Pheasant Hollow Winery • Whittington: Rich Fabec (blues, jazz)

Rich Fabec Blues Band - Do You Love Me - RFB 3

Do You Love Me

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Rich Fabec Blues Band - Sonya Boogie - RFB 3

Sonya Boogie

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Scratch Microbrewery and Farm • Ava: Jewels (prograssive jazz)

Jewels - Herbie's Blues - Introducing the Jewels

Herbie's Blues

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Jewels - Okraschoten - Introducing the Jewels


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Caravan of Thieves’ Amazing Gypsy Jazz: Pucker up for Their New Kiss Kiss CD

Venues & Businesses
Carbondale Music Coalition
Varsity Center for the Arts
Varsity Theater

Who: Carbondale Music Coalition
What: Caravan of Thieves (Gypsy jazz)
When: 2015-03-21
Django Reinhardt was a European guitarist who played in America during the Great Depression. Impress
Brent Glays
Video Comentary

Django Reinhardt was a European guitarist who played in America during the Great Depression. Impressed with musicians like Louis Armstrong, Reinhardt created a style of playing that has since been known as Gypsy jazz. Could Gypsy jazz have helped turn the economy around in the 1930s?

“It’s a known musical style,” says Carrie, guitarist and singer for Caravan of Thieves. “And it’s used to describe what we do. The free aspect of music.”

“Nowadays the term Gypsy has become less P.C.,” adds her husband, Fuzz, the other half to the guitar playing and singing. “But it’s what we do. We travel around a lot, as a band, and entertain. So in that aspect, I suppose you could call us gypsies.”

“But it’s more about the energy,” Carrie says. “The free-spiritedness of music.”

They bring entertainment to communities nationally.

“It gets funny,” says Fuzz. “Everyone laughs, and then we’ll get serious and very intense. We try to make the show dynamic in a variety of ways. Loud to soft, serious to lighthearted, different instruments and different configurations of those instruments.”

And the instruments are far from traditional. For example, Caravan of Thieves created their own percussion using garbage cans, buckets, and pots and pans. Fancy drum sets aren’t needed.

“We started [Caravan of Thieves] about seven years ago,” Fuzz explains. “Carrie and I have been married for ten years now, and we’ve had an acoustic duo longer than that. One day we were playing on a college campus, and Ben was playing in another band, and that’s how we met. He plays violin and we incorporated him into a trio, then we met Brian and he joined, playing a standup bass. Within a month or two we were performing and have been ever since.”

Carrie also says it’s been a wonderful experience.

Unlike many concerts, this one also incorporates the audience.

“We play on and off stage,” Fuzz explains. “We get the audience to gather around, clap, and help with the percussion.”

“We’ve added some visual and theatrical elements to the show,” Carrie says. “We dress up and get the audience involved, there are sing-alongs. The venues we’ve played are a wide range, but it’s partially seated, partially standing so people can enjoy it both ways— listen and watch or move around a little bit. We do a lot of festivals.”

This time they’re playing at the Varsity Center for the Arts, where they played during the CarbondaleRocks Revival festival in 2013.

“We’re looking forward to returning to Carbondale,” Fuzz says. “We’ve played there a couple times before, at various festivals, and the [Varsity]. It’s a lot of fun.”

“We’re about to release our fourth album [Kiss Kiss],” Carrie says, “so this is, sort of, the tour for it. We’re going to do some things that we haven’t done before.”

There promises to be something for everyone.

“We’ve had a lot of experiences, seen a lot of different types of people, been to a lot of places,” Fuzz says. “Our music comes from everywhere. Life in general. It often doesn’t come from our real lives, literally. It’s not about us; it’s fiction.”

Fiction can stretch as far as imagination.

“Carrie and I take turns telling stories,” Fuzz says. “There’s a lot of back and forth. It always starts with a concept that we’ll flush out, and find a way to tell it as colorful as possible.”

Check out their videos for “Dead Wrong,” “Home,” and “There Must Be Love,” among others, on Youtube for a preview of what’s to come.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, which is a small token for an evening of singing and dancing. Plus, we’re getting out of our own Depression (or, really, recession)— let’s go out and have some fun. For tickets, visit <http://CarbondaleMusicCoalition.com>. For more information, log on to <http://www.CaravanOfThieves.com>.

who: Carbondale Music Coalition

what: Caravan of Thieves (Gypsy jazz)

where: Varsity Center for the Arts


when: Saturday, March 21

Crackerboots Return to Preview a Sip of Lemonade

Venues & Businesses
Varsity Center for the Arts
Varsity Theater

More Articles
Crackerboots: Setting the Mood for Jen Haselhorst’s Photographs

Who: Carbondale Music Coalition
What: Crackerboots (jazz)
When: 2015-03-07
Luella Wood and Bill DeMain are Nashville musicians and longtime friends who play together as Cracke
K. Brattin
Video Comentary

Luella Wood and Bill DeMain are Nashville musicians and longtime friends who play together as Crackerboots. Wood, who also sings with Tim Carroll as Luella and Some Fella, was scheduled to appear in town last week, but icy weather kept her away. Now, Carbondale audiences will have a chance to hear Crackerboots’ retro-flavored jazz Saturday, March 7 at the Varsity Center for the Arts. Nightlife caught up with Wood to talk about sources of inspiration for the band, the new record she and DeMain are recording, and what audiences can expect from them in Carbondale.

Though Crackerboots formed only a few years ago, vocalist Wood and guitar player DeMain have known each other for a decade, and their musical partnership is fertile. They are songwriting collaborators whose work together, as Wood describes it to Nightlife, often resembles a hangout session. The music feels so natural because it comes from a conversation; while they talk about their lives or casually blow off steam, Wood says, DeMain might take out his guitar and “some of the things we talked about will turn up in a song.”

Though each are involved with other projects— DeMain also plays with Swan Dive— they’re committed to Crackerboots. The key to balancing multiple projects successfully, Wood says, is making each one a priority.

Crackerboots has a distinctly retro sound that reflects the interest Wood and DeMain share in the sixties movies they grew up watching and their classic scores. The humor of those movies, Wood told Nightlife, “is embedded in me.”

Wood also claims the minimalist analog recordings of artists Donna Washington, Peggy Lee, and Patsy Cline as influences.

Crackerboots’ first self-titled album, which came out last August, is notable for its easygoing, melodic charm, but on their second release, tentatively called Lemonade, DeMain and Wood are striving for a deeper sound. “It’s not as cute,” Wood says, “not as obvious.”

It’s still playful, but it’s more mature. In their most recent sessions, the band has been clear about their musical goals, leading to a stripped-down sonic purity, a distillation of the jazz and blues tones for which they’re known. Crackerboots chooses to record live onto tape, meaning all the musicians participating know they need to bring their A-game to avoid mistakes. Wood feels this has a positive and palpable effect on the energy in a session.

Crackerboots recently recorded six songs at the legendary RCA Studio A in Nashville— where Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton once made music— and DeMain and Wood continue to develop new material.

DeMain and Wood will bring a full band to Carbondale Saturday, including longtime collaborator Micah Hulscher on keyboards, and audiences can expect to hear them break out some of their newer material.

Though they’re passionate about what they do, the musicians who make up Crackerboots haven’t lost their sense of humor. Wood explains that the name of the band comes from a character she invented, a cool-guy cowboy cat who walks into a room, preceded by the sound of the spurs on his boots, and devours saltines.

“I grew up really fast,” Wood says, “so music and my imagination are my place to play.”

who: Carbondale Music Coalition

what: Crackerboots (jazz)

where: Varsity Center for the Arts


when: Saturday, March 7

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