Central PA’s premier jam band makes its debut on our stage!
January 10, 2014 · 9:00pm
$5 at door
21+ (w/ID) to drink
Don’t miss out on a night with Central PA’s premier jam band!
Whatever herbie is, you can hear what the band is all about as it ushers in yet another installment of its annual holiday extravaganza on Saturday, December 14. Dubbed “A Very Herbie Xmas,” the show reached a pinnacle in 2013 as it hits the decade mark! Yes, it’s been that long! Running for ten consecutive years at Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, PA, the Xmas show has become an annual tradition for the band and its fans alike.
So, what can you expect?
herbie’s live show is fun, energetic and diverse. Says Fly Magazine, “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. The band is truly in its element on the stage.
Some background info…
The formative years of the band saw herbie performing around Lebanon Valley College (where founding members Jay Baab, George Griffo and Ben Eberts attended). Drummer Ffej Herb entered the picture in mid-2002 and herbie began to 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 (of all places) The Hardware Bar for Harrisburg Online’s popular “Twisted Tuesday” events.
Not sure what to make of the band, the public generally lumped herbie into the “jam band” scene. However, the band was more than that. Said Shinbone Magazine 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 (as well as notoriety) when the band won back-to-back “Best Jam Band” at the Central PA Music Award ceremonies in 2006 and again in 2007 (consequently the only two years the Awards took place).
In late 2006, George Griffo decided to leave the band to pursue other interests, but the band was fortunate to discover and enlist 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 stage show. Over the course of Andy’s three-year tenure, herbie really blossomed 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 its audiences.
In December 2009, herbie parted ways but decided to keep “A Very Herbie Xmas” rolling. The show serves as a testament of how much the band means to its four members. Says Ffej Herb, “We really put a lot of work and thought into the presentation of the show. We ask many of our close musician friends to perform as guest musicians, and have a blast learning a bunch fun cover songs each year. It has really always been our favorite show of the year.”
Though the band is not quite as active as it once was, herbie still rehearses, writes and performs regularly and plans to play “more than once a year,” says drummer Ffej Herb. “We’re really proud of the new album, so we want to share it with as many people as possible!” Look for herbie in Central PA and beyond in 2014 and into the future.