By Pat Gunther
#TellDIG: What’s your favorite song by The Revivalists?
New Orleans seven-piece funk outfit The Revivalists have been a staple of Fall concerts at the Varsity Theatre for the past couple of years, and are set to return yet again on Friday, Oct. 17th.
Comprised of lead-singer David Shaw, pedal steel-guitarist Ed Williams, Guitarist Zach Fineberg, Saxophonist Rob Ingraham, bassist George Gekas, drummer Andrew Campanelli and keyboarder/trumpeter Michael Girardot, the septet currently on their latest tour has traveled across the country brining typical New Orleans brassy funk to crowds night in and night out before a home stand here in Louisiana that will land them a set at Voodoo Fest on Nov. 2nd
Shaw and co. have been traveling since the release of their 2012 LP, City of Sound, and have been gaining steam in the New Orleans’ music scene since their debut in 2007. Moreover, the high-energy guys have realized not only their impact on the Big Easy, but also the impact the Big Easy has had on their freshest sound that has garnered newer fans of the now veteran band.
“There are some scenes where it’s really hard to get in and start playing, but New Orleans isn’t like that,” Shaw told TheDailyTimes.com in a Sept. 2014 interview. “It’s not the easiest place either, but when they like you, they like you, and there were some things about our band that people really, really gravitated to.”
However, it is not a specific sound that The Revivalists stick to, as evident with their genre-hopping tendencies that dabble in everything from rock to jam-band to classic New Orleans brassy funk music that the Big Easy is famous for. Furthermore, the talent of the group’s instrumentalist has had a profound impact on their ability to switch sounds on a dime, letting Shaw navigate a plethora of enticing sonic soundscapes. “We’re not a jam band, but we are a band that jams,” Shaw stated in the same interview. “We put the songs first; then we put in certain moments in the song to extenuate the jams, or we push the jams inside the song. I think a lot of that comes from the New Orleans music scene, where it’s very freeing.”
The Varsity veterans have traversed the country in an attempt to proliferate the fan base of their unique and individualized sound. But, as they say, there really is no place like home. The Revivalists will return home to New Orleans with a set on Nov. 2nd at the stacked lineup that has graced 2014’s Voodoo Fest. After their tour ends on Miami’s Jan. 2015 Jam Cruise 13, The Revivalists will surely have new experiences to draw from on their first follow up record in what will be nearly three years.
In reference to the new record, Shaw said, “Some are old tunes that I wrote a long time ago, and Zack has written a few, and there’s the same complexity that all the songs kind of have — only a little more deep. They’re still very pedestrian and still about very everyday issues that we all kind of have to deal with in our own minds. They’re just a continuation of the story of mankind and the trials and tribulations that we go through every day.”
If everyday life is a large part of their next record, expect their energetic and passionate tour to really contribute something special.
The Revivalists @ Varsity Theatre
Friday, October 17