Hail To The Joint Chiefs! – February 7th, 2001
by Bing Futch
[[jcgene]] It was about two years ago that I first heard about a sort of Staxx revival band from the lips of
whiz-guitarist Brian Chodorcoff. We were standing in the front room of Will’s Pub on a slow night, catching a beer buzz and watching the pool table action and he says: “Me and Gene from Umoja wanna put together something funky.” Chodorcoff, formerly of My Friend Steve, was splitting time between his journeyman position in Princeton’s Guff and a psuedo-blues project called Mad Chow Chow but wanted to dig into something deeper. He wasn’t talking P-Funk then, more like the stuff Otis Redding or Sam & Dave used to strut and Gene Snowden sure knew how to ring those bells. I had only recently begun to play solo shows around town and was surprised when Chodorcoff said, “You play keys, I’ve seen you play. You should jam with us.”
[[jcbrian]] It was right there that I may’ve missed my chance to be a member of the Joint Chiefs, a new band in Orlando that’s creating the kind of buzz usually reserved for hot movies and the drug du jour.
Way too chicken to belly up with the likes of those two cats, I was at the time. Now, many months later – I stand witness to the birth of a band whose time has most certainly arrived. In fact, its “time” never ever left.
Jookin’ At Junior’s
The JC’s are not simply a revival show, but they know their roots. Complementing Chodorcoff’s guitar and Snowden’s electric showmanship on vocals and percussion are keyboardist/guitarist Jeff Nolan and virginwool bandmates Adam Loewy on bass and Brett Crook pounding skins. Mr. Crook knows funky as a former beat-tender for the sadly departed Big Shirley and it’s a treat to see “Bamm-Bamm” slippin’ it funky again. The band pays sweet homage to old-school rhythm and blues, straight out of the southern Baptist churches and on through the aforementioned Staxx sound which later included Isaac Hayes. It’s definitely the sexy soul that KGFJ used to play out in L.A. back in the Day.
Hot Buttered Soul/Flame-Broiled
[[jcadamjeff]] They’ve been a well-kept secret until now. Playing after “Backroom Words” hosted by Patrick Barnes every Tuesday night at midnight in the back room of Will’s. “Public rehearsals,” laughs Snowden. Call them what you will, if these raw glimpses of a band-in-progress are any indication of what the band has in-store for future audiences – shit’s about to go down in O-Town. The atmosphere in the little back room at Will’s has become as heady and resonant as a jook joint off in the dirt-road gutted backwoods of a not-too-distant South. During a typical JC’s set, Snowden testifies to Love, Leavin’ and Lettin’ Go with gracious helpings of James Brown, Al Green and Marvin Gaye mixed in as influences. But Chodorcoff’s progressive approach on guitar takes the dynamic lead and marries traditional soul music with a rough-hewn rock sensibility that carries the band into fresh territory. It’s a free-flowing vibe that ebbs and flows at bandleader Snowden’s command, he exercises the same power of the conductor as he does in his Afro-centric outfit Umoja. But here, he is more of a preacher, infusing the music with a sexual spirituality that had a recent Tuesday night crowd hooting and howling for more.
[[jcbrett]] The Joint Chiefs will continue their Tuesday night “public rehearsals” at midnight after “Backroom Words”, which has finally found another home after being kicked out of every other ferschlugenner venue in town. Show up early, have some beer and tune in to the art of the spoken word. O-Town’s making an effort to be of some culture – support said formation of culture and get thee out to a venue. Cable is for the less-than-inspired.
The JC’s are also ready-for-prime-time and will share the stage with POPSICLE DYNAMITE at Sapphire on Thursday (2/8) and the mighty-mighty NUTRAJET and THE HYBRIDS at Will’s this Saturday (2/10) 21 and up, naughty stuff will be happening from the get-go.
Local music Godfather David Schweizer was running sound on the night that I first checked out the JC’s and he informed me that a live mix had been captured from that show. I hope to have some of this music available on “The 7th Day” internet radio program that I host on M4 Radio every Sunday soon!
I’ve been jamming a lot lately. That is, sitting in with various musicians for the purpose of simply fucking around with a bit of the music. It is such a freeing experience, one that I’ve only recently come to enjoy without, say – the pain of wondering if everyone else in the room thinks you completely and totally SUCK and need to stop playing whatever it is that you’re playing straight away. Mean it. Stop it. Jamming used to be a harrowing experience for me and now, it’s just plain tits. Know ‘nuff? You know ‘nuff.