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Sunday, 15 April 2012 12:35

Concert photos: Euforquestra with Mikey Wehling and the Reverbs at the Old Rock House, Saturday, April 14

Euforquestra Euforquestra Wil Wander
Written by Wil Wander

Although based out of Fort Collins, Colorado since 2008, Euforquestra’s roots were planted in Iowa City at a time when the local music scene there was budding with new, notable acts and musicians (e.g. Chicago Afrobeat Project and Diplomats of Solid Sound).

This atmosphere helped promote the exceptionally diverse blend of sounds that the band is praised for today. Their music is driven by horns and percussion, and assembled from reggae, dub, ska, funk, rock and afrobeat, highlighted by traditional West African, Cuban and Brazilian rhythms. It may not be clear exactly what style of music they’re playing, but it is certain to move your hips, feet and soul. 

While instrumental pieces and extended jam sessions are a big part of their typical show, Euforquestra’s lineup offers a mix of vocalists that enable them to deliver their eclectic repertoire of songs. Alto saxophonist Austin Zalatel takes the lead for most of the show, and is capably complimented by percussionist Matt Grundstad, who offers a stylized voice for many of the more reggae influenced songs. Grundstad also leads the African chants in a remarkably authentic fashion. They are accompanied by Mike Tallman on guitar and mandolin, Adam Grosso on drums and Ryan Jeter on Tenor Sax (though Jeter did not appear on this night), with newest additions Matt Wright and Ben Soltau on keys and bass, respectively. Almost everybody gets in on the vocals at one time or another.

They were joined at the Old Rock House by one of their favorite local musicians, Mikey Wehling, and one of his current projects, Mikey Wehling and the Reverbs. Wehling is a true workhorse of the local music scene, performing nearly constantly with a countless assortment of his own acts, including Downstereo and Messy Jiverson. The current arrangement features Mikey on guitar and vocals, with backup from bass and keys, all set over downbeat, electric rhythms. He has opened for Euforquestra a number of times, and rejoined them on stage in what has become a treasured tradition, unique to the St. Louis shows.

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