Turbine cranks up the flow in Vail | VailDaily.com

Turbine cranks up the flow in Vail

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily

VAIL, Colorado –Just like a turbine extracts energy from a fluid flow – be it from wind or water – New York City band Turbine, who are headde to Vail, fuels its shows at least in part with the flow of audience intensity.

That’s why the band’s members particularly enjoy their Colorado gigs, said Ryan Rightmire, the band’s harmonica and acoustic guitar player.

“One thing I’m amazed at is that New Yorkers tend to just stand and nod their heads during rock concerts,” Rightmire said. “In Colorado, there’s a lot more dancing in the crowd. I think we feed off that energy more.”

Turbine is taking a two-week break from the Big Apple to play a handful of Colorado shows, including one Thursday night at the Sandbar in West Vail. The four-piece band-on-the-verge – Rightmire, Jeremy Hilliard on electric guitar, Vail native Justin Kimmel on bass and drummer Eric Johnson – combines elements of funk and bluegrass with futuristic sounds.

Rightmire took a few minutes to talk to the Vail Daily about where he’d like to see the band end up, their brush with the Black Crowes and the benefits of having a bred-in-Vail local as the bass player.

VD: We last talked to you in December before a show at the Sandbar. What’s new in Turbine’s world since then?

RR: We toured all summer, playing some great festivals along the way including Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, 10,000 Lakes Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. We’ll be choosing highlights from that tour for our upcoming live album.

Vail Daily: You released your last album, “Reward,” in 2007. Are you working on a new album?

Ryan Rightmire: Yes, we’re preparing to go into the studio to record our third studio album. In the meantime we’ll be releasing a live album. To create confusion I’ve titled them both “Live from Vail.”

VD: How do you describe your music?

RR: This is just occurring to me now, but if we could strap a rocket to Bob Dylan, basically weaponize Bob Dylan, and then let him front the band Radiohead … that would be where I’d like to see this end up. Did I mention they serve free pizza on the rocket?

VD: You started out with the French horn, Ryan. What made you switch to the harmonica and acoustic guitar?

RR: The French horn is a very regal sounding instrument. Think of it playing as the King and Queen enter a room. Now the harmonica played through lots of effects is more appropriate for the King and Queen of Jupiter … that’s more my speed.

VD: Your bass player Justin Kimmel is a Vail native, right? When did he join the band?

RR: Justin studied music in L.A., but moved to NYC afterwards. Jeremy (our electric guitar player) and I started Turbine as a duo. When we began auditioning for bass players, Justin was the first person to walk through the door. We ended the auditioning process when he was done. One thing though, it’s great to come to Vail and let him show us the sights.

VD: How long is your Colorado tour? Where else have you performed on this tour?

RR: The Colorado leg of the tour begins this week with a show at Owsley’s in Denver (we’re there next Wednesday, too). After Thursday night’s Sandbar show, we’ll head to Breckenridge, Telluride and Boulder. Next Thursday we’ll make our first appearance in Fort Collins, playing at the Aggie Theater with Galactic. You can visit http://www.turbinemusic.com for all the details.

VD: Black Crowes will be performing in Beaver Creek in November. It says in your bio you’ve shared a bill with them. Where was that and do you have any good stories?

RR: We’ve played at a few festivals with them over the years, but at Wakarusa this year Jeremy’s guitar broke minutes before our show. We had to enlist the Black Crowes’ guitar tech to save the day, and he literally fixed it with seconds to go.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

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