How do you fit an 11-piece band on a small stage? Just ask Kansas Bible Company, a rock & roll orchestra returning to MOTR on April 14. The group is made up of a 5-piece horn section, three guitarists, two percussionists, and a bass player.
Though the band is neither from Kansas, nor a Bible company (the name is a reference from the 1973 film Paper Moon), their story is pretty fascinating nonetheless. All 11 members reside in Nashville in a formerly delipidated boarding home they converted into a living space known as the Hotel Chicaumauga. With the entire band (plus an additional three people, plus any couchsurfers and friends who appear at their doorstep) living in the same digs, one can imagine there are always a fair amount of musicians coming around. Naturally, the Hotel Chicaumauga began hosting intimate house shows. As member Michael Ruse put it, “It was something that just happened because we’re such a huge band…and we have bands within bands.”
Going back to the stage question, how do you fit so many people on one stage? Well, when a band of that size lives together, and can fit everyone plus their gear into one van, nothing phases them. “We’re like family. We all just cram in there,” Ruse explains to ENS, “We’ve played with all the horns standing on amplifiers.”
Openers SHADOWRAPTR have taken Cincinnati by force with their noisy, dynamic take on experimental rock. Within a year or so of formation, the band won a 2011 CEA for Best New Artist. Their music is wildly energetic, flipping from atmospheric and melodic to jagged and jarring all within a song.
If you’re looking to sample all sides of the rock spectrum, from psyched out SHADOWRAPTR to the soulful, surf-tinged rock & roll of Kansas Bible Company, MOTR is the place to be on Saturday.
Kansas Bible Company with SHADOWRAPTR
Saturday, April 14
Preview by Caitlin Behle, follow her on Twitter @cutelin