Even though the band Dynamo mostly hails from Nashville, apparently the group’s biggest fan base is in the city of Syracuse, N.Y.
There are two possible reasons for all this Syracuse love: Nate Felty, their drummer, is from Syracuse. And the other reason?
“I guess the other part of it is I think, like, their scene is growing – you know, like, their music scene,” says Ryan Connors, 26, the founding member/pianist/keyboardist calling from the road. “The city in general just seems like it’s becoming more of a stop for artists and, you know, musicians. It’s also one of the first places that we started touring, because the whole thing is very, like, independent and I just had to book wherever we could get a gig.”
The nine-piece outfit loves the city so much, they recorded their third, recently released album, titled “Celina,” in a Syracuse studio. “I thought it would be really cool to, like, find a studio there and, like, include them in the process of recording us recording our third record,” Connors said.
Like the band’s previous albums, “Celina” was recorded live, in front of a studio audience. It’s a form of recording Connors picked up from jazz-fusion group Snarky Puppy, one of his favorite bands.
“They were doing that in Brooklyn for their album ‘groundUP,’ and I was there and was able to talk to (frontman/producer) Mike (League) and a bunch of the other guys about what the heck was going on,” he recalls. “And, so, that was pretty much right before I moved to Nashville and already was sort of trying to create a project of my own.
“I adapted that model because a) I just, you know, love playing to an audience, but having that studio sound and, then, b) like, we were able to sell tickets to the recording session and, you know, in this day and age, it’s impossible to, like, fund an album and get it out in a timely manner. So, like, any help I can get on that end is definitely appreciated.”
With three-and-a-half years of touring and three releases under their belts, the band, mostly made up of music students from Nashville’s Belmont University, are out to funk up spots wherever they can.
They’ll be at The Pour House in Raleigh Oct. 1.
One listen to Dynamo’s music, and you’ll definitely get a serious jazz/soul/funk fusion vibe. You might even hear some go-go influences in the mix.
“I grew up listening to Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago,” Connors says. “And, so, like, that was sort of my upbringing. And, then, I sort of went through classic rock and I went through jazz and all this stuff. And, like, when I got to college, I started getting introduced to gospel music and more of, like, the neo-soul kind of stuff. So, I mean, that’s just kind of how I functioned – just being into, like, so many different things for so many different reasons.”
But even when they come to town to perform for audiences, they’ll occasionally find the time to come to schools and teach kids all about music. (While Connors says Dynamo won’t be making stops at any local schools in Raleigh, he didn’t say anything about not having kids show up at The Pour House and take in some Dynamo-made funkiness.)
“We’ve been doing that since, literally, our first tour,” says Connors. “I booked our first tour, centered around a clinic that I got in upstate New York. And, so, the whole idea behind it is, like, we all went through music school. We went to college for music. And, so, we try to use that degree for good.”
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 1
Where: Pour House Music Hall, 224 S. Blount St.
Cost: $8 in advance, $10 at the door
Details: 919-821-1120; thepourhousemusichall.com