Turbine has just completed its second year on the road, playing over 100 shows each year. They've been named "Artists on the Verge" by Relix Magazine and have shared bills with countless talented bands including Widespread Panic, The Black Crowes, Trey Anastasio, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Derek Trucks, and just recently had Jim Laughlin from moe. sit on percussion. In this short amount of time they have certainly come a long way, but two shows in particular point out their true versatility. They played two years in a row at the 10,000 Lakes Music Festival, showing off their improvising talents and their ability to get people dancing. They also opened for bluegrass legend Del McCoury and sat in with his band for an all-star jam session along with Drew Emmitt.
The 10,000 Lakes Festival displayed the wild improv and high energy shows that they are capable of. Ryan Rightmire's "outerspace harmonica" approach incorporates many effects. He'll take on the traditional keyboard role sounding just like a Hammond Organ, yet other times will explore trance and science-fiction soundscapes. He's also making a bid to have the harmonica thought of in the same breath as the DJ turntable. His ability to "scratch" using the harp along with a series of foot pedals, while playing the guitar at the same time, is something you'll have to see to believe. The rhythm section of Justin Kimmel and Eric Johnson both accomplished jazz musicians as well, can morph into any style imaginable. That day they got the entire audience dancing, and Jeremy Hilliard played with the fire and intensity Turbine fans have come to expect.
At the Del McCoury show Turbine was able to show off their bluegrass chops. Getting ready to take the stage, Drew Emmitt asked Jeremy if he was really going to play his electric guitar (not traditionally done in bluegrass). Jeremy said "if I play it right it should sound like a silver fiddle." Needless to say he played it right, and they even handed him the reigns of the band to sing some sings as well. Ryan was also able to show of his bluegrass harmonica skills. Based on a technique he's created that mimics the rapid style of the banjo he showed that the harmonica isn't just a blues instrument anymore.
Turbine's eye towards the future of music, combined with their knowledge of the past, is at the cornerstone of who they are. Their focus on lyrics, singing and three-part harmonies differentiate them from many of the acts out there today. They feel at home playing any style, and use this in their songwriting craft. Their songs incorporate rock, psychedelia, New Orleans grooves, sci-fi, bluegrass, afro beat, folk, funk, and even Irish drinking songs. They felt as much at home playing with Del McCoury's Band as when they played a Led Zeppelin song with Marco Benevento at a Duo show. The past year had them performing all across the U.S., from playing before Bob Weir at the Sunshine Daydream Festival to their second consecutive appearance at the Bele Chere Festival. Keep an eye out for Turbine in 2007 as they will be appearing as part of the Wakarusa Festival and releasing their second studio album on entitled "Reward".
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