October’s host for the Dicks Den Wednesday Residency Series, bassist Matt Paetsch, personifies the breadth of musical interests and skills that characterize many of the local musicians that regularly play the North Campus bar. While the vast majority of the monthly hosts to date can be described as “jazz musicians,” they are often active in bands of many genres and descriptions beyond jazz, and these bands are often part of the weekly schedule. These residencies also show that while the Dick’s schedule has diversified beyond nightly jazz in recent years, there is often an element of jazz (or a jazz background) to the “non-jazz” shows/groups. Paetsch plays in 15 bands and plays about 200 shows each year, covering a wide spectrum of musical styles. He is using this diverse and busy resume to present a well-rounded residency. Paetsch was very kind to chat with me about his plans for his five Wednesdays (by my count, this is the first residency to last five weeks) and his excitement for the month. These shows will start around 10 pm, and the cover is $4. Keep reading for a weekly rundown.
The residency will kick off Wednesday, October 1st with the Matt Paetsch Free Jazz Group, featuring Brett Burleson and Aaron Quinn on guitars and Justin Campbell on drums (standing in for usual drummer Ryan Jewell). As Paetsch told me, this is a project that doesn’t play very often, “because it’s a hard thing to sell to the public, but it’s usually a good time…It’s not like Shape of Jazz to Come or some of the Ornette [Coleman] stuff. We’ll usually start with a tune, and it evolves into something else, and it evolves into something else, and it evolves into something else. Sometimes it evolves into noise, and sometimes it evolves into ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ or something else. It’s really great to have creative, intuitive musicians on stage with you that really understand the premise of improvisation.”
October 8th will feature the Matt Adams Quartet, of which Paetsch has been the bassist for over a decade. The band plays all original modern jazz tunes written by Paetsch, saxophonist Adams, and keyboardist Tony Bonardi, and the lineup is rounded out by drummer Maxwell Button.
Paetsch’s R&B/Rock group The Takedowns will play October 15th, including vocalist Andy Shaw, guitarist Brett Burleson, and drummer Aaron Bishara. Vocalist Talisha Holmes, who normally subs in when Shaw is unavailable, will be alternating lead vocals with Shaw to give the night extra power. This group covers a range of tunes including artists like Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, and more.
The group for October 22nd is still being set, but will build on the foundation of Paetsch’s long-standing collaboration with veteran Columbus drummer Wally Mitchel. The pair decided that they want to do something different than their standard Wally Mitchel Group, so they hope to play with a different featured musician, and may end up turning the night into a jam session. Mitchel is an amazing talent from another era, and Paetsch advises that every one of his performances is a “can’t miss” proposition.
The October 29th finale will be a benefit show that Paetsch looks to turn into something special. Two days before Halloween, this event will hearken back to the festive “Thon-a-thon” events that Dick’s Den used to host annually, but with a tweaked format. Some of the logistics are still being confirmed, so stay tuned for an article on our site with the full details when the date gets closer.