There was a lot of thunder in the air at Jilly’s Music Room in Akron, OH on Thursday, July 7. But no rain followed, for it was the low rumblings of the third annual Lo-Hio Bass Showcase, organized by Ohio native and solo bassist, Jared Lees. The event featured six solo bassists (including yours truly) that covered a wide spectrum from “This is what a bass does” to “I didn’t know a bass could do that!!”
It also featured displays from local Akron company, Earthquaker Devices, who brought their gigantic (and I don’t use that term lightly) pedal board for people to demo as well as Ohio luthier, Pete Skjold of Skjold Basses, who had an AMAZING array of basses to try out. Rounding out the evening was a raffle that featured prizes from Earthquaker Devices, Guardian Pro Cables, Tsunami Cables, Kalium Strings, GHS Strings, Bass Extracts, Nordstrand pickups, Lady Bass Wear and Artisan Coffee.
All proceeds from the door and the raffle went to the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank. When asked, organizer Jared Lees said “This was the best Lo-Hio yet! The music was awesome, killer response from the crowd, and best of all we were able to help the Food Bank provide close to 2,000 meals!”
Even though some used a drummer (Steven Guerrero and headliner Doug Johns) or a full combo (Lees), the bass was front and center. And many remarked at how varied the styles and techniques were from player to player. Whether it was the singing/playing of Mike Scott, the chording/looping of Brandon Covey or even the progressive textures and layering of Steven Guerrero, everyone brought their own distinct voice to the same instrument. It was more about showcasing each artist, while inspiring everyone to try something new at the same time. And when headliner, Doug Johns, set foot onstage, inspiration – and FUNK – were available in spades.
At the end of the night, the mood was electric, with people echoing Brandon Covey’s sentiments that “it keeps getting better every year. I can’t wait for the next one.” I can’t wait to see what Lees has up his sleeves for Lo-Hio 4, but know that it will carry on the excellent tradition that he’s creating in Akron.
For more information, please visit:
Mike Scott – tomurderamachine.bandcamp.com
Steven Guerrero – www.stevengbass.com
Brandon Covey – brandoncovey.bandcamp.com
Jonathan Moody – www.justmoody.com
Doug Johns – www.dougjohns.com
Jared Lees – www.jaredlees.com