Look, Ma, no lyrics

Tara Bradbury
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Hip Waders to release groovy instrumental album at the Fat Cat this weekend

Certain things don’t come easy when you’re in an instrumental band. Naming your songs, for instance, without lyrics to spark a title.

The Hip Waders— (from left) Allan Brake, Wade Tarling and Jeff Kinsman — will release their debut album, “Why is This So Difficult?” at the Fat Cat Friday night.

It was this exact frustration that ended up being the inspiration for the Hip Waders, who will release their five-track debut album, “Why is This So Difficult?” at the Fat Cat Friday night.

The Hip Waders are Wade Tarling (organ and vintage Wurlitzer), Allan Brake (drums) and Jeff Kinsman (bass).

They’ve been playing and performing around St. John’s together for about four years, delivering everything from original music to covers of songs by Led Zeppelin and Radiohead and even the theme to “The Golden Girls,” with their own flare, using instruments rather than voices to communicate.

“It’s sort of a niche here in

St. John’s. Nobody else here is really doing it,” Tarling said of their style, which is structure-based, but includes a lot of improvisation and reliance on a sense of groove. It’s the closest you can get to real music, he believes.

“My influences growing up were piano, jazz trio and quartet and that kind of stuff. You just get wrapped up in what they’re creating in the moment as they’re making the CD, and you’re picturing yourself there. Somebody’s there and it’s coming at you, know what I mean? It’s coming from them in that moment.”

Influenced by American jazz/

funk/organ trio Medeski Martin and Wood, the Hip Waders have an avant-groove style that can range from jazz to R&B.

The title track on “Why is This So Difficult?” is a contemporary jazz/funk tune, while “Let’s All Go to Church” sets a pace, then gives way to a churchy, ’70s organ vibe, featuring spoken word from “Alice in Wonderland” by Julianna Tschaja, one of Tarling’s young piano students. “Lucky Duck” has an improvised, atmospheric sound with lots of pedals.

Each of the songs is different, but each comes from the same place as far as the creation process goes.

“We sit down and start playing and we might think, ‘OK, that’s kind of cool, let’s write that down,’ and then Jeff, our bass player, will create some kind of line,” Tarling explained.

The trio almost always records their jams, in case something great happens, he added.

“It might take three weeks to see what we’re going to use for the tunes, but in the end it develops like, ‘That’s catchy, let’s keep doing it.’”

The Hip Waders’ album release will begin at 10:30 p.m. Friday, with an acoustic set by Rick Lambe. Cover is $7 at the door.


Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Fat Cat, Radiohead, Medeski Martin and Wood

Geographic location: Wonderland

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