by Jeff Single
Here is another Rogue 2015 performer article. We will be posting several more over the next few days until Rogue opens. After it opens, you will also find many Rogue show reviews. To learn more about this year’s event check out our Rogue 2015 preview article, and check out our Rogue Performer event page to learn about more of the performers this year. You can find all of the Rogue articles as they go up in our Arts & Entertainment section.
Two years ago, we ran an article here about the Fresno musical group The Excursions, who had restructured their lineup and were incorporating rich and diverse new material, and new musicians. Their show featured selections that showcased strong instrumentals and standout vocal harmonies. For this year’s Rogue Festival, the group will be performing at Veni Vidi Vici in the heart of the Tower District, and has something a little different planned than in previous Rogues.
The Excursions still perform electric originals and their own interpretations of rock, reggae, R&B, blues and Americana. But for Rogue 2015, the band’s 45 minute show will be all acoustic, and all originals, written by Mike Brown, Woody Moise, or Jeff Single, and collaboratively arranged by the five musicians.
“This year, we plan to have our show focused on original, and more acoustic / Americana style material,” said Woody Moise, guitarist and songwriter. “This is another side of the band that I’ve wanted to explore for a while. Rogue is a great opportunity to showcase this work.”
“Over the last two years, we’ve had opportunities to play gigs where people wanted more acoustic, Americana style music,” said Jeff Single, one of the long-time band members. “Those gigs gave us the opportunity to perform music that some of us have deep roots in, and others, like me, to explore some different musical traditions. A neat thing to me is that we can play this different material, and still retain our signature sound and special vibe that people enjoy, and that make it special for me to play.”
The musicians agree that even though they come from different musical traditions, the songs selected for the Rogue are highly coherent, even while being diverse. Mike Brown comments “I don’t know how it happens, but we all listen to the basic idea, and when we work it up, it makes sense.” Jeff comments, “I think a lot of it is just listening to each other. You know, paying attention and being right there in the moment”,
The band’s rhythm section, comprised of Renee Caffee on percussion and Ben Hooper on drums, adds a new dimension. “I heard these guys play a couple years ago, and I really liked what they did,” says Ben. “This band’s ability to focus on really interesting music, and pay sensitive attention to each part is one thing I really like about playing with this group.” Woody adds “Ben and Renee bring a complex dimension to our rhythms and sound palette. They work together very well. It’s fun to listen to them talk about how they will dissect the rhythm parts in a song, in ways that might not be obvious to most listeners, but that make a big difference in how the song works.”
Mike Brown adds, “We always aim to have fun playing, and have the audience share our experience. Every show is its own little journey. Hey, we are named The Excursions, after all!”
Come see the Excursions at Veni Vidi Vici (1116 N Fulton St, Fresno CA 93728):
2/28/15 12:30 p.m.
3/1/15 7:00 p.m.
3/4/15 6:30 p.m.
3/7/15 12:30 p.m.
$5 cash or credit card at the door, plus your Rogue wristband or buy advance tickets online roguefestival.ticketleap.com/excursions.