The jam band genre is often less focused on the style of music played by the band and more focused on the community the band has with its audience. These communities, which are typically built through extensive touring, allow bands like Eufórquestra to eschew traditional artist-label relationships for more direct, fan-to-artist connections.
The pinnacle of this relationship for Eufórquestra came with the success of their Kickstarter.com campaign, which raised money for their fifth album and most recent album, Fire. By crowdsourcing funds, the band was able to get right into the studio with producer Kyle Hollingsworth of The String Cheese Incident.
When Eufórquestra moved from Iowa City to Ft. Collins, Co., that period seemed to mark a change in the band’s songwriting from the more sprawling, jazzy, world-beat instrumentals of the first two albums, to a more focused style with an emphasis on vocals and lyrics that began with their 2009 album, Soup.
Fire continues this direction but ups the ante by bringing in some guests. Hollingsworth joins Eufórquestra on keyboards, propelling the greasy instrumental “Instant Coffee” with his Hammond B3 skills. Kim Dawson of The Motets contributes vocals to “Take Me Dancing,” a classic disco funk with scribbly, funkadelic-style analog synths. Later, Gabriel Mervine brings some hot trumpet to a second line march in “Momo Lolo,” and Elliot Martin of John Brown’s Body sings on the reggae track “Solutions.”
My favorite track on the album is the Cisco Kid, groove-lifting “64-18” (likely a reference to Colorado Amendment 64, Article 18 legalizing personal use of cannabis)—a dirty, head-bobbing funk groove that stands up like a faded high.
Bringing Hollingsworth on to helm the sessions for Fire appears to have resulted in the most consistently funky and loose Eufórquestra release to date. From needle drop to record flip, this album is a contender for party record of the year.