M'bolo, meaning "togetherness" in the Senegalese language Wolof, embraces this ethos in the creation of their high-octane hybrid of Mbalax and Rock. Lead singer/percussionist Cheikh Ngom began singing, dancing, and playing sabar drums at the age of four in the coastal city of Kaolack, Senegal. After performing throughout Africa and Europe, Ngom arrived in the United States, where he founded M’bolo with Dillon Zahner (guitar), Galen Willett (bass), Arone Ndiaye (keys), and Beza Gebre (drumset). Guitar, bass, keys, and drums fuse to form a rhythmically intricate lattice of propulsive licks, snaking leads, and hypnotizing grooves, punctuated by the rapid-fire attack of the sabar drums. Live shows are highlighted by the explosive energy of Ngom’s dance moves, fusing his Kaolack roots with a Michael Jackson flair. Their debut album, entitled M’bolo, captures the fiery spirit of their live shows as well as the incantations of their more introspective and meditative chansons.
Opening for M'bolo will be Brattleboro's own VT Shakedown. A six piece band, their influences include Fela Kuti and James Brown: a tight rhythm section interacting with rippin' horn solos, polyrhythms laced among socially conscious lyrics, and groovy repeating bass and guitar lines. A regular staple at McNeill's (Brattleboro) and the Pizza Stone (Chester), VT Shakedown includes Jim Heffron (bari and tenor saxes), Anders Burrows (trumpet, vocals, percussion), Jay Cook (keys, vocals, percussion), Evan Lincoln (guitar), Elliott New (bass) and Josh Francis (drums).
April 7th @ the Root Cellar in Greenfield: Doors open at 8 PM, music begins at 9! $7 cover.