What began as a duo of two strangers who happened to find one another living in the same New York City building, separated only by the wall dividing their two apartments, has grown over the last years to the cohesive collective of four chance-takers calling themselves Turbine. Traveling heavily between 2008 and 2012, Turbine honed their skills as a fully functioning jamband, holding slots at major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Vibes, moe.down, Wakarusa, and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In 2013, a brief hiatus in touring due to a personal injury in the band gave guitarist Jeremy Hilliard and the band a disguised sabbatical in the form of a break that he and the band used to their advantage. When the group emerged in 2014, triumphant and tighter than ever, their sound was prepared to blast to new heights as well.
Defining their genre presents a measure of challenge for fan and critic alike. Turbine journeys through groove oriented jams, wailing guitar effects, harmonic blues, dub reggae, and classic Americana. Shakin’ Off The Shock, released in April of 2015, is an ornate stained glass window of soul, mood, and honesty. The overall joyous feel of the record conceals a darker side enveloped in forlorn funk with themes and fears explored and exhibited. They sing of women, success, fear, and various other topics apropos to everyday life, humanizing their mammoth presence while bonding with the listener. The grooves, ambulatory by their very nature, manage to nail precisely as an assassin’s pick. Rightmire (guitar, harmonica) and Hilliard (guitar), along with Dale Paddyfote (drums) and Adam Chilenski (bass) have delivered a stick of dynamite with a 43-minute fuse.
The album kicks off with “Hard Way To Make An Easy Living,” easily identifiable with the playful nature akin to the theme from Friends. The guys keep things going, displaying their funk chops with “Trouble In A Bottle,” which detailing the exploits of a dangerous woman. Paddyfote’s skills on the skins are showcased throughout with drum breaks, drops, hypnotic beats, and focused force. Chilenski’s winding funk bass lines, hardly obtuse, take a bit of focus to find, easily overlooked, but once locked in you can hear the talent bleeding from this man’s body. Hilliard and Rightmire play back and forth with the audacious bending of notes and rainbowing of rhythms.
Their style is unique, with hints of Blues Traveler harp work, String Cheese Incident melodies, and Govt. Mule-esque guitar work. A personal favorite from the album, “Stereo (Advance The Dance),” may have easily come off of a Long Beach Dub All-Stars album. While the majority of Shakin’ Off The Shock relies of the strong lyrics and the vocalized story telling approach, “Stereo” walks the simple route: basic lyrics layered over space-dub, which in turn delivers a huge message.
Taken as a whole, this album is a mosaic of musical styling. Playing over 100 shows in 2014 alone, Turbine has it in them to make this their best year yet. They excel in songwriting and musical ability, and now have a path of clearly focused resilience.
Be sure to catch Turbine in the Northeast, as the band has residencies in Bridgeport, New York, and Boston, complete with numerous special guests! Check the schedule below:
Turbine June Residencies
6.02 – Church (Boston, MA) * with Sam Gilman on keys (Otis Grove)
6.03 – Fontana’s (NY, NY) *Album release party
6.04 – BRYAC (Bridgeport, CT) * with Haley Jane on vocals (Haley Jane and the Primates)
6.09 – Church (Boston, MA) * with The Hornitz horns
6.10 – Fontana’s (NYC) *Neal Evans on keys (Soulive, Lettuce)
6.11 – BRYAC (Bridgeport, CT) *Cyrus Maden on keys (Deep Banana Blackout)
6.16 – Church (Boston, MA) *mystery guest
6.17 – Fontana’s (NYC) *Steve Molitz on keys (Particle, Phil & Friends)
6.18 – BRYAC (Bridgeport, CT) * with Rob Volo and Rob Somervile (Deep Banana Blackout horns)
6.23 – Church (Boston, MA) *Rick Ulmah on keys (Pink Talking Fish)
6.24 – Fontana’s (NYC) *with Turkuaz horns
6.25 – BRYAC (Bridgeport, CT) *mystery guest!