Written by Jocelyn Dietrich
Pittsburgh better dust off their dancing shoes and gear up for the much anticipated night of killer percussion and groovy jams with Mike Dillon Band and Spafford taking over good ol’ Spirit in Lawrenceville on Friday, February 10th. The two story event space/pizza place opens their doors at 9PM to an evening of “electro-funk therapy”.
Hailing from Arizona, Spafford has been making waves in the music scene. The four piece jazz/funk curators are improvising their way into the hearts and ears of the jam scene and beyond. 2017 started with a bang and bicoastal tour for the bunch, opening in over 13 cities across the country for Umphrey’s McGee, being booked straight through April, and venturing into both weekends of Electric Forest and Resonance Music Festival. All of this would never be if Brian Moss (Guitar) and Jordan Fairless (Bass) hadn’t met and started playing open mics together back in 2009. Add a little Red Johnson (Keys), and Nick Tkacyk (Drums) with a dollop of Chuck Johnson on the lights and you’ve got yourself what we now refer to as Spafford.
This night would not be complete without the 25 year vet – Mike Dillon surfing Spafford’s waves. Pittsburgh got lucky to sneak in on The Mike Dillon Band’s seven show run from Virginia to Louisiana. Currently touring with Cliff Hines, bassist Nathan Lambertson and a phenomenal rotating cast of drummers including Claude Coleman Jr. of Ween, Doug Belote, Simon Lott, G. Maxwell, and Paul Thibodeaux, the New Orleans-residing-Texan, Mike Dillon, brings all kinds of heat to every performance. Dillon, the “jazz vibraphone visionary” (as he’s previously been referred to), has been a key percussionist in making music with artists from Les Claypoo to Ani Difranco to The Dead Kenny G’s. His Frank Zappa infused jazz jams are a force to be recon with, and a show surely not to miss.
Mark your calendars, make your travel plans, and come early for some pizza before the dancing at Spirit in Pittsburgh, PA on the 10th of February. This rare combo of electrifying funk and jazzy vibraphone vibes will be one for the books.