Joy on Fire at The Cloud Club (and after (and before))

We had decided to make a few changes in our set list after walking around the courtyard of Boston’s celebrated and magical Cloud Club. Cloud Club Fire EscapeThe spirit of the place had put us in a different mood. The evening’s events were being held outside, and we wanted our music—at least for the opening half of the set—to cohere with the wild, overflowing city garden we’d be playing in front of. As I walked around the brick paths before the night’s music began, I noticed the artistic touches in the garden’s construction—hobby horses stuck onto iron gates covered with ivy; Greco-Roman plaster heads, also covered in ivy; heads carved from coconuts that sprouted flowers; huge spheres of light that appeared, from a distance, to be floating in mid air—and this feeling of delight continued as the evening’s events began. Cloud Club OrbMali, singer/songwriter/pianist for Jaggery, who had organized the show, began the music with a wonderful song for bells and voice she had written especially for the event (ironically, the metaphorical conceit of the piece concerned weather). Three very good short films were shown. Folk artist Josh Cole passed out percussion instruments as he played his set. Valerie Kuhn’s new cello/violin/vocal project Naked Roots Conducive featured the hilarious lines: “When the Demon comes/It’s time to grow up/When the Demon comes/It’s time to shut the fuck up.” As much as I like these lines, and laughed out loud from the back of the courtyard when Val sang them, I blame Val—or thank her, as the case may be—for what happened next.

Joy on Fire was the closing act of the night, and as we were plugging in and tuning up, Mali ran up to us and said, “It’s going to rain! It may start in an hour, or it may start—” and then we felt the first drop.

The decision to move the show inside was pretty swift. Within ten minutes, the show had changed from a garden party to a basement punk rock blowout. The change of vibe required a change of set, and we stomped into our driving opener, “Le Phant.” It worked, and the energy was good. By the time we got to our closer, “Punk Jazz,” the Demon came, and I stopped the song in the middle to yell at everyone because they weren’t dancing. “This is dance music!” By the time we picked it back up, I had shut the fuck up, and most everyone in the room—including the band (excluding the artist who had been and still was painting a picture of us as we played)—was dancing. So we played one more song—untitled but with the working title “Disco Metal”—as the garden-party-turned-punk-house-show-turned-dance-riot was almost complete.

Cloud Club NightWe were on the road by midnight, headed on Interstate 90 back to the Hudson Valley to demo a new tune with engineer Jesse Melito; to the Hudson Valley, where we’d played two shows booked by our friend Corinna Makris only 24 hours before….

-John Paul Carillo

Joy on Fire at the Storied Grounds of Tompkins Square Park

After seven weeks away from our home in Greensboro, North Carolina, Anna and I finally came home in early July. Looking back at all the good gigging and recording and jamming that Anna, Chris, and I did in the Northeast from May to June, the gig that stands out for me is International Make Music Day, June 27, which, for Joy on Fire, and thanks to Corinna Makris, who acquired the permit (this permit plays an important role in the story), took place in Tompkins Square Park, NYC.

As per circumstances—an early morning uncancellation of the gig due to sunshine after a late-night cancellation due to thunderstorms, Chris’s car being in the shop, etc.—we got a late start, and with the gas generator pull-started and roaring and coughing and spewing exhaust and creating a rhythm all its own while powering our amps, we were set up and ready to play by 2:40pm. A crowd had already begun to form, and in this crowd, beside the street punks, weed dealers, families eating ice-cream, and at least one guy on a unicycle, was a man who worked for the NYC Parks Department. He asked if we had a permit. Corinna was ready for him and brandished the permit. “This is only good to three o’clock,” he said. “You’ll have to shut down by three.” We debated this, but he was insistent. It was now 2:45. With wide eyes we looked at each other. This was surely a lot of set-up and all kinds of other work for a fifteen-minute gig. On the other hand, it definitely created a sense of urgency.

We brought this urgency into our playing and blasted into a stomping version of our opening number, “Le Phant.” By the time we were done with our second tune, “The Spider’s House,” the crowd had grown to twice its original size, photos were being snapped, and people were taking videos and dancing—and we had two minutes left to play. We only have one piece that fits this short format, so Anna switched from alto to baritone sax as quickly as she could, and we played “Punk Jazz,” a tune with a head, a solo, and then the head again, and that’s it.

It was now three. The Parks Department Guy was nowhere to be seen. With the crowd’s encouragement (they knew the score) and to their enjoyment, we kept playing. By the time we made it to “Disco Metal,” the last song in our set, Parks Department Guy, with his arms crossed, was once again part of the audience. Though he insisted on cutting us off as per his badge, he seemed to enjoy what he heard, and when it was all over, the members of the crowd dispersing on their ways to the rest of their New York City days, we gave him a CD.

-John Paul Carillo

Thanks, NYS Music!

Thank you for the shout out, NYS Music (www.nysmusic.com)!

The daring jazz-rock groove of North Carolina’s @joyonfire at @thewineryatstgeorge as part of their June residency

A photo posted by NYStateMusic (@nystatemusic) on

We’ve been enjoying all our shows this month, which includes the Saturday Residency shows at the Winery at St. George. We’ve also played in Manhattan at Leftfield, and will be playing at the Tompkins Square Park this coming Sunday for Make Music New York around 1:30pm.

We’ll be on Stony Brook’s Radio Station tomorrow night (6/16 at 7pm) for Finn’s Revolution, listening to work from our first album as well as some live recordings. Tune in to 90.1 FM if you are on Long Island or online at http://www.wusb.fm/

Joy on Fire Curating Month-Long Residency

THE WINERY AT SAINT GEORGE PRESENTS: FIRST-EVER ARTIST RESIDENCY

Every Saturday in June, The Winery at St. George will offer four powerful sets of great new music as JOY ON FIRE and one of four different guest artists alternate live sets throughout the night.TWASG 2014

“I’m happy to assemble these great local artists this month. They’re some of the best talent the Hudson Valley has to offer,” says Corinna Makris, owner of Elemental Events, a local event production company. “The Winery at St. George offers elegance and sophistication with a relaxed attitude. People will enjoy great music, fine wine and sumptuous food all in a breathtaking setting.”

The beautiful, 100-year-old stone church is now a stylish nightclub and restaurant. Prepare to be transported from the ordinary. “The Winery at Saint George is proud to continue its tradition of bringing the best in local and touring talent to our patrons,” says venue owner Tom DeChiaro.

All shows starts at 9 p.m. While there is no cover charge, The Winery encourages a $10/person gratuity for the artists.

JOY ON FIRE – Every Saturday in June

Defying tradition and often description, JOY ON FIRE emerged from Baltimore’s roiling avant-garde music scene. Bass, drums, and sax create a potent jazz-rock fusion known as Punk-Jazz and described as “Zeppelin meets Coltrane.”

JoyOnFire.com

JOE DURAES & THE SKILLS – June 13

With his warm tenor and electrified acoustic alt-rock groove, LoHud mainstay Joe Duraes weaves tales that explore themes of love, heartache, relationships, and the world we live in. Joe and his band currently perform live as “Joe Duraes & The Skills,” honoring their home base in Peekskill, NY.

www.joeduraes.com

JAGGERY – June 20

Moving from haunting lullabies to intricately woven mixed-meter rants to catharsis-inducing mini-epics, the band borrows pages out of the books of both Kate Bush and Alice Coltrane, suggesting a classical, organic, avant-jazz-oriented Cocteau Twins or a “white witch” counter to the haunting Diamanda Galas.

THIS SHOW WILL BE FILMED.

Jaggery.org

 

Upcoming shows – February 2015

Feb2015-red

Hey y’all! We’ve got some shows we are looking forward to next week!
Thursday, February 19, we’ll be at the Windup Space in Baltimore, MD with our friends “F” and the Expanding Man — more info HERE!

Friday , February 20, we’ll be in Coram, NY at O’brien’s Pub, with Blueblack and more — details HERE.

And Saturday, we finish up at Division Street Guitars in Peekskill, NY, with Blueblack again — more info HERE.

We’ve got some shows lined up in North Carolina in May — keep posted for more details!

A unique shape?

Sam Smith just lost his case for copyright infringement because he stole the tune from Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” But the controversy’s not over, because copyright infringement wasn’t the controversy in the first place. The real controversy is: Why is “Stay With Me” up for a Grammy at all?

Smith can sing, I guess, but the song shape is boring, and the production is mawkish. Jimmy Page, no stranger to lawsuits of this type, and recently sued by the band Spirit for supposedly ripping off the opening of “Stairway to Heaven,” defends himself in these cases by basically saying “My composition has a unique shape.”

Does this idea — a unique shape — even make sense to your average contemporary listener? Probably not, and that’s too bad….

Here’s a short YouTube video I found overlaying both songs for just the first few bars. Enough to show the similarities and the differences. What do you think?

Joy on Fire w/Nomadic at The One Stop – FREE

ASHEVILLE, NC: The One Stop, Asheville’s premiere live music venue, is thrilled to present Joy on Fire (on tour) with local jam favorites Nomadic on Friday, June 27 for a free show.

Baltimore natives JOY ON FIRE (JoF) are returning to The One Stop playing their original mind-expanding brand of jam, this time tearing it up with local band Nomadic. Leading with saxophone, JoF creates a sound best described as “punk-jam/fuzz-rock” (sometimes called “punk-jazz”).

Now based in Greensboro, NC, JoF travels the East Coast winning converts with its adventurous self-titled debut CD, which features three big songs (akin to some of the more groundbreaking albums of the 60s and 70s like Yes’s Relayer): “The Complete Book of Bonsai,” “The Marriage of Hell and Heaven” and “If 3 Was 8” (the title a tribute to Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9”).

Anna Meadors shreds on saxophones, while drummer Mike “Pickle” Carney, and bassist John Paul Carillo lay down a funky beat. Think Morphine/Fishbone/Coltrane/Zeppelin.

The four members, (Kevin Rohweder – drums, Nate Rohweder – guitar, Eli Scott – bass, Greg Andersen – keyboards) of Nomadic owe their growing popularity to their highly captivating and energetic live performances as well as their epic and diverse song structures that range from electronica to anthemic rock.

Nomadic’s wide range of influences create an intriguingly new blend of progressive rock, electronica, and funk. These styles all lend to Nomadic’s addictive and undeniably fun grooves, blistering peaks and melodic ballads that are unique and immense. Nomadic brings an energy packed live sound that is gripping from start to finish. It is an experience not easily forgotten.

This is a free show – no cover charge!

The One Stop: June 27, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
For more information visit us online at:
Nomadic
Joy on Fire
Like us on Facebook.com/nomadicrage
Facebook.com/joyonfire

Joy on Fire featured in Mountain Express

Thanks to Mountain Express for promoting our gig at the One Stop in Asheville, NC on April 8th!

Mountain Express – Joy on Fire at The One Stop

Artist: Joy on Fire
Venue: The One Stop
Date: Tuesday, April 8, 8:00 p.m.
Door: $2

It’s intriguing the way that jazz fusion is bubbling under in Asheville, a town noted musically more for jam bands and beardo alt-Americana. But there’s clearly enough interest to draw Greensboro’s Joy on Fire to town. This trio has an unconventional lineup: electric bass guitar, drums, and … saxophone. But these young jazzers seem as influenced by heavy rock as jazz. When they describe their sound as “Zeppelin meets Coltrane,” you’d best believe it.