Last updated on May 3rd, 2023 at 06:45 pm
The Mission Room at The Hook and Ladder doubled down on a healthy dose of genre fusion groups last night. Ty Pow + The Holy North teamed up with Jojo Green to showcase stank-face guitar shreds, soaring vocals, and bouts of blues, jazz, swing, rock, and funk. Both bands are hard to categorize and prove that the Twin Cities have plenty of depth in talent.
Ty Pow + The Holy North
After reviewing their debut album Rhubarb 93′ last December, I’ve been patiently waiting for the opportunity to catch this group live. That patience paid off as the six-pack of skilled musicians reimbursed my predictions. Tyler Pautsch quickly revealed his lack of a set list, opting for a dynamic path through their songs instead.
The second song, “Stand With Me,” introduced Kevin Gamble’s shimmering guitars and dancing keyboards. They followed with their single “Shake On It,” which blasts you with blues, swagger, and guitar interplay between Kai Brewster and Christian Wheeler. Even drummer Jeremy Harvey kicks out his left foot while playing to showcase the interaction that live music is all about.
The players in Ty Pow + The Holy North chew on their music. They engage, perceive, and experience the notes outwardly. This is a band under the radar and ready to be seen.
Another discovery of mine from the Big Turn Music Festival is the fusion of Jojo Green. Lead singer Sharisse Germain shepherds the five-piece group through a variety of genres. Zach Miller provides the sass on saxophone, Conner Allen sets the edge on guitar, Scott Yonke drives with bass, and Nancy Bongos beats the heart on drums.
“Why Don’t You” showcased Sharisse’s talented pipes, lighting a sultry fuse under the crowd before finishing with full sizzle. Their Bill Withers’ cover of “Just the Two of Us” was another delight full of saxophone candy.
The pinnacle of the performance was their newest single, “The Summer Tree.” This 7-minute song gradually builds into a swirling breeze of vocals from all band members. Witnessing that culmination in person leaves you winded in the best way.
An example of the depth of Twin Cities musicianship, Jojo Green is a dynamic flex of influences and genre-bending journeys. Filmed at kj’s hideaway, their latest video of “Station” is a prime introduction to the band’s ability to go from pop to Motown to an Irish potluck.