On the eve of New Years Eve, a first-time kind of collaboration went down in Boston, MA which saw multiple members of jam scene staple band Twiddle sit in with up and coming New Haven, CT rockers Eggy. Twiddle was performing a two-night stint in Boston this week, with New Years Eve going down at House of Blues, and night one on December 30 kicking it off at the more intimate Paradise Rock Club. That opening night saw a slew of Twiddle fans rush over to local hole in the wall venue Great Scott, to see what turned out to be a very special afterparty show. The band’s bassist Zdenek Gubb had been officially billed as a planned special guest for this late night Eggy performance, but the music took off and one turned into three, with the Vermont quartet’s Ryan Dempsey eventually jumping on keyboards and then Mihali Savoulidis taking the stage as second guitarist.
The Great Scott set was Eggy’s last show of the year as well, and the quartet jammed it out more than appropriately. The evening hit off with one of the band’s most popular songs debuted in 2019, “Shadow.” This one, featuring a dynamite main melody and chorus, is a great example of Eggy’s incredible songwriting ability, but it also has repeatedly been one of their most anticipated jam vehicles, seeing creative improvisation every time it’s been performed live. The early portion of the night flowed on with other fairly recent originals, too, like the sultry and funky “Burritos El Chavo 2” and the empowering “Last of Kin.”
Gubb then jumped on stage to bring the night some double bass action, but the setup took longer than expected. Members of Eggy had no trouble filling the wait by playing a very cool and impromptu drum-and-bass style dance jam, which eventually morphed seamlessly into a fully-loaded version of their own classic “All Wheels Turnin.” The Twiddle bass entered mid way and things took off for the night. While Gubb’s sit-in went down mostly with no pre planning, he and Eggy would’ve made any listener think otherwise, evidenced by the hit-for-hit solos that came all night long, as well as their all around comfortability navigating songs and jams together. “Boogie On Reggae Woman” mutated nicely with multiple time signature changes, and “You Can Call Me Al,” perhaps a highlight of the night, just exploded with euphoric energy. By this point, Great Scott was packed to it’s bar towards the back with both Twiddle and Eggy fans, and those that have been to the venue before know that the floor bounces and shakes if the dancing goes hard enough. It certainly did on this night.
In a daring but classy move, Eggy and Gubb and jammed on Twiddle’s own quirky yet ballistically rocking song “Latin Tang.” The energy of the evening became so palpable that keyboardist Ryan Dempsey actually jumped onto the stage in the middle of this one, and then Mihali came on board for a great one to finish off the night, “Sweet Harriet (Shabuzen Tonight).” Again, very creative and mature writing going on with the song material here, but the guess would be this one wouldn’t be the tune to end such a rocking set. And yet, Eggy and the Twiddle members juiced it up enough to the point of making it an all-time version for the song. The double bass sounded as sweet as you’d imagine on this one, and the rest of the band put all kinds of groovy improvisation on it. Those familiar with Eggy might agree that, as we head into 2020, the band is only just starting to defying expectations in this sort of way. Hopefully also, as what was clear to witness from the smiles on and off stage at Great Scott, this will also be far from the last time the two jamband outfits collaborate on stage again.
Coming up in the start of the new decade, you can catch the four-member New Haven rockers hitting some of their biggest gigs yet, when they open for Arizona jamband Spafford for five nights. Four of those shows will be in Florida and the last at the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. For info, tickets, and more, head to their site here. Twiddle will also play 9:30 Club, on January 25, and then after will g on tour through the south and west, sharing the stage with other scene favorites like Kitchen Dwellers, The Higgs, ALO, and more. For info about them, head to their site here.
Check out this fan shot video from the evening at Great Scott, courtesy of the YouTube page of Michael Liacos, which begins right as “All Wheels” pre jam, and ends just as “Boogie On” begins to pick up some jamming steam.