Blended 328 at the Sunset Concerts: Country/Funk Fusion Bent on World Domination
It may be a small world after all, but Blended 328, who will perform Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Turley Park Gazebo as part of the Sunset Concert series, is looking to conquer it one fan at a time.
Featuring three women and three men of various ethnic backgrounds, Blended 328 prides themselves on being different and making people take notice. Their music may use the instruments of traditional country music, but they, um, blend it into something completely twenty-first century in nature.
(By the way, this newspaper is asking the audience to show up early for the first Sunset Concert. Those who arrive Thursday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Steps of Shryock in a Nightlife T-shirt for a giant group photo will receive Nightlife bumper stickers courtesy of this newspaper and our CarbondaleRocks web project. Those who need a Nightlife T-shirt can share our Facebook post to win a chance at a free one.)
Nightlife chatted up Gabe Jordan to find out about crashing the Nashville scene, earning accolades as a hot new act, coping with long sets, and preparing for Blended 328’s quest for a new world order.
How would you describe your music?
I think the best way to describe our music, at least at this point, is a neo-country/funk thing. Our first studio project, Go People, incorporates all the instrumental staples of traditional country music-- banjo, dobro, fiddle, and mandolin-- and lays them on top [of] a heavy and diverse rhythm section of drums and percussion. We really wanted to invent a new and fresh country groove while sticking to the roots.
What is your favorite part about being in the band?
It’s an incredible experience to make music with people you love. We are family.
How did it feel to be chosen for the “What’s Hot for 2012” by Campus Activities magazine?
Oh man-- really excited. What an honor. We’ll do our best to live up to it.
How has diversity and different musical backgrounds helped Blended 328 develop its sound?
Our diversity is definitely the single most influential element that creates what we have. Diversity is a good thing-- it makes our country and the world stronger. Diversity has made our band stronger. Black, white, Latino, and Asian. Male and female. Hard rock, traditional country, R and B, hip-hop, pop and funk. This is Blended 328.
What goes through your mind when you are performing on stage?
Love. The love we feel from the fans who are enjoying the vibe we are creating on stage. Or if it’s a longer set, we’re probably just thinking, “Gotta pee, gotta pee.” How long can I hold it? The girls are generally racing each other to the ladies’ room after a set.
How do you feel about the current state of country music? What makes you feel that way?
Since the 1950s, popular music has been one of the most influential elements of change in our society. I think country music is at a critically important and pivotal place in our history. It is the music of the people. And the people are listening. We as country artists have an awesome opportunity and responsibility to speak to the social, economic, political, and environmental issues of our time. I’ll say it again. The people are listening. What will we tell them?
What do you like most about summer?
Absolutely everything! Cold beer. The sun, the lake and the beach, baseball and Frisbees, parties and cookouts, flip-flops, walking on the boardwalk, the music and-- of course-- bikinis. It’s all good! Bring on the summer. Did I say cold beer?
What do you foresee happening with Blended 328 in the future?
who: Blended 328
what: Sunset Concert Series (new country)
where: Turley Park Gazebo
when: Thursday, June 21