Congress brings psychedelic Southern R&B to Vail Valley
VAIL, Colorado -Solid rock and roll mixed with some Southern R&B and finished with a little psychadelic improv. That’s Denver-based band The Congress’ recipe for a good time. The group will perform a free show at 9:30 p.m., Friday, at Main St. Grill. Scott Lane, the band’s guitarist, said that judging by the last time the foursome performed at the Edwards bar, attendees can expect a high-energy show.”You can expect us to be sweating profusely and rocking out until they tell us to stop,” Lane said. “Seriously, last time it was a throw down.”1. Vail Daily: Describe your favorite audience.Scott Lane: The best audiences are the ones who feed off our music and give back. I think I speak for everyone in the band when I say that music is, to us, reciprocal with the listeners, whether it be 10 or 1,000 people. The music is at its best when we make those relationships with people.2. VD: Tell me about your debut EP. Where was it recorded? SL: The album was tracked in four days at Macy Sound Studios in Denver. John Macy is an incredible person and a Grammy-winning engineer who had some really impressive work under his belt as well as some very strong support from Denver bands. The whole recording process was magic – lots of Jameson, writing on the spot, and experimenting with tons of ideas, all in a huge time crunch. We started with four songs, but ended up recording seven, including writing “Queen Mary” with Daniel Clarke the day before we went into the studio. Daniel, who is our keyboard player whenever he can be, spearheaded the production with Jonathan and I. He has superhuman musicality and great experience from writing, producing and performing with kd Lang, Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams and The Court Yard Hounds. We all have a deep affinity for how the album turned out, and look at it as “this is just what happened,” since there was no time to map out the tunes or rehearse. 3. VD: Describe your soundSL: We write songs in the American tradition, and we play rock and roll, but it is really more than that. The sum of our parts also includes straight-ahead jazz, latin and world beat, and some strong psychedelic content. People usually find our music to be pretty fresh, but we also have been compared to bands like The Black Crowes and The Band. In a live environment, we get much weirder than them.4. VD: Tell me about your latest tour. Where did it take you?SL: We played 15 shows in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Illinois. I’ve got to say my favorite show was opening for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the Dominion Riverrock Festival in Richmond. Playing in front of a big festival audience was awesome, and we were really touched when Grace gave us a bunch of really positive shout-outs while she put on an incredible show. I don’t ever want to drive through Kansas again though, as the car and the trailer were pummeled by baseball-sized hail that destroyed the windshield, headlight covers, dented the trailer like a golf ball, and shattered the vent cover. 5. VD: If you could perform at any venue, where would it be?SL: Red Rocks. The vibe there is incredible. 6. VD: How often do you guys improvise at your live shows?SL: We improvise a lot. Solos are almost always improvised, and there are always different tunes throughout our show that end up resulting in total band improv. It is pretty natural for everyone, as most of us were formerly just freelancers.7. VD: As a Colorado transplant, what do you think about the state’s music scene?SL: I’m from Richmond, VA, where there is an amazing amount of talent per square foot, but such a limited infrastructure for music performance or recording. Not to say there aren’t studios and venues, but in comparison Colorado just has a ton of it. Colorado is also different in that there are towns scattered all over the mountains with their own unique and awesome music scenes, and most of them have some really great clubs that support touring bands.