Jimmy Herring (Allman Brothers / The Dead / Aquarium Rescue Unit), Bobby Lee Rodgers (The CodeTalkers) and Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit / Hellborg, Lane and Sipe / Leftover Salmon) collaborate on stage for select dates this August. The new project is currently being dubbed Herring, Rodgers, Sipe and Fountain.
Herring, Rodgers, Sipe and Fountain understand that this current name for the project is a mouthful, and a bit lacking in imagination (not quite fitting for the music these guys are dishing out!). But it’s just something to get them started. They’re on the hunt for a band name and are currently accepting suggestions. Log on to http://www.myspace.com/herringrodgerssipe to submit your suggestions. If your suggestion is chosen, you win the opportunity to be a lifetime guest of the band at shows.
And this band has big plans. Each an accomplished musician on their own, Herring, Rodgers, Sipe and Fountain are simply giddy about this new collaboration. Combining Bobby Lee’s groundbreaking songwriting with Jimmy and Jeff’s flawless musical sensibilities, the result is original and explosive.
Jimmy Herring (guitar)
Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Jimmy started playing guitar at age 13; his first guitar was a Fender Bronco. Jimmy is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music Summer Session and Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, CA. Herring can look back on a career filled with years as a player in such legendary bands as Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, The Dead (The Post-Jerry Garcia version of The Grateful Dead) and Phil Lesh and Friends. In 2005, Herring had a long discussion with Rodgers following a sit-in with The Codetalkers during MagFest, in which both A.R.U. and The Codetalkers played. That night, Herring and Rodgers decided that they needed to find a way to work together again, and now they have…
Bobby Lee Rodgers (guitar, vocals)
A gifted musician and songwriter, Bobby Lee Rodgers began playing the upright bass at age seven, and then went on to the banjo, guitar and drums. He had the fortune of playing in one of the most recognized high school bands in the country, which allowed him to play with some jazz greats at a young age. Rodgers went on to study Jazz at the University of Georgia, and to teach the same subject at the Berklee College of Music, becoming one of the youngest professors ever to teach there at the age of 23. Rodgers moved back to Georgia in 1999 when his father became ill. A day after moving home, he met Col. Bruce Hampton, who until that time had best been known as front man and founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit, and is often referred to as the Godfather of Southern Alternative Music. Within months they had formed The Codetalkers. The Codetalkers just recently celebrated the release of the critically acclaimed album, NOW.
Jeff Sipe aka Apt-Q258 (drums)
Jeff Sipe was born in Berlin, Germany in 1959. Jeff's family moved frequently in his youth while his father worked for the United States government. Some of his early memories include watching Buddhist monks in their bright orange togas walk the streets with their bowls of rice in hand. Jeff once said that he would "often visit the temples just to hear the ringing of the bells". Jeff learned to play drums in junior high in Germany, and in 1973 Jeff's family moved to the U.S. for good. Jeff started listening to early fusion, and was once quoted as saying that "Bitches Brew was the beginning of the rest of his life". Jeff was accepted to Berklee College of Music in 1977 and started his first fusion band with Steve Vai and Baron Brown. This experience turned Jeff on to a wide world of music and gave him valuable tools that he still carries with him today. In 1983 Jeff moved to Atlanta, where he met Bruce Hampton, Oteil Burbridge and Jimmy Herring, and the Aquarium Rescue Unit was born. In recent years, Jeff has played with Leftover Salmon, his own experimental big band Zambiland Orchastra and Project Z with Jimmy Herring.
Neal Fountain (bass)
Neal Fountain hails from the musical hotbed of Athens, GA, and has been playing professionally from the age of 14. Best known as a sideman to Col. Bruce Hampton and the Fiji Mariners (a post-A.R.U. project of Hampton’s) and drumming phenom Jeff Sipe, Neal’s name is on the short list of greater Atlanta’s finest musicians. Fountain and his current project, Herring, Rodgers and Sipe, is sure to bring many eyes in the direction of these four fine musicians.
But don’t call Herring, Rodgers, Sipe and Fountain a super group. Each musician admits that this project is like nothing they’ve been involved in before. For Herring, it’s perhaps the first project he’s been part of since it’s beginning – which is an inspiring prospect for the accomplished musician. For Rodgers, it’s a forum where his songs can truly become all that he hears in his head. For Sipe – it’s perhaps the perfect balance of structure and improvisation. Joining Herring, Rodgers and Sipe on stage is Neal Fountain (Bass).
Current confirmed tour dates:
August 04 Jerry Garcia Birthday Bash Terra Alta WV
August 05 The 8x10 Club Baltimore MD
August 08 The Red Square Albany NY
August 09 River Street Jazz Cafe Wilkes-Barre PA
August 10-11 Mexicali Blues Teaneck NJ
August 12 The State Theater Falls Church VA
August 13 The Sun Music Hall Floyd VA
August 14 The Jewish Mother Virgina Beach VA
August 16 Visulite Theatre Charlotte NC
August 17 The Orange Peel Asheville NC
August 18 Cats Cradle Carrboro NC
August 19 The Day The Music Never Stopped Buckhead GA
September 07 Thw Two Stick Oxford MS
September 08 Fools Paradise Festival Hancock NY
September 09 George's Majestic Lounge Fayetteville AR
October 19 The Pour House Charleston SC
October 20 Magnoliafest Live Oak FL
*Photo credits to: Jay Kurinskas 2006