jambase | Mike Gordon, Ryan Montbleau & Dopapod Members Join Club d’Elf In Burlington

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Mike Gordon, Ryan Montbleau & Dopapod Members Join Club d’Elf In Burlington

Stream full-show audio and watch clips captured at Foam Brewers.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 6, 2023  12:30 pm PDT

Club d’Elf founder, bassist and sintir wiz Mike Rivard met Phish co-founder, bassist and drill operator Mike Gordon last February and their musical relationship has already beared collaborative fruit twice.

After Mike Gordon sat-in with Club d’Elf at Vermont’s Zenbarn in March, the jam scene icon made another appearance with the group at Burlington’s Foam Brewers on Saturday, June 3 as part of a concert that also featured a guest spot from singer-songwriter Ryan Montbleau and Dopapod members guitarist Rob Compa and drummer Fro Evans in the core band.

The d’Elf lineup for Foam Brewers saw Rivard, Compa and Evans joined by turntablist Mister Rourke and keyboardist Paul Schultheis. Ryan Montbleau led the ensemble on his own “Pacing Like Prince” to wrap Saturday’s first set. Montbleau originally released the song on the 2015 Ryan Montbleau Band album Growing Light. The RMB featured current Neighbor guitarist and frequent d’Elf collaborator Lyle Brewer at the time Growing Light was recorded. Compa strung together angular licks for his “Pacing Like Prince” solo

Mike Gordon was on hand when the band returned for the second set in Burlington, where Club d’Elf’s show was a Discover Jazz Fest Pre-Party. Gordon contributed bass to d’Elf live staple “Power Plant” in a reprise of his first guest spot with the ensemble. Mike Rivard played sintir, a bass lute from Morocco, throughout the +10-minute number. Both Mikes mixed in-the-pocket work and dynamic leads. Neal “Fro” Evans, making his Club d’Elf debut, kept a steady beat to give Rivard and Gordon space to groove.

Rivard previewed Gordon’s appearance in an Instagram post on Saturday afternoon. “Surprise guest from the Vermont music community coming down to sit in, so you never know!” wrote Micro. Saturday also happened to be Mike Gordon’s 58th birthday.

The Dopapod duo also shined on the opening pairing of “Zeed Al Maal” and “Lalla Aisha in Jhaptal” off Club d’Elf’s 2022 studio album You Never Know. A lengthy improvised number broke up the two songs. Compa also ripped it up on “The Tingler” after Gordon’s guest spot before Schultheis delivered a stirring Rhodes solo. Additionally, the Dopapod guitarist honored one of his heroes, Frank Zappa, in tearing through “King Kong” ahead of the “Berber Song” finale.

Watch clips from Saturday’s show and stream full-show audio taped by Vermont Tapers Collective below (note: the tracking is off):

Club d’elf June 3, 2023 @ Foam Brewers Tracklist

  1. Zeed Al Maal
  2. Jam — 4:35 / Lalla Aisha in Jhaptal (Pt 1)
  3. Lalla Aisha in Jhaptal (Pt 2)
  4. Dream Wanderer
  5. Sand
  6. Pacing Like Prince (Ryan Montbleau)
  7. Power Plant (Pt 1)
  8. Power Plant (Pt 2)
  9. The Tingler (Pt 1)
  10. The Tingler (Pt 2)
  11. King Kong — 13:22 / Berber Song

Club d’Elf is one of six ensembles taking part in JamBase’s 25th Anniversary Quadranscentennial Silver Jubilee. The series features four nights of music spanning three venues. BT ALC Big Band with special guest Jennifer Hartswick will start the celebration on Thursday, August 17 at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville. Next, Club d’Elf plays Boston Harbor Distillery on Friday, August 18. Additionally, a triple bill of the Jennifer Hartswick Band, Holly Bowling and Ron Artis II takes the stage at Soundcheck Studios in Pembroke, the same venue where Umphrey’s McGee will close out the festivities on Sunday, August 20.

While the UM show is sold out, tickets remain for Club d’Elf and the Jennifer Hartswick-headlined concert. Tickets for the BT ALC Big Band will be available exclusively at the door. Head to JamBase25.com for tickets and additional details.

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