Consider the Source Review by Jam Band Purist at The Southern Cafe and Music Hall in Charlottesville, Va- 2/3/17: (“This Next Song Is An Instrumental")
There are many bands that I run across in my day-to-day life, that never really astonish me or make a lasting impression. A few years ago, I came across Consider The Source and I was immediately blown away by their sound and musicianship. The song, “Ninjanuity” was one of their first songs that I really dug into and I have forever been intrigued with the technical ability of the members and the originality of their eclectic music.
As a huge Frank Zappa fan, his influence seems almost undeniable but CTS takes their progressive nature much further, with breakdowns and crescendos on par with many Jam and Progressive-Rock acts out there today. While the progressive influence of their music is propulsive, there is also an extreme influence from world music; anything from Hindi to Asian.
My first opportunity to see Consider The Source came this past Thursday and they did not disappoint. CTS opened up with transient sitar sounds and waves of energy that forced the whole room stop and listen. I got to meet some of the guys before the show and they were gracious and highly respectable.
My first impression of the music was immediately given to Gabe, the guitar wielder, who did things with his double-necked guitar in the first five minutes, that I have never seen anyone do, ever. As a truly experienced guitarist, Gabe Marin adds a whole new level to guitar virtuosity. The use of finger sliding, up and down the neck, was complete insanity. I have never witnessed such fast fingers fly, while seeming so effortless to float atop the fret board, poised to play in any position. The bass player John Ferrara, while small in stature, is huge in sound. The bass seemed as big as he was but John dexterously wrangled the perfect sound from his instrument. John is a tight, in-the-pocket bass player that perfectly juxtaposes Gabe's virtuoso guitar work. The drummer Jeff Mann, is the heartbeat behind it all, consistently morphing with the ebb and flow of the music. I once heard the other band members describe him as, “The best thing they ever found on a Craigslist ad.”
The band interchanges solos on a dime, their songs are filled with stops and breaks, hard rock changes and interludes that range from progressive metal to Hindi (Very Broad Term) psychedelia; exemplifying the dedication and hard work of the band members. CTS even covered a Radiohead song but I can't tell you which one it was, as I am not a Radiohead fan.
At one point, Gabe made his guitar sound like a number of brass/horn instruments: flute, sax, and trumpet. There was a constant hum from what looked like an ancient homemade guitar cabinet. Whenever the guitar wasn't screaming through the speakers, the hum was a bit off putting but maybe that's how Gabe gets his guitar to sound like so many crazy instruments.
Consider The Source knows what they are doing, they are technically and masterfully proficient in what they do and it shows, not only in their crescendos/ build-ups but in their solos and breakdowns. CTS is able to transition from Asian influences, rock, metal, jazz and everything in between, seamlessly, like a musical tailor stitching a piece of intricately woven fabric throughout the night. CTS is the perfect blend for my love of world music and progressive rock. I will certainly be catching a lot more of Consider the Source in the future and this is one of many reviews I feel I will write for them as they grow and gain fans and followers. If you love 15-minute jams and crazy instrumental solos by skilled musicians, then I highly suggest catching CTS the next time they are in your area.
May the Jam Gods be with you
Written by: Jam Band Purist
WARNING: The views and opinions expressed on this site may not be in conjecture with your own. Be Advised
Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.