock.
The quintet joins LA-based Blue Elan Records with the first album deal of their career. The new record, “V”, symbolizing their fifth release, will debut worldwide in January. Produced by Tom Tapley in Atlanta, The Vegabonds’ highly-anticipated release audibly illustrates their unconventional yet contagious self-titled genre of rock. With Americana, Country, and Rock influences, The Vegabonds’ sound is one that cannot be duplicated, manipulated, or pigeon-holed. After his work producing the band’s critically-acclaimed album “What We’re Made Of” and the “Long Haired Country Boy” single, Tapley’s execution of albums for Blackberry Smoke to Sugarland, Tyler Farr to Mastodon, highlights the best of The Vegabonds’ unique musicianship, vocals, lyrics and sound.
The Vegabonds give their fans a sensational performance with powerhouse guitar riffs and impactful songwriting night after night. Their hard work and unbridled talents have not gone unnoticed; the group has opened for such notable acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late Gregg Allman, among others. Rousing performances at festivals like Peach Festival, Sweetwater 420, and Taste of Randolph, grew their notoriety nationwide. It’s no wonder that Live for Live Music has compared them to musical legends like My Morning Jacket and The Black Crowes, calling them “a force to be reckoned with,” complete with “gorgeous harmonies and impressive instrumental skills making for a perfect combination.”
The band got their start in 2009 by playing the college circuit across the Southeastern United States. Fronted by lead vocalist and songwriter Daniel Allen - with Richard Forehand (lead guitar/vocals), Paul Bruens (bass), Beau Cooper (keys/vocals), and Bryan Harris (drums) rounding out the quintet - their popularity quickly burgeoned to the point that they found their fans singing along word-for-word to their first hits like “Georgia Fire” and “American Eyes.” Through pure word of mouth, the group’s fan base grew rapidly, and the guys learned they had something distinctive with their eclectic mix of roots music and earnest songwriting.
Born in Alabama. Bred in Nashville. Seasoned by the Road. Celebrated the world over.
Come let your hair down with The Vegabonds.
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