On Saturday evening, the Les Paul Tribute Festival was capped off by a student music concert held by the Ramapo College Music Club and the music program. The show, held in Sharp Theater, was comprised of bands “The NJ Gordon Experience,” “The Bloodwashed Band” and “Audio Insight.”
Starting off the show was “The NJ Gordon Experience,” led by NJ Gordon himself, who began on the saxophone, but later went on to be the lead vocalist of the group. The band displayed all original music which was a mixture of jazz, pop and funk that eased the audience into the show. The group started out slowly, but picked up the pace going into their third song by adding two more vocalists to join in on the performance.
The second group to perform was “The Bloodwashed Band,” which included band members NJ Gordon, Mark Boulanger and Jake Thiringer from the previous ensemble, in conjunction with Andrew Clayton, Hannah Reasoner and Norissa Lamaute rounding out the sextet.
“His [Paul’s] innovation with technology and what he was able to do with the recording was amazing…we try to be innovative as well and do things creatively,” said Clayton.
The band’s folky presence was very strong, and they “specialize in the re-creation and re-invigoration of sounds,” which they demonstrated well with their take on “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People. Front man Clayton had very powerful vocals that were backed up well by the bass and cello. They paid ode to Les Paul by playing the song “How High the Moon.”
At the midway point of the concert, Ramapo College music professors decorated esteemed faculty with Les Paul Awards; Les Paul’s son, Rusty, was also a recipient of the award. They were commended for their contribution to the enhancement and transformation of the music department and the dedication that they showed through the years.
The final act of the night was “Audio Insight,” a progressive post-hardcore band based out of Woodbridge, N.J. that also features Ramapo student Dan Sullivan. The musicians are no strangers to performing, as they have been featured on Bamboozle twice in addition to touring all along the East Coast.
Shrouded in deep red light, the band sent vibrations through the Sharp Theater with their heavy brand of rock music. They were energized and fierce throughout the entire performance and commanded the stage all while running around it. They did an excellent job closing out the show with liveliness and noticeable talent.
The third annual Les Paul Tribute Festival was a success that ended with the showcasing of products of the music department. The bands were all taught at Ramapo and they truly paid homage to the innovative and spirited legacy of Les Paul.