May 29, 2008

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Everybody dance now
EGB helps New England get footloose
By Brian Early bearly@hippopress.com

You can expect to shake your booty when you hear the Evan Goodrow Band, which plays a soulful mix of jazz and funk. It’s something that the band specializes in. Though those in New England might find it more difficult to dance.

“Many in New England don’t dance,” said Evan Goodrow, guitarist and singer of his namesake band. “It’s like a Puritan hangover.”

But the band is working to change the dancing atmosphere in the Northeast, and at shows now, the crowd will start dancing as soon as the quartet starts playing, not like when they first started when they’d have to wait for the girls — who usually want to dance more than the boys — would start, and eventually the guys would follow.

“We are a performance band,” Goodrow said.

EGB, as they commonly refer to themselves, play a show at The Shaskeen on Elm Street in Manchester this Friday, May 30, as well as the following Thursday at Souhegan High School Theatre in Amherst. There will perhaps be more dancing at The Shaskeen, as the Souhegan venue is filled with seats. But the sound will most likely be better in the theater.

While it’s only a quartet, EGB often sounds like a bigger band with more players and instruments. The beats are tight, adding layers of sound to groove to. While it’s funk-based, it crosses over many genres of music.

“Everybody is very very active,” Goodrow said.

Each show is different, with the band improvising the tune along the way, changing the dynamic depending on the atmosphere and the people. At first, EGB was more groove than lyric; as Goodrow matures in his songwriting, it’s becoming different.

“In the past three or four years, the music is being driven by the lyrics. I tend to write about interpersonal relationship more than anything else. It’s sort of singer-songwriter material,” he said. “Essentially, I keep my lyrics upbeat and pretty positive. You’ve got to stay positive. It’s the name of game.”

At 30, he’s already produced nine albums, following the old model of music-making — “put everything out there,” he said, instead of the modern method of releasing an album every two to three years.


Evan Goodrow Band
• Friday, May 30, at 9:30 p.m., at the Shaskeen, 909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246.
• Thursday, June 5, at 7 p.m. at Souhegan High School, 412 Boston Post Road, Amherst.