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709 Washington Street, Durham, North Carolina 27701

Red Dirt Revelators/Luxuriant Sedans

March 25, 2017  ·  Saturday * 8pm * $8

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Red Dirt Revelators
Emotional, powerful and original are words best used to describe North Carolina’s Red Dirt Revelators. The 2014 IBC semi-finalists more than deliver. Singer-songwriter Willie Shane Johnston’s searing voice and harmonica are like a runaway train on course for a head on collision with the incendiary guitar of Jamie Trollinger . As the voice and melody capture the listener’s ear, the pounding rhythm section of bassist Clay Ford and drummer Jason Gardner brings you in deeper. The lyrics are shaped by Johnston’s experience growing up in Grenada, Mississippi, and tell stories that only the Red Dirt Revelators can.

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The Luxuriant Sedans are from the fertile musical stomping grounds of the North Carolina Piedmont.

The band’s five members – Mike “Wezo” Wesolowski (vocals, harp); Ed Bumgardner (bass, vocals); Rob Slater (guitar); Gino Grandinetti (guitar) and Bob Tarlton (drums) are veteran musicians with experience in myriad musical genres – from alternative music to country-rock to jazz, vintage soul and rock ‘n’ roll in all its forms and guises.

The common ground for their backgrounds is blues – but The Luxuriant Sedans is no typical fedora-wearing, licks-off-of-records blues band.

Rather, the band’s deep musical versatility takes the blue soul in its music and adds an element of rock ‘n’ roll energy that celebrates taste and individuality.

Like its namesake, The Luxuriant Sedans is the prestigious sum of its quality parts.

For the past decade, Mike “Wezo” Wesolowski has been toasted as the charismatic founder, singer and harp player of Blues World Order, a long-running N.C. blues band. His harp style reflects traces of such masters as Paul Butterfield, Junior Wells and James Cotton but never stoops to imitation. Wezo’s dedication to creating his own sound and approach has made him one of the most distinctive and highly regarded harp players in the Southeast. He appears on many albums – including Blues World Order’s The Big Bam – and has performed with such blues icons as Bob Margolin and Tom Principato.

Bassist Ed Bumgardner was still in his teens when he began performing with some of the greatest names in soul music and rock ‘n’ roll. Through the years, his energized deep-groove playing enabled him to support Chuck Berry, Sam and Dave, Bo Diddley, Jr. Walker, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Ben E. King and Henry Butler, among others. He played original rock music and recorded with Fast Annie, MGB and The Allisons, and led his own soul band, the popular Liquorhouse Soul Revue, for 10 years; musicians from that band have gone on to work with Wynton Marsalis and Prince, among others.

Guitarists Rob Slater (Sneakers, Peter May & The Rough Band) and Gino Grandinetti (The Allisons, The Honeymooners) bring a wealth of stylistic influences to the music of Luxuriant Sedans – from “The Three Kings” (Freddie, Albert and B.B.), Billy Gibbons and Michael Bloomfield to Jeff Beck, Danny Gatton and Robben Ford.

Nevertheless, each has developed a distinctive voice and sound. They have the technique and imagination to play anything, but prefer to serve the song, adding color and texture with a judiciousness rare in modern music. They play with explosive improvisational passion, but they also solo with restraint and musicality, turning performance into a fresh musical experience.

Drummer Bob Tarlton (Kingfish, The Promise Breakers) is the perfectly timed engine that propels the band. Decades of experience has enabled him to create a distinctive pocket style that swings, percolates and grooves with minimal clutter.

An evening with The Luxuriant Sedans is equal parts welcome entertainment and delightful experience – new, comfortable, exciting…

Luxuriant.
And once you’ve gone Luxuriant, there is no turning back.