Saturday night Root Shock filled The Nelson Odeon with new and old fans, the power of positivity, and a whole range of exquisite talent. If you have ever been to a show at the old grange hall outside of Cazenovia you already know it was built for a dynamic listening experience. The owners, Jeff and Linda Schoenfeld, are some of the finest hosts a traveling band could hope to find. They take care of every detail and make it feel like a home. Linda’s homemade cakes, for sale at intermission, were named on this date for Freedom. This proved to be a recurring theme throughout the night. Messages of freedom and respect for others and the earth are the basis of Root Shock’s songs. “The beautiful thing about music is it brings everyone together and we are all equals in this room…no matter how different we may be, ” Jess Brown, singer and percussionist.
This show posed a new challenge for the band. “It was an opportunity to rearrange some of our songs for this type of venue,” said Bill Eppel, bassist. They played acoustic guitars and left the pedals home. Singer and guitarist, Phil Grajko said he felt naked but it was an exhilarating experience. Brian Lauri on keys and Jason “Jocko” Randall on a variety of percussion, additional vocals and acoustic guitar rounded out their full sound. They had everyone’s attention and each member’s skills were accentuated clearly by the excellent sound engineer and acoustics of the room.
It was certainly an intimate show. The sold out crowd filled every space in the hall, overflowing into the entryway. The last few rows of seating were removed to allow for more dancing during the second set. It’s near impossible to sit still during their uplifting reggae infused tunes.
This type of listening room really allows the lyrics to be focused on. A song written for Jess Brown’s mother, Sweet Reunion, was beautiful and emit a sense of peacefulness and presence. Her voice seemed to get stronger and clearer with every passionate note. It was a truly magical show. “I hope you can carry this positivity into the coming week.” Jess Brown.
The band announced that a new music video will be released very soon. They have an upcoming show at Funk ‘n Waffles March 29 then a full schedule touring throughout festival season. The next local show after that is not scheduled until the Fall.