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It's the music, not the genre, that pushes Papadosio

| Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011

Sam Brouse of Papadosio is late for a scheduled phone interview but he's got a fairly good excuse. He was working -- not on new material or a broken down van -- but the future of the group.

Brouse was helping to put together a new press bio, and while that might not seem like an important or monumental task, the Asheville, N.C.-based group, appearing Friday at the Rex Theatre, South Side, is on a mission. They don't want to be categorized in any way, even as they commonly are labeled a jam band.

"We're trying really hard not to associate ourselves with any scene or genre, even though we are part of one," says Brouse, who plays keyboards and synths in the five-man ensemble. "It just happens to be where we started and where our fan base is. We are trying really hard to have people focus on letting go of some of the music that has already happened."

That includes, according to Brouse, the Grateful Dead "and stuff that happened in the '60s." Instead, Papadosio intends to evolve with each new release. Brouse and his colleagues -- brother Billy on keyboards, synths and vocals; Anthony Thogmartin on guitar, synths and vocals; drummer Mike Healy and singer and bassist Robert McConnell -- started the band in Athens, Ohio, before relocating to Asheville.

The original vision -- at least, according to a previous bio -- was to "combine eclectic musical traditions with modern Electronica to stir the heart and fuel the mind." While that remains the baseline, there's also a sense that Papadosio's material is mercurial, never staying in one groove for too long.

According to Brouse, change happens organically, not because the group points to jazz, electronica or any other style as a goal.

"Maybe subconsciously, we do reflect a lot of what's happening around us," Brouse says. "But in the past couple of weeks, when we've been working on the new album, it's been trying to create our own song. A lot of the songs, I wouldn't even know how to classify them. But it's really cool."

That willingness to blaze its own trail extends to Papadosio's philosophy about touring and festivals. Earlier this year, the group hosted Rootwire, a festival in Logan, Ohio, that not only featured unknown bands, but also was designed to be apart from the jam-band mainstream.

"Rootwire is more our response to having played so many festivals we were unsatisfied with about how people are treated and what it's all about," Brouse says. "A lot of the times, you go to a festival and see kids who are super sick. They can be out for a weekend and do as much drugs as possible. A lot of time, it's a pupil-dilation contest instead of about art, and we're trying to, with Rootwire, represent the artist in everybody."

Additional Information:

Papadosio

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Admission: $12

Where: Rex Theatre, South Side

Details: 412-381-6811 or www.rextheatre.com

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