Photo by Jay Sansone

Let’s be honest with ourselves; fusion only has a place in a few areas of our lives.  Surgery, physics (I think), Asian food, and the funk.  Those of you who will be at the Ardmore Music Hall this Friday and Saturday are going to be able to check one of those boxes.  Not to give too much away, but it isn’t going to be physics.

Jam scene staples Soulive are going to be funking up the Ardmore Music Hall stage for a two-night run this weekend and it is shaping up to be quite the event!  The trio of brothers Neal and Alan Evans (keyboard and drums respectively) and guitarist Eric Krasno will be appearing with very special guests trombone triumph Natalie “Chainsaw” Cressman and multi-instrumentalist James Casey, both of the Trey Anastasio Band.

Formed in 1999 over a jam session in the brothers Evans’ Woodstock, New York studio, Soulive has been consistently putting out music and touring the globe gaining new fans and solidifying old ones with their unique blend of jazz, funk, soul, R&B, and hip-hop-influenced sound for the past two decades.  Over that span, Soulive has opened for John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, and even the Rolling Stones.  As far as collaborations go, it would probably be easier to write out a list of folks who haven’t played with Soulive, but that list includes John Scofield, Marcus King, Chaka Khan, Susan Tedeschi, and Ivan Neville just to name a few.

Natalie Cressman and James Casey have been staples in Phish front-man Trey Anastasio’s solo band since the early-2010’s and have made lasting impressions that have stretched their solo careers to projects outside of TAB.  Aside from ripping the sax with Trey, Casey is also a songwriter and producer and has worked with the likes of Meghan Trainor, Snarky Puppy, Lettuce, John Legend, and Wu-Tang.  Cressman, in her own right, has released several solo albums and has collaborated with Big Gigantic, Phish, The Motet, Umphrey’s McGee, and Carlos Santana among many others.

Soulive’s upbeat take on a seemingly endless blend of musical genres allows them the creative freedom to do and play whatever they want.  Their ability to slip in and out of various styles keeps fans on their toes and permits the trio to explore places that being shoved into one category wouldn’t normally allow.  They are fearless when it comes to their music.  In a day and age dominated by computers and synths and samples, Soulive keeps it unapologetically old school and exposes an electronically saturated generation to a sound The Meters would be proud to have pioneered.

It will be very interesting to see what this trio turned quintet will do in the intimate space that is the Ardmore Music Hall.  They all have experience playing larger venues, so to hear what that sound is going to do in a cozier scene is a really exciting prospect.  The Hall will be filled with the sounds of funk bombs and there is no doubt it is going to be a banger!

Make sure you get to the Ardmore Music Hall this Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9.  Doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8pm.  Friday’s opening act is the Ernest Stuart Trio and Maggie Mae will get the nod Saturday.  See you there!

November 8 tickets:

November 9 tickets: