David Andrews may grin sheepishly when he talks about it now, but back in the 1990s, this stuff most definitely was cool.
His band Calobo which will reunite for a gig Oct. 4 at the Knitting Factory invented a special little moniker to describe its sound.
Calobos was ... acoustic groove soup.
Acoustic groove soup?
I was like a folk artist. And Ken was a blues guitarist. And Nate was a high-school jazz bass player, Andrews says, explaining how the Portland bands seven members came from diverse musical backgrounds including reggae, opera and classical piano.
It really was all these different ingredients, Andrews continues. And once we found our balance between all these styles, it really was acoustic groove soup.
The Northwest slurped it up for a decade. Boise was a big Calobo town. (The word Calobo, by the way, is a blend of founding members Caleb Klauder and David Hobo Andrews. Hobo is a whole nother story.)
Calobo sold about 100,000 records before disbanding.
Andrews moved to Boise in 2005, but all the other members still live in Oregon. And like Andrews, whos pursued his craft in Idaho as a singer-songwriter, most of them have expanded their musical horizons. Pianist Jenny Conlee and bassist Nate Query helped found critically acclaimed indie-rock act the Decemberists.
Next week, Calobo will reconvene for nostalgia-filled shows in Boise, Portland and Seattle, replicating its final run in October 2001.
Making these concerts happen has been lots of work. Andrews flew to Portland three times for rehearsals. Calobo is using a tour bus, a tour manager the whole nine yards for these three shows.
Weve been having a blast, he says. We havent really all been in the same room at the same time since we broke up.
Fans with keen ears might notice slight changes in the way the band members play Calobos classics. After all, theyve evolved as musicians.
We have to play the way we play now while keeping it somewhat friendly and engaging to the audience, Andrews says.
Thats life. People change. All you have to do is notice members children Andrews has twin 4-year-old boys now to realize that this jam-loving band has grown up.
Thats kind of been the running joke, he says of the reunion. Hey, were really excited about the show weve just got to find babysitters.
Calobo: 8:30 p.m. Oct. 4, Knitting Factory, Boise. $16. Ticketfly.
LYNYRD SKYNYRD SIGNING
Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd will sign their new CD from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at Walmart, 5875 Franklin Road, Nampa.
You have to buy the CD to get it signed. Whether this entitles you to have your sagging body signed, too? This I prefer not to know.
Afterward, the Southern rock band will perform at the Idaho Center Amphitheater.
If youre Skynyrd a group whose fans clamor for songs written 35 years ago it almost begs the question: Why make new CDs at all?
I guess we still have a lot to say, singer Johnny Van Zant explained, adding that the new CD, Last of a Dyin Breed, was recorded with the lone goal of having a good time.
Simple men, right?
Its just a fun time for us, he said. This bands been through so many heartaches and heartbreaks and ups and downs and triumphs. To be around and still be doing it, its an amazing feat, it really is.
Van Zants spent 25 years standing in the shoes of his late brother, Ronnie, but it isnt a role he takes for granted. Being in Skynyrd never feels routine, he said: Because every night we play songs like Free Bird. Im always remembering what the hecks happened with this band, and always will.
Michael Deeds column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life.