Grove Sessions Live dishes up a tasty music menu featuring Adam Kahana, Sabbatical Bob, Stormy Chromer, and Nina and the Buffalo Riders.
Grove Sessions Live at Grove Studios
I finally made it over to Grove Studios for a visit. They have been located 884 Railroad St., Suite B in Ypsilanti for 2 years now and I’m just now visiting. I guess better late than never and why not during a pandemic.
I’ve been intrigued about Grove Studio since I first heard about them a couple of years ago via a post shared by drummer/architect Breck Crandell (Midas band). What got me was the concept behind Grove Studios of being more than a rehearsal space for musicians. They want Grove Studios to be a community space where artists of various mediums can work together. In addition to studio space, Grove offers up Grove Sessions Live. These are typically musical performances by local artists. However, they also host events to support the local arts community.
The concept of community could not have been more apparent than when the pandemic struck. Grove Studios kicked into high gear to promote local artists who were now out of work. They went virtual with Grove Sessions Livestream. Now artists had a virus-safe way to stay connected with their audience. It also gave us a break from Netflix while in lockdown.
As the pandemic rolls on, Grove Studios finds themselves on the brink. They started a successful fundraising campaign to keep the lights on. Part of that fundraising to keep Grove Studios open includes a Party in the Back.
Party In the Back with North Center Brewing Company
Ypsilanti resident and Grove Studios fan Dan Wall has a hell of a mullet. He entered a contest in Fenton for best mullet and pledged to give the $500 prize to Grove Studios. Dan didn’t win but decided to keep the party happening by donating $500 out of his pocket and challenging others to show off their quarantine haircuts. By the way, I’m not sure how in the hell Dan didn’t win the contest in Fenton. When you meet him and see his mega mullet, you’ll understand.
You may be wondering, what does this have to do with partying in the back and North Center Brewing Company. Well, Dan hit up his sister Kodi Armitt-Wall who is the head brewer at North Center Brewing. Kodi created a fantastic crisp and hoppy session pale ale which is perfect for a summer party.
Known as “Party In The Back”, the beer is exclusively available at Red Rock Downtown BBQ in Ypsilanti and the Grove Sessions Live events. North Center Brewing and Red Rock Downtown BBQ are donating proceeds from the beer sales to help Grove Studios weather the pandemic.
Now that we can mask-up and enjoy the outdoors together, Grove Studios has opened up their back lot for Grove Sessions Live. While we still have to keep our distance to be virus safe, having another spot to enjoy music outdoors is a godsend. Enjoying a delicious “Party in the Back” by North Center Brewing in the process is golden.
Opening up Grove Sessions Live this evening is Adam Kahana. Adam is a singer-songwriter with soul in his voice and jazz in his fingertips. His singing and guitar playing evoked moments of John Mayer and George Benson. Adam mixed it up with originals and covers. His covers of Prince and Nirvana were fun. However, the cover of “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” by Charles Mingus was fantastic. Adam spiced this up with his own words that draw attention to Black Lives Matter.
As the summer sun was just cresting the top of Grove Studios, it was time to get down and funky with Sabbatical Bob. We could feel nothing but pure joy from the first notes. Their funky jams were freeing. Their music beaming into us like the August sun.
The shimmering horns of Ben Green, Chris Kelley, and Kasan Belgrave fuel the vibe of good times and excitement. Swinging the band in the pocket is the rock solid drums of David Ward. Sabbatical Bob bassist Jonathon Muir-Cotto couldn’t make the gig. To fill this vital gap, guitarist Ian Eylanbekov works magic with a bass synth pedal. Ian’s impressive playing didn’t miss a beat.
Sabbatical Bob lit up Grove Sessions Live with a trunkload of funk. Go dig into their music on their album Live and in Person
which you can pick up on Bandcamp.
Next up on this simmering summer evening is Stormy Chromer. They blew our minds with monumental progressive rock jams. When I say jams, I mean jams. Like 20 minute time traveling grooves filled with punchy bass, tight drums, and scintillating guitars.
As the guitars wove stories of fantastical journeys, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Widespread Panic and the Dead. The feeling of bliss radiates from the band as the music consumes them. I must say that sipping on a North Center Brewing “Party in the Back” while soaking up the warm summer jams of Stormy Chromer is divine.
Nina and the Buffalo Riders
Rounding out Grove Sessions Live is our good friends and overall awesome people Nina and the Buffalo Riders. While some of the faces have changed in the band, the band retains its soulful rock roots through the dynamic songwriting and vocals of Nina Ledesma. The Buffalo Riders included long-time members Ramiro Romero (bass), Mike Fritz (keyboards), and Daniel Decker (guitars). New to the crew are Joe Waldecker (drums) and Baba Bohmbaedio (djembe).
I never get tired of seeing Nina and the Buffalo Riders. The intensity of their live shows is magical. You feel that Nina is singing directly to you. The band is performing for just you. Few bands generate a feeling of intimacy while tearing through the roof with songs that carry such an emotional punch.
Nina and the Buffalo Riders mesmerized the audience with “More Than Me”, “City”, “Cool Me Down”, and my favorite “Don’t Call Me a Liar”. The floor lighting added a psychedelic touch to the show as colors flashed across the faces of the band. A few folks even broke out glowing ropes to swirl with the jams.
Grove Sessions Live is a great way to enjoy music with your family while staying safe from the virus outdoors. The crew at Grove Studios are dedicated to supporting the art community with Grove Sessions Live being a shining beacon of possibility. Now more than ever we need music in our lives. Your support of Grove Sessions Live will ensure we have the music we need in days to come.
We have a few more pictures from Grove Sessions Live with Nina and the Buffalo Riders. Enjoy the images. Contact us regarding any use.
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