Jam on it 

Bump makes some noise

click to enlarge Boys, get out of Grandmas nice new drapes!
  • Boys, get out of Grandmas nice new drapes!

Not to be confused with the late-'60s psychedelic Detroit pop band The Bump, jazzy rock band Bump sprung in 2001 from a small music scene comprised of like-minded students at Michigan State University. Despite growing up with '90s rock and pop influences, they play a fairly unique mix of older styles, deeply rooted in the classic soul and R&B of their hometown.

The quartet consists of four twentysomethings: Yorg Kerasiotis on lead vocals, keys and rhythm guitar, drummer Clint Carpenter, bassist Eric Novak and lead guitarist Chris Sterr.

"The band started out being, like, a really intricate rock band, with a lot of intricate changes," says Kerasiotis. "We were really into Steely Dan and stuff like that. By the time we started putting this new EP together, our sound became a little more dark and melodic."

Bump recently released a five-song offering titled The Heart of Cadillac Square.

"We're a collective unit, where everybody throws in and adds their bit," says Kerasiotis. "We decided a long time ago that we would credit everyone for songwriting on every song. I think that some bands get into a situation where one songwriter made most of the money and the bandmates didn't. That's what breaks bands up. We don't have to worry about that."

Kerasiotis grew up in Detroit listening to Motown hits as well as older and modern rock. He caught on to Nirvana and the grungy rock sounds of the early-'90s alt-rock scene in sixth grade, and gradually ventured back into material by Zeppelin, The Band, James Brown and other classic acts.

"I got my first guitar when I was 6 years old," he remembers. "My dad was a classical guitarist and really into Greek folk music -- because he was originally from Greece -- and he got me my first guitar. He really wanted me to concentrate on playing a nylon-string guitar [laughs]. When I was a really little kid, I was schooled in Motown stuff. I really remember Aretha Franklin songs, because my mom was into that."

Last summer, the band geared up and toured across Colorado and the Midwest. They embarked on their first tour into the South as the supporting act for Perpetual Groove, one of the most popular and commercially successful improv-rock bands on the big jam band circuit.

P-Groove's lively new album, All This Everything, leans more toward a modern, electronically enhanced approach to rock and funk grooves, a sound quite compatible with what Kerasiotis and the guys are up to on stage.

"We love the fact that people tour and share bills -- no matter if they're considered to be 'jam band' or not," he adds. "We love that fan base, that wants a different show every night. A lot of these fans who may be considered 'jam fans' are the ones really so devoted to music that they go see multiple tours and check out all sorts of stuff, you know what I mean? That's what we like. It is all about the music, not the image."

-- T. Ballard Lesemann



Dulcinea's 100th Monkey, 717 E. Colfax Ave., Denver

Saturday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $6; for more information, call 303/832-3601 or visit quixotes.com.


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