Photo by Leonard Nendza

Soul Roach Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY 01/06/18 by Daniel Regan  

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Soul Roach is a band that in a relatively short period of time (their first show was roughly a year and a half ago) has cultivated a dedicated following in Western New York.  The band, consisting of Todd Eberwine on lead guitar and vocals, Mark Hitchcock on drums, Keith Lindner on bass and Eric ‘Critt’ Crittenden-Jones on keyboards, saxophone, and vocals, uses the oeuvre of the Jerry Garcia Band and the Grateful Dead as a launching point for an improvisational journey, making each performance of each song a unique “trip” through previously unexplored musical space.

The loyalty of the band’s fanbase was evident for this show, as the audience braved blustery, frigid (even for Buffalo) winter weather to attend.   Appropriately, it seemed, the band warmed the crowd slowly at first, with a smoldering combination of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Don’t Let Go” opening the first set, with the latter including some incredible guitar and keyboard interplay.  This was followed by a sprawling version of the beloved “Rubin & Cherise” which stretched over nineteen mind-bending minutes.  The first set ended with a winning combination of “Run For The Roses” segueing into “Deal,” with the latter, at a brisk eleven minutes, being the shortest song of the first set.   The second set began with “Midnight Moonlight,” but the traditional bluegrass favorite was delivered in a most untraditional fashion, with extended jamming, intricate solos, and sound samples from a Garcia interview mixed together in manner closer to psychedelia than bluegrass.  The jam eventually broke down to the familiar rumbling bass and drums of “The Other One” which was taken for a spin, before returning (or, coming around, in a circle) to complete “MidnightMoonlight.”  “The Harder They Come” followed, featuring more frenetic soloing by Eberwine, supported by the bouncy rhythm section and more complimentary sax and keyboards by Crittenden-Jones.  The night ended with a heartfelt rendition of Garcia’s “Think,” warming the crowd before they had to return to the winter night.   The 01/06/18 show at the prestigious Tralf Music Hall was the last “local” show for the band for a while, as Soul Roach has begun to venture beyond its Buffalo home, with successful shows in Rochester, Lockport, and Otto, NY already completed, and trips to Ithaca, NY and Cleveland, OH scheduled in the upcoming months.  The band also shares their live recordings on, if you want to hear for yourself.  Or, if you get the chance, take a trip to see and hear the next launch.

Taper: Keith Lindner

Soul Roach 01.06.18 Tralf Music Hall

Set 1 Let’s Spend The Night Together Don’t Let Go Rubin & Cherise > Run for the Roses > Deal

Set 2 Midnight Moonlight> The Other One> Harder They Come Think

Guitar/Vocals: Todd Eberwine Drums: Mark Hitchcock Bass: Keith Lindner Sax: Barry Arboghast Keys: Brian Lauri