Hip Waders ain’t your daddy’s organ trio.
The St. John’s group, made up of Wade Tarling on keyboards, Allan Brake on drums, and Jeff Kinsman on bass, is rooted in jazz electric piano and organ trios, but Tarling’s arsenal of keyboards – including piano, organ, electric pianos, spacey synths, and even a toy piano – lead the trio through soul jazz and funk grooves, hard rocking sections, and free improvised jams.
The band formed in 2010 and are now set to build on their 2014 EP Why is This So Difficult? with the release of their latest record Medusozoa.
Medusozoa is filled with whirling organs and angular piano lines, but a fun vibe and groove run through each of the album’s seven tracks, creating carefully constructed melodies and songs. Hip Waders play instrumental music, sure, but this is a record that will appeal to both a jazz fan and your friend who likes to shake it downtown in equal measure.
The record’s third track, “Forgotten Wonder,” is an excellent example of the group’s smart crafting of songs. The tune begins with a sweet, melancholic melody that has plenty of space to breathe atop the rest of the arrangement. As the melody builds to a peak, the whole song shifts into a new, heavy post-rock finale, guided by Tarling’s bright synth sounds and Kinsman’s crunchy bass.
Next up is “Slidin’,” a simple, groovy blues that wouldn’t seem out of place on an old dusty recording from a New York jazz club. Boisterous claps keep time and audible whoops and cheers can be heard in the background while the trembling Wurlitzer shakes out the melody above the drums and bass. The song rises and falls through a dirty and driving solo from Tarling, ending in more applause.
The record continues with “Land of 1000 Doors,” the biggest sounding track on the album, featuring a Latin-flavoured shout section before breaking into a swinging half-time with a singing melodica line. The sexy “Lovebirds” follows, with a slow groove and dirty swirling Leslie organ sounds that really set the mood – this is baby makin’ music.
Hip Waders match every raw, wild, and fun groovy moment on Medusozoa with sweet, singing melodies and layered songwriting, and the confines of a traditional organ trio never get boring with Tarling’s range of tones and the group’s quick shifts of tempo and feel. The group have produced a fun, modern trio album that shows tradition while drawing from vast and diverse influences. This record is a gem for fans of the Benevento-Russo Duo, The Bad Plus, just about any 1960s soul jazz record, dancing, or having a good time.
Hip Waders will release Medusozoa on Saturday, September 17th with an album release show at The Fat Cat, also featuring Brianna Gosse and Dark Planet Collective. For more info, check out hipwaders.ca.