The trio Raisinhill has risen from local acclaim to widespread recognition across clubs and jamband festivals, propelled by the sheer musicianship of their playing and a self-titled CD. The group has garnered praise from some of the most-watched jamband media. Jambands.com dubbed them “New Groove of the Month,” while Relix Magazine called them a band “On the Verge” and is soon to declare them one of the “Break Through Bands of the Summer.” Always touring, always playing, with seemingly endless energy and drive, Raisinhill will bring their bristling instrumental originals to a host of big stages this summer including The Gathering of the Vibes and Scottypaluza in New York, The Endless Mountain Music Festival in Pennsylvania and the Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia. Wherever they travel, music fans are paying attention.
John Kasiewicz, the guitarist, Brian Anderson, the upright bassist and Jay Bond, the drummer, have found that elusive musical relationship. They are equally accomplished and equally inventive, and the group’s involved, focused, jazzed-up, rocked-out pieces have propelled them faster than most local bands dare to dream. Already, Raisinhill has been given featured spots at famed clubs like the Knitting Factory in NYC, House Of Blues in Boston and an increasing number of major touring markets each year.
More song-based than jazz-based, Raisinhill still has accomplished jazz training. Guitarist John Kasiewicz studied under the atonal composer Ernie Stires (who also taught Phish’s Trey Anastasio) while attending Goddard College in Vermont, and the flair and eccentricity in his playing proves it. His solos take chances, veering from traditional jazz progressions into high-end note-holds that pierce through a piece or fast flirtations that dash between intricate changes. As a member of J. Willis Pratt & We’re Bionic, Kasiewicz opened for Phish at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York and has performed and recorded with Phish’s explosive drummer Jon Fishman. Bassist Brian Anderson studied Jazz Bass Performance at the University of Miami, FL, and has taken his deep groove loves to new heights in Raisinhill, launching into heavy full-bodied breaks and occasionally laying a bow across the strings for dirty, Primus-like effect. Drummer Jay Bond attended Loyola University in New Orleans and majored in musical composition and drums where he studied with Johnny Vidocavich (drummer for Dr. John and Astral Project) and performed with Jason Marsalis, Michael Ray, Charlie Miller and Stanley Turrentine. Bond is the backbone of Raisinhill, relentless and serious, alternately slamming and sensitive, lending a rich dynamic to the sonic experience.
Sometimes, the members use their voices as instruments, as sounds that weave between the notes. Occasionally there are words attached. Much of the material rises from their intense tri-weekly practice sessions, where the three produce instrumental songs that weave and expand across solid, relentless rhythm and melodic guitar hooks. Raisinhill’s music is experimental, drawing on elements from rock-heavy jams to island rhythms and jazz-fusion space, but it’s grounded. It grooves. It changes enough to keep listeners leaned forward, entranced, and ends soon enough to leave them hungry.