Hazmat Modine – Wonderful And Eclectic
Some people use the word ‘eclectic’ when they want to describe something they find odd, but not I. I think it is the ideal word for Hazmat Modine, a band from New York whose music derives from blues, jazz, world, and folk.
Hazmat Modine appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts‘ Concerts in the Courtyard series last week; the concert was moved indoors but that did not dampen the spirit of the band in the least.
Eclectic can be defined as “deriving style from a broad and diverse range of sources” and that is certainly applicable to Hazmat Modine. Even though I heard elements of many styles, the result was a unique blend that I can honestly say is unlike any band I have ever heard.
The band is composed of Wade Schuman on harmonicas and lead vocals, Joseph Daley on sousaphone (he also plays tuba), Pamela Fleming on trumpet, Steve Elson on saxes, Graham Hawthorne on drums, Rachelle Garniez on accordion and claviola (an instrument I don’t believe I had seen up to now), Michael Gomez on guitars, and Erik Della Penna on guitar and banjitar (silly me, I thought it was a six-string banjo).
Hazmat Modine’s sound is heavily brass and woodwind, as you would expect with three the members playing those instruments, and is not dissimilar to klezmer in that respect. Wade’s harmonica is prominent, however, in most of the songs they played, as are the other instruments that are not brass or woodwind.
Wade described the influences that prompted the writing of some of their original songs, and that helped to better ‘hear’ the songs. One of those was ‘Mockingbird’; I truly felt what it is like to be awakened by one of them when the only thing I wanted was to sleep which is a realization I might not have come to without his explanation.
Wade is a terrific band leader; his interactions with the band as well as with the audience are fun to watch. It is a shame this show was not able to be held outdoors, because I sensed that having an audience that was on its feet would have made the show even more interesting than it was.
They played two sets and were cut short by the Museum’s closing time, otherwise I felt that they could have played for hours! I don’t think anyone in the audience would have minded if they had!
Hazmat Modine is a band worth seeing and I hope they return to Boston soon. I would love to see them in a venue where dancing is more appropriate.
Posted on July 14, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged boston, concert review, Concerts in the Courtyard, Erik Della Penna, Graham Hawthorne, Hazmat Modine, Joseph Daley, Michael Gomez, Museum of Fine Arts, music, Pamela Fleming, Rachelle Garniez, Steve Elson, Wade Schuman. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.