Saturday, February 27, 2016

Twiddle at Irving Plaza

Mihali Savoulidis
Twiddle was founded in 2004 after a jam session by college students in Castleton, Vermont. By their second semester, these students were more interested in developing bridges between rock, jazz, funk, reggae and bluegrass than in their academic studies. The musicians had a catalogue of original compositions and were performing regularly through the northeast before becoming upperclassmen. In addition to many live releases, Twiddle's third and most recent album, PLUMP Chapter One, was released on December 11, 2015. The band presently consists of vocalist/guitarist Mihali Savoulidis, keyboardist Ryan Dempsey, bassist Zdenek Gubb and drummer Brook Jordan.

Twiddle performed two sets separated by a brief intermission at Irving Plaza tonight. Influenced by bands like Phish and the String Cheese Incident, Twiddle played with danceable rhythms in various genres and extended grooves with lengthy, improvised jams. Twelve-year-old guitarist Brandon "Taz" Niederauer  of Broadway's School of Rock, who has been making the rounds of local jam concerts, joined Twiddle intermittently, as did the Frendly Horns. Twiddle opened with "Amydst the Myst" featuring the Frendly Horns, and both Niederauer and the horn duo returned later in the show for "Lost In The Cold." Twiddle's musical fluency and textures were dynamic, but the brass interludes enriched the songs, and Niederauer 's guitar shredding was spine-chilling. Even after some three hours, the fans demanded more, and Twiddle ended the night by debuting an original country-flavored song, "Collective Pulse," as an encore. Grateful Dead heads have yet another band to follow.

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