Patrons of Mojo's were treated to an entirely new genre of music called Porch Rock on Friday evening thanks to a newly formed band called City Folk.
Fans of Koolaid Kids, Atica and the acoustic duo of Ryan Melquist and Colin Shaffer, have much to look forward to as Melquist and Shaffer have recruited a bass player and drummer to round out a full band. City Folk features Melquist on guitar, harmonica and vocals; Shaffer on guitar, keys, trumpet, vocals and melodica; Rob Simmons on bass and vocals; and Justin March on drums.
To test its live performance ability, the group took the stage at The Wine Cellar during the annual Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Local Music Showcase; but otherwise hasn't had a gig until Friday evening at Mojo's. However, due to Melquist and Shaffer's musical background, the band was able to take the headliner spot for the evening, and jammed for more than two hours. Offering support for the gig were Brian Hanna and Scott Horton. The performance was presented by John Streed and Blue Moon Management.
According to Melquist, getting a band together for a performance at Mojo's is quite exciting, especially considering the project has been a long time coming.
"We've been rehearsing as a band for a little more than a year - so this is exciting," Melquist said.
"On the Mojo's level this is like a homecoming for us because Koolaid Kids and Atica ran for a couple of years before Ryan moved away," Shaffer added.
Members of Porch Rock band City Folk are pictured outside Mojo’s before their debut performance Friday evening. From left are: Ryan Melquist, Colin Shaffer, Justin March and Rob Simmons. Bob Priest, Mojo’s sound technician, is also pictured on the far left.
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
During the Mojo's performance, the group played several of their original tunes, which are not yet recorded. Some of the tunes City Folk played include: "Breadwinner," "Get Away," "Feels Good" and the group's favorite original so far, "The Weight And The Feel," which, they agree, has the potential to be a single someday.
"'The Weight And The Feel' is an original song that has gone through a lot of work," March said. "It's an inspiration of Colin's that everyone added on to, remolded, scrapped and then brought back to life. It was our first City Folk song with everyone together - I think it sounds solid."
In addition to performing original tunes, the band draws influences from, and plays covers of, bands such as The Avett Brothers, Guster, Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan. Although the sound of the band is a derivative of folk, rock and reggae, the group strives to provide a combination of the three that they refer to as Porch Rock.
"It boils down to music that you would play on your porch on a summer's day while drinking a beer and enjoying the nice weather," Simmons said.
City Folk may not yet have an album or EP recorded, but that doesn't mean they don't have enough material ready. Plans are to produce at least an EP soon so they can begin marketing themselves to various regional venues and festivals, including the Great Blue Heron Music Festival, where they hope to perform this summer, Shaffer said.
For more information, search for "City Folk" or "Blue Moon Management" on Facebook.