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Thursday, November 17
Electric Beethoven is Music at its Best
Electric Beethoven is Music at its Best: A review of The Fox
by Kevin Long Photos by Sam Berenson
Reed Mathis’ new passion project “Electric Beethoven” is nothing short of brilliant. This past Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to witness their modernistic approach to arguably some of the best music ever created. Reed’s concept is simple in design and execution. He surrounds himself with some of the most talented musicians in the jamband scene and uses Beethoven’s classical catalog of music as their compass to jam.
It's basically jazz with classical interpretation as the hook. The music can and does take off in unforeseen directions but Beethoven's melodies can always be relied on as the connection. On this particular evening they improvised mainly off Beethoven's Third and Sixth symphonies. This incarnation included Todd Stoops on keys and he was joined by “The Motet” ivory player Joey Porter for an extended jam. The beast that is Jay Lane was working magic behind a small kit most of the night but sit-ins would descend upon the drums often over the course of the almost three hour set. Reed Mathis filled out the band with guitar prodigy Clay Welch. His laid back approach on guitar suited the music well and he was assertive when the vibe needed it.
I would guess if Ludwig Van was alive today he would enjoy how this outfit is expressing his music a hell of a lot more than a symphony repeating it back to them note for note. Like most geniuses, he was a real live wire in his day and his brilliant music should be available to every musical fan, not just the ones in suits. I recommend you run and see this band in any incarnation if the opportunity arises. It is far too stupefying and outside the box to make much money. But on a Tuesday night at the Fox Theatre, we all danced to Beethoven's timeless music and witnessed nothing short of a bravura performance. The only smiles bigger than the crowds on this night came from the musicians themselves. I streamed about 20 minutes of the show. You can watch on our FB page. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155539050893146&id=251328493145
Written by: Kevin Long
Photos by: Sam Berenson
Edited by: Greg Heffelfinger