We’ve been in a reflective space here at Ropeadope as we move through our 20th year in the game. Digging into the past is a transformative process; identifying the key points in history helps us understand who we are. In this digital age it is easy to lose touch with history, so the process becomes even more important. Musicians generally begin with history, whether self taught or formally trained they must know the foundation, the root of what they play. Recently we’ve noticed quite a few artists going back to find the root of the Blues and preserving that structure within their new music exploration. Jesus On The Mainline, Big Hands Rhythm and Blues Band, gorgeous!, and Uncle Nef are great examples. So, each month we will feature one of these bands and tell the story behind their search.
Our story begins with Darren Hoffman and Shannon Powell; the duo known as Uncle Nef. The name alone indicates a connection between the past and present; Powell is one of the best drummers in the world with deep experience in Jazz and The Blues. Hoffman is a historical crate digger of sorts, looking back to the work of Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and more. Their sound is raw and powerful, but only to the necessary degree. They both have deep respect for the feeling in the Blues, and work to preserve that depth in a direct and current context. Let’s dig in to the opening track of their upcoming release Love Songs.