After two solid years of a regular gig schedule and touring, the Will Bernard 4-tet has evolved into a new identity reflecting more of a group mentality: Motherbug.
The Motherbug groove hits Hood River tonight with a 9:30 p.m. show at the River City Saloon.
Some of the elements involved in this development are the addition of the rhythm section of Keith McArthur and Jan Jackson who had played previously with Will in the collaborative band Pothole (1993-97). The long standing chemistry of Jackson, Bernard and McArthur is complimented by the inventive keyboard work of Michael Bluestein.
The sound of Motherbug is based in a guitar/keyboard heavy blend of R&B with strong ties to the Bay Area sound pioneered in the 60's and 70's (ala Santana, Sly Stone, and Tower of Power). What makes the whole mix a little different is the quirkiness of Bernard's compositions. With forays into the world of electronic ambiance and a jam band attitude, the Motherbug songs add elements of lounge, surf, and anything else that gets picked up on the way. Solid pop hooks and a sense of humor complete the package.
The new Motherbug album, co-produced by Bernard and Jason Carmer (whose production credits include Third Eye Blind, and Run DMC), is now available at bay area stores and directly from Bernard through this website.
Bernard has performed with the 4-tet and Motherbug at The Monterey, North Sea, SF Jazz, Bumbershoot, Be-Bop and Brew, Montreal and The High Sierra festivals, as well as clubs up and down the West Coast. They have opened locally for Herbie Hancock and the Head Hunters, Jimmy Mcgriff, The Funky Meters, John Scofield, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Ziggy Modeliste and the Charlie Hunter Quartet.
Kicking off the weekend will be Earth Force reggae on Friday evening, followed by the Boulder-grown jam grass of Shanti’s Groove on Saturday.
The positive creation that is Earth Force was born of the plush, misty hillsides of the coastal rainforest of western Oregon in 1996. Since that time, Earth Force has evolved into a well-known Northwest Reggae act.
Earth Force cultivates a sound rich with energy and rhythm of Roots Reggae and Dancehall, thickened with a generous dose of Tribal and Ambient undertones, and spiced with youthful vibrance and positivity.
For more information on the River City Saloon and full music schedule, visit www.rivercitysaloon.com.