herbie 15th Anniversary Show
A rock ‘n’ roll anniversary
April 18, 2015 · 8:00pm
Central PA jam band herbie celebrates their 15th anniversary.
Fifteen years ago, a group of musicians were brought together at Lebanon Valley College. Through a mutual passion for music, the four friends started a little band, playing its first live show at LVC’s Spring Arts Festival in April 2000. Although there have been a few different members since then, herbie has become a force to reckon with on the Central PA music scene. Please join us at Tellus360 on Saturday, April 18 as we stroll through music of herbie over the last decade and a half. Fifteen years is a long time for anything to last. Come and celebrate with a couple of guys who have succeeded in tolerating each other for such a long time. We hope to see you there on the dance floor!
herbie’s live show is fun, energetic and diverse. Fly Magazine writes: “Within the constraints of an hour and a half set, herbie manages to evoke just about every music style one could possibly imagine. Anywhere from Edgar Winter to ELP, Phish to Rush, Sublime, Steely Dan and beyond, the band takes an encyclopedic trip down the past 30 years of good music.” It is typical for the band to mix original songs and cover tunes with stretched out improvisational passages and impromptu musical interludes. With that said, the band is truly in its element on stage and thrives off the fluctuation of energy between the band members and its audience.
The band assembled in 2000 on the campus of Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, where guitarist Jay Baab andbassist Ben Eberts founded the band. By mid-2002, seasoned drummer Ffej Herb entered the picture and herbie beganto pick up steam on the Central PA scene, garnering tons of press and plenty of high profile shows at notable clubs such as The Chameleon and Dragonfly. The band even had a long stint at The Hardware Bar for Harrisburg Online’s popular“Twisted Tuesday” events. The band eventually found its home at Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, and continues to play the Abbey Bar regularly, including a decade-long string of successful holiday shows dubbed “A Very Herbie Xmas.”
Not sure what to make of the band, the public generally grouped herbie into the “jam band” scene. However, the band always felt it was more than that, and always strived to defy categorization. Shinbone Magazine wrote in 2008, “Sure, they’ve got the meandering flow of jam bands. But there’s also the soulful, bluesy feel of Motown, a touch of the staggered, muscular rhythm of hip-hop and the complex structure of prog rock. And that’s really the trick of the band.
They move effortlessly from one genre to another without it feeling in the least bit contrived or academic… They’re musical scholars, yes, but first and foremost, they’re musicians.” However, the jam band tag ultimately gave herbie some recognition when the band won back-to-back “Best Jam Band” at the Central PA Music Award ceremonies in 2006 and again in 2007 (the only two years the Awards were given).
In late 2006, herbie enlisted guitarist Andy Mowatt (also an LVC alumni) into the fold. With the addition of Andy came more intricate and complex melodies, as well as more of a “jam-centric” approach to not only the band’s songwriting, but also its live show. With the induction of Andy, herbie was able to blossom into an incredibly tight musical unit able to melt faces with its high-energy guitar rock and focused bass and drum grooves while simultaneously exploring the inner reaches of its own musical soul and sharing it with audiences everywhere.