Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Adam Ezra Group’ Category

Adam Ezra Group Shines at ‘Ragtop Angel’ Album Release Show

by Holley Dey; photos by Louise Uznanski, Richard Uznanski, Holley Dey

Boston’s favorite roots-rock band, the Adam Ezra Group, celebrated the release of their new album Ragtop Angel last Friday evening at Brighton Music Hall.  The hometown concert was sold out in advance, and there was a buzz of eager anticipation as the band took the stage.  What followed was a good time performance that left everyone smiling, and many dancing, both on and off the stage. Read more

Adam Ezra Group to Release ‘Ragtop Angel’ November 8

by Holley Dey; video by Richard Uznanski; photography by Richard Uznanski and Louise Uznanski

Adam Ezra Group has announced that the band’s new album Ragtop Angel will be released on Tuesday, November 8.  Recorded in Los Angeles, CA and Somerville, MA, the album includes ten original songs, all written or co-written by Adam Ezra Olshansky.  The album represents the culmination of a process that began with the Group’s winning entry in the 2009 “Pick The Band” competition.  Read more

Adam Ezra Group: Takin’ Off Today

Special Video Supplement

The following video slideshow is offered by MacPolski from photographs by Louise Uznanski and Richard Uznanski captured during the Adam Ezra Group’s live show at Baltimore’s The 8×10 on April 7, 2011. 

The photos are set to original music from the Adam Ezra Group, “Takin’ Off Today” from the recently released EP “Part 1″.  Produced by Aaron Johnson , “Part 1″ includes the first three songs from the eagerly anticipated new album that is planned for fall 2011.

The video is best enjoyed full screen!  Click on the icon at the bottom right of the screen (just left of the word “vimeo”) to enlarge.

Adam Ezra Group

 

.

The Group:

Adam Ezra: Vocals, guitar, harmonica

Josh Gold: Keyboards

Robin Vincent Soper: Bass

John (Chappy) Chapman: Drums

Turtle: Percussion

Known for their energetic live shows, the Adam Ezra Group is currently on national tour; check here for dates and locations: http://www.adamezra.com/index.php?page=calendar  Look for the Adam Ezra Group at the Brooklyn Bowl with Rusted Root on May 17 and at Martyr’s in Chicago on May 19, among many other concert dates.

.

.

________________________________________________

More on Adam Ezra Group from the archives:

http://ontapblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/adam-ezra-group-the-social-connection/

http://ontapblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/adam-ezra-group-enjoying-the-indie-ride/

http://ontapblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/adam-ezra-group-barefoot-pleasure/

Adam Ezra Group: The Social Connection

Photo by MacPolski

He may not have a setlist, but Adam Ezra has a plan.  The plan involves community, and starts in the bars and clubs where the music gets played.  The song list is fluid and on any given night varies with the artist’s mood, the energy in the room, and audience requests.  The performance of individual songs may also change from show to show.  The one constant is Adam’s commitment to making a difference in his community through music.

For a recent Connecticut gig, the Adam Ezra Group asked ticketholders to bring nonperishable food items to the show.  These were gathered in large baskets and donated to the House of Bread Soup Kitchen, serving hungry families in the north Hartford area.  Now on national tour, the band has asked fans to submit the names of local charitable organizations, and plans to make similar contributions in cities along the way.

On April 17, the band will host “The Ramble”.  What is The Ramble?  It’s a concert but it’s also a tailgate party with the band.  Last year the Group held a special concert to raise money for Haiti relief efforts.  This year the event will benefit Feeding America, a charity that serves hungry Americans in all 50 states through a network of food banks.  In 2010 The Ramble attracted 500 concertgoers.  This year the band hopes to fill the 1000 capacity Showcase Live venue in Foxborough, MA.  To help enthusiastic fans get to and from the show, the Group has made a unique offer.  If you live anywhere in New England and have 20 people who’d like to attend, the band will send a bus to get you.  That’s right; it’s a party with a free ride!  Learn more about The Ramble here: http://www.getrambled.com/2011.html

Adam and the band do more than raise money.  This Group is actively involved in their local community.  Aware that music is an important part of students’ lives, but a less important part of their formal education, last spring Adam proposed a pilot program for the public schools.  The band teaches middle schoolers how to write a song.

Adam tells the children that writing lyrics and music is a form of self expression.  Together the students and the band brainstorm ideas and write a story.  Then the melody is added.  The students learn the contribution of each instrument as layers are added to the song.  Later in the week, the new songwriters join the band to play the music for an assembly of their fellow students.  Featured in both print and online editions of The Boston Globe (http://bo.st/g9F1Xq) last May, the pilot program was a big hit with the students.  Their excitement is clear in the following video:

.

Adam feels a special connection to the students, confessing that he tends to think in pictures rather than in words, and is a terrible speller.  He believes that innovative programs in the arts can refocus students who show limited interest in standard classrooms.  While his claim to be an “underachiever” is not believable, it’s clear that this singer/songwriter relates easily to people both young and old.

The Adam Ezra Group started a non-profit this year; the band’s goal is to devote 25% of future tours to charity events.  This is a band with a strong social conscience and a refreshing commitment to action.  Oh, by the way, they also make good music.

Photo by Louise Uznanski

.

For more on the Adam Ezra Group, including music and tour dates: http://www.adamezra.com/index.php?page=homepage

The FedEx Underground Music Series offers the possibility of a recording contract to 3 top vote getting bands.  To vote for Adam Ezra Group, scroll down the page and click on “+” below the band’s name:  http://fedexmusic.com/bands/

Adam Ezra Group: Enjoying the Indie Ride

 

Photo courtesy of Louise Uznanski

Adam Ezra just hitched a trailer to the van.  It’s a new luxury, and another sign that the band is on the rise.  The Group moves both up and out this spring, traveling south of the Mason-Dixon line on their first headlining national tour.

This trip should be a much more comfortable ride.  For the first time the equipment will ride separately from the passengers.  Bassist Rob Soper will handle the logistics of packing the van and trailer, an assignment that Adam says requires the precision of a game of Tetris.  The percussionist will navigate the course; Turtle is the designated driver and only rarely shares that responsibility with other band members .  Adam will ride in the back of the fifteen passenger van where he’ll work on new songs and write blog/video entries while the wheels roll.  When the van finally grinds to a halt, the band will rest at a hotel booked by keyboardist Josh Gold.  He’s the Priceline guru, working his same day magic on a near daily basis.  The band hopes continental breakfast is part of the deal.

Like the van, the Adam Ezra Group has been picking up speed.  The first time the band played “The Half Door” on a Wednesday night, there weren’t many listening.  At their next club date, there were a few more, and now when the Group is booked, the Hartford club is packed and the crowd sings along.

The band is known for their enthusiastic and energetic live performances of original songs written by Adam Ezra.  The music is a soulful brand of rock that Adam says comes from a very personal place.  His songs often tell a

Photo of Adam Ezra by MacPolski

story, and the intent is to connect emotionally with the audience. Whether the story describes a love gone wrong, or carries a political message, the lyrics are meant to forge a personal connection with the listener.

That connection was important to the Group’s winning entry in “Pick the Band”, a national online contest that asked fans to vote for their favorite among several talented bands.  The prize was a development deal and three song recording with a major producer.   Simply titled “Part 1″, the Adam Ezra Group’s three song EP was recorded with multi-platinum producer Aaron Johnson (“The Fray”) and released in September 2010.  The Group has subsequently recorded a full length follow-up CD, also produced by Johnson, with an anticipated release in fall 2011.  If the first three songs are any indication, Ragtop Angel (working album title) should be taking off in a big way.


That’s not all.  It’s a busy time for Adam Ezra.  Projects in progress include an acoustic album and an original television theme song.  The acoustic songs have been pulled from a demo of 20-30 contenders; Adam is a prolific writer.  A few of the songs have already been recorded with producer Tim Leitner, and a novel release is under consideration.  Starting later this spring, a new acoustic song may be released every month until the complete album has been revealed.  The television theme song is intended for a series that is still in the early planning stages.  As production is not a certainty, Adam couldn’t reveal more except to say that the song is quirky – his “Tom Waits” song.

Given all of the Group’s recent and anticipated successes, Adam could be forgiven for dreaming big, but this singer/songwriter keeps it all in perspective.  Asked where he sees himself five years from now, Adam answered, laughing “in a bigger van?”  He went on to say that “A lot of musicians spend their lives envisioning where they want to be, but it’s important for me to enjoy the ride and the magical moments that happen every day.”

Photo of Adam Ezra Group by Louise Uznanski

.

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series.  Look for Part 2: “Adam Ezra Group: The Social Connection”, coming soon.

.

For more on Adam Ezra Group, including music and tour dates: http://www.adamezra.com/index.php?page=homepage

Adam Ezra Group: Barefoot Pleasure

At set break the audience was invited to pay whatever we liked for the CDs on the merchandise table.  My friend dropped a twenty in the box and hoped that Adam would be able to afford a pair of shoes.

I, however, preferred the bandleader barefoot.  It all fit; the toes, the music, and the crowd moved with abandon.  From the back of the room, all the heads seemed to bob in unison.  The percussionist, aptly nicknamed “Turtle”, was only one of many who grooved to the band’s beat.  The 20 something brunette who claimed first row center and the gray haired gent who stood beside her were moving, too.  It was a veritable herd of turtles at The Half Door, all with necks craned at the stage and heads set in motion.

It was a chilly December night, and we had hurried from an unlit side street to the club’s front door.  It was dark inside as well, but the ambient energy was warm and electric.  On a late Wednesday evening in sleepy Insurance City, the house was packed.  Loud chatter, laughter, and the sound of clinking glasses accompanied the band’s warm-up.  When the show began, patrons crowded the small stage front.  We soon realized that the crowd was not just rocking; they were singing, and they knew all the words.  The Adam Ezra Group had groupies.

When the show began and the first notes settled in my ears, I immediately recognized the song.  It was completely unexpected.  Somehow I hadn’t expected this young band to open with a tale of middle aged regret, but it worked.  They offered a gritty and intuitive take on “Angel from Montgomery” that was both surprising and pleasing.*


Most of the songs performed were originals and written by Adam Ezra.  Adam has said that he writes constantly; he writes and the band arranges.  Adam has a lot to say, and fortunately he says it well.  The lyrics are intelligent and the stories are told with good-natured humor.  While there may be an occasional edge to the tone, there is never overt negativity.  On this particular night, the band played several selections from their 2010 album “View from the Root”.  Two of these stood apart from the rest.  The socially relevant “Scandal” is written in a semi threatening tone and comes the closest of any of Adam’s songs to voicing anger and cynicism.* 


“She’s Just a Girl” is an upbeat, self-effacing, and humorous story of an old flame hooking up with a current buddy.*


Adam performs with an easy, natural warmth and with a broad smile that transforms his long face.  While the Hartford set did not require or demonstrate his full vocal range, I found the grit and honesty of his delivery very appealing.  The band was relaxed and interactive; they played with an organic down-home unity and excellent dynamics.  Their unique brand of acoustic rock was delivered with a folk/blues vibe, accented by jazz chord progressions.  Adam was at ease on guitar, and also played harmonica and bongos.  The band added keyboard, base, drums and percussion to the mix.

The band as a whole had a magnetic personality.  They were very much a part of the scene, and not just the center of it.  The banter flowed freely between the artists and the crowd, and the crowd was completed invested in the Adam Ezra Group experience.  So was I. 

It comes as no surprise to me that this Boston based band has begun to develop a national reputation.  It’s too late to be early, but early enough to be on time, and in time to watch the Adam Ezra Group on the rise.

_______________________________________________________

*As no clean audio capture was available  from the 12/8 Hartford show, audio recordings are presented from the 12/17/10 live show taped by SmokinJoe and 12/18/10 show taped by corey the groundhog.   More here: http://www.archive.org/details/aeg2010-12-17.adktl-sbd-mix.flac16f  and here  http://www.archive.org/details/aeg2010-12-18.akg483-sbd.flac16

To purchase “View from the Root” and for more song samples:  http://amzn.to/gjxxlu

For more on the Adam Ezra Group: http://www.adamezra.com/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 111 other followers