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Thursday, March 6,2014

Q&A: The gypsy talks

The Further Adventures of Fatboy and JiveTurky on drug-addled parents and “sophisticated gypsy blues”

by Carlee Henderson
The Further Adventures of Fatboy and JiveTurkey. Courtesy photo.

Thursday, March 6 — The Further Adventures of Fatboy and JiveTurkey, a local gypsy-blues band, are one-half of “The Gypsy and the Traveler” show Friday at (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing. The band opens for local songwriter Elden Kelly.

Further Adventures is led by Benjamin Hall, lead vocalist and original founder of the band. Backing him are Tim Williams (guitar, dobro), Bob McCarthy (guitar, mandolin), Travis Therrian (upright bass) and Josh Austin (trombone).

Here’s what Hall had to say about his band, and its upcoming show at (SCENE):


Where did The Further Adventures of Fatboy and JiveTurkey name come from?

When I was a kid my father used to do a lot of drugs, get stoned and have his kids play out radio shows such as The Shadow, Abbott and Costello, shows of the like. He would take out a tape recorder, feed us lines, and then hit record. One of the shows was about a crime-fighting duo named Fatboy and Jiveturkey. … We made a whole landscape of the characters and villains we went up against, and I was always Fatboy.


The show at (SCENE) is dubbed “The Gypsy and the Traveler” — how did it come about?
It has nothing to do with the actual music selection as it does myself as a performer and Kelly as a performer; we complement each other. But it’s when you see Elden play that you understand the traveler persona. It seems like he’s tapped into something cosmic. He’s on a different plane. His style is steeped in world music and jazz, his original sound resonates in your soul.

Also, I share an office with Tim Lane, director and curator of SCENE, at the city of East Lansing. We wanted to put a show together and were trying to decide which artist would work best to collaborate with, and I instantly thought of Elden Kelly. He’s a fantastic performer and one of the best musicians in the city.


How would you describe your band’s sound?
Artists like Prince, Taj Mahal and Nina Simone are big influences because they’ve always done whatever the hell they wanted — blues, rock ‘n’ roll, roots, soul. I try to not write blues, but everything I do ends up having a little touch of it. People have said gypsy blues and a New Orleans sound, so I ultimately refer to it as a sophisticated gypsy blues.


Where has your band been playing shows?
We play covers and originals at small and large venues, including local music festivals, Cliff Bell’s in Detroit and Moriarty’s in Lansing. We (performed) at The Hamtramck Music Festival in Detroit. It’s great because we’re opening for a bunch of punk bands, which is just another way we are able to get our sound out and connect to a different scene.


Elden Kelly with Further Adventures of FatBoy and JiveTurkey

@ (SCENE) Metrospace

110 Charles St., East Lansing

8pm, doors open at 7:30pm

$10/door, $5 students

scenemetrospace.com

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