VISITING ACT ‌ The Yonrico Scott Band 

Truckin' with their own groove

click to enlarge From behind a battery of drums, veteran groover Yonrico Scott digs it
  • From behind a battery of drums, veteran groover Yonrico Scott digs it

Well known among jam-base fans as a member of the smokin' rhythm section of Southern-fried funk-fusion group The Derek Trucks Band, drummer and percussionist Yonrico "Rico" Scott, 50, is currently carving a niche as a bandleader in his own right with the musically dexterous Yonrico Scott Band.

The trio features the entire DTB rhythm section, with Scott on traps and various hand and mallet percussion, Todd Smallie on bass guitar, and Kofi Burbridge on flute and keyboards. The threesome dedicate their efforts as a group to serious rhythmic and melodic investigation.

"The clubs like the Pour House are very similar to the bebop clubs of the '60s, where musicians can go in and experiment and the people are open and receptive," Scott says. "The crowds come in to hear the bands. They don't expect to hear requests; they just want to jam. They want something that'll make them move, whether it's swing or funk or jazz or Latin or house or whatever. And that's kind of what we do. As a trio, we might just play a groove for like 15 minutes and let it morph into something crazy. I'll yell stuff and the audience will yell back at me. We make it more like an event, more interactive."

The Atlanta-based trio issued a debut album in 2004 titled Turning the Corner, which grooves in its own electric funk-jazz setting while extending unpredictably into a variety of international musical styles.

"The band on the record is the band on the stage," says Scott. "It's almost like world music, but in a newer sense. Usually, I say it's a mix of funk, jazz, blues, Latin, rhythm ... but we always surprise the audience with something swingin'. It's so wide open. We'll play something in three, or seven, or eleven ... it's up to the band. These kids [at the shows] just want total expression. They want to hear somebody playin', you know? They want to hear a good soloist and someone doing something creative on top of a groove. We get away with almost anything because we're pretty good players and we're serving it with artistic integrity." --T. Ballard Lesemann

The Yonrico Scott Band perform at the Pour House on Thurs. Dec. 15. Admission is $7.


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