Bluelight, a five piece experimental R&B and modern jazz group that originated in Akron, will put on a multi-media presentation at the Vanderelli Room (218 McDowell St., Franklinton) on Monday, December 14th at 8pm. Featured prominently in the concert will be local guitarist (and Akron native) Alex Schrock, under the guise of his electronic-focused Gradient Prophet alias. Part of a 5-show tour that hits the band’s NE Ohio roots as well as Chicago and NYC, this special program will explore the sounds and emotions of the city in three acts. Urban life is the predominant theme of bluelight’s debut self-titled EP released earlier this year, with a sound that makes their list of inspirations of “the likes of Jeff Buckley, Hiatus Kaiyote, The Roots, Gretchen Parlato, and many more” very apt. Rising saxophone star Chris Coles will kick off the night with a special improvisation, followed by a bluelight performance that will touch on songs “old” and new with a lineup of bandleader/composer Phil Anderson (vocals, keyboards), Julien Huntley (emcee), Coles (alto sax), Matthew DeRubertis (bass), and Holbrook Riles III (drums). Schrock, as Gradient Prophet, will then play some new material along with hip-hop reinterpretations of tunes from the bluelight EP, which will be released in their own EP this week. Finally, Schrock will join bluelight for a group collaboration and improvisation. Cover for this unique performance is $5, which includes a copy of the EP. Keep reading for a full description from bluelight, along with an audio sampler and videos:
Original music (both live and prerecorded), video, and sounds of the city will blend with intention and grace. Audiences will be transformed to a new underbelly of the city: where train rumbles and screeches still exist, but with a softer hum and in unexpected harmony.
In a special three-act event, Akron-based project bluelight will shine a unique musical light on the quieter side of chaos. Saxophonist Chris Coles will open the night with a free improvisation called “Painting Trains” in which he’ll perform with and react to pre-recorded city sounds.
Bluelight will then play songs from their first self-titled EP as well as a few brand new, unheard compositions showcasing a darker, more energetic side. Video elements will accompany bluelight’s set to accentuate the dynamics of the music; a dark, blue-lit atmosphere will add to the intended mood of the performance. Together, these forces will combine and transport the listener to the silence behind the noise — the new underbelly of the city.
The band will also be joined by Columbus-based guitarist and producer Alex Schrock (“Gradient Prophet”). GP will be performing brand new original compositions and showcasing some hip-hop reinterpretations of bluelight’s original self-titled EP. Those intimately familiar with that record will enjoy a treat! Schrock is releasing the reinterpretations as a new EP entitled Lonely Tylenol on the GP bandcamp page.
The evening will culminate with Alex joining the band to collaborate and improvise together. Afterwards, guests are welcome to stay, drink, and talk with the band while Gradient Prophet recordings play us out.
Tickets are $5 at the door and include a copy of the bluelight EP, which regularly sells for $10 alone. Live Exclusives such as t-shirts will also be available — only in person at the event.
For more information, please visit www.philipandersonmusic.com/bluelight