The Contribution feat Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth), Jeff Miller (New Monsoon), Steve Adams (ALO, Nicki Bluhm), Phil Ferlino (New Monsoon), Sheryl Renee & Ezra Lipp (Phil Lesh, Cake)
Nat Keefe and Bryan Horne (of Hot Buttered Rum)
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pmSweetwater Music Hall
$32 Advance/$37 Day of show (plus fees)
This event is all ages
Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth - violin, guitar, vocals
Jeff Miller of New Monsoon - guitar, vocals
Phil Ferlino of New Monsoon - keyboards, vocals
Sheryl Renee - vocals
Steve Adams of ALO, Nicki Bluhm & Gramblers - bass
Ezra Lipp of Phil Lesh & Friends, Cake - drums
The Contribution is the brainchild of Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth (violin, guitar, vocals) together with Phil Ferlino (keyboards, vocals) and Jeff Miller (guitar, vocals) of New Monsoon. Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), has been the bass player from the band’s inception along with vocalist Sheryl Renee (The Black Swan Singers). The drum chair was previously occupied by Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra), and currently Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic) who both appear on the band’s new record.
The first song was released in February, 2017 with all proceeds donated to Rex Foundation. Consecutive songs came out monthly, each paired with unique artwork and all proceeds benefitting a different non-profit partner. Others taking part include Conscious Alliance, HeadCount, and a handful of other organizations that support the arts, environment, and health. The full ten-song album will come out on vinyl this Spring.
Releasing records and touring is a cycle that is a part of each member’s individual careers. Initially conceived as a studio project that would play select live shows, the emphasis for The Contribution was always on writing and recording. Rather than releasing a full record with expectations of touring to support it, Carbone wanted to find a way to live up to the band’s name and this is what they cooked up to keep going and give back in the process.
How could the creation of music be leveraged for the betterment of the world at large? A lofty goal. The band has never been about personal profit and individually the members have been advocates and activists for various environmental and social causes. Now they have thought of a way to meld the two worlds the band holds dear. They are The Contribution, after all. Carbone says, “We feel blessed to be able to make this music and have it help people in need… and we would like to empower those who share our passion and provide a resource for them to take action with us.”
Wilderness and Space will be released on LoHi Records, of which Carbone is one of the partners along with singer/songwriter and record producer Todd Snider, Hard Working Americans’ Chad Staehly, who is also with Gold Mountain Entertainment in Nashville, and entrepreneur and marketing veteran Jim Brooks. All songs written and produced by Tim Carbone, Phil Ferlino and Jeff Miller.
––San Francisco Chronicle
“As the band’s evolved, it has kept those [bluegrass] roots, but also incorporated the progressiveness of bands like Strength in Numbers and New Grass Revival, the looseness of a jam band like Phish, and the rock-and-roll edge of an acoustic band that opts to ad a drummer.”
“Stunning instrumental and vocal virtuosity.”
Evolution is an overused term in the music game, and doubly so in the corners of it frequented by groups like Hot Buttered Rum, those drawn to marry bluegrass and Americana with rock, swing and beyond in whatever proportion serves the song at hand. Evolving is what these musical matchmakers have always done, though, and it’s what they continue to do with their newest three-part album, The Kite & the Key.
Each panel of their tryptic paints a different way of making American music that Hot Buttered Rum loves, and each was shaded with the help of a different producer. Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone took the first crack at the band’s extensive song list (guitarist Nat Keefe and multi-instrumentalist Erik Yates always have an ample backlog). He chose the six most introspective cuts, curating a songwriter’s showcase that also made plenty of room for Bryan Horne (bass) and Zebulon Bowles (fiddle) to help bring the songs to life. Legendary dobroist Sally van Meter came in two months later to produce a sextet of songs from the Ralph Stanley canon. “Playing Stanley-style bluegrass off the record is incredibly tough, hero’s work, really, and Sally’s a hard hero to please,” Yates quipped. “After she kicked our bluegrass butts, though, she went away smiling. I’ll always be proud of that.” In true HBR fashion, the band then took a left turn and dove into a third EP with keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth, who left his Wurlitzer plugged in throughout the tracking for on-the-fly arrangement and improvisatory ideas. “It made perfect sense that way,” Bowles reflected, “since he thinks so well through his instrument. Why talk about an idea when you can play it?” Drummer & mandolinist James Stafford, the band’s newest member, was thrown into the fire as a guest artist on the session and has been a rooted, driving presence in the band ever since.
With new music in their bellies and more simmering on the stove, the quintet’s ready to keep doing what it’s always done: entertain audiences through their headphones, their car stereos, their laptop speakers and, most importantly, at their local music venues. HBR’s 16 years of touring have given the band the chance to play for all kinds of audiences, everywhere from the divey-est bars to the most prestigious pop, folk, and bluegrass stages in the country: Telluride, Newport, Bonnaroo, Strawberry, Hardly Strictly, Kate Wolf, Horning’s Hideout, String Summit, Grey Fox, Merlefest, High Sierra, and many more. Seasoned veteran Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), acoustic guru Mike Marshall, and left-coast rocker Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips) have all produced studio albums for the group. Every show played and every record made has pushed HBR towards the next step in its evolution, and towards a sound that’s tough to describe and easy to love. What began as the pipe dream of high school and college buddies, cooked up around campfires in the High Sierra, has found its way into the ears and hearts of fans across the country. What’s next for these five? There’s only one way to find out – catch ’em at the next show. Like the Stanley Brothers used to sing, back when bluegrass music was too new to be named, “you know I’d like to see you, at my door you’re welcome in.” Come on in and make yourself at home.
Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA, 94941