Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
HUMBREWS – Manherd of badasses or rollicking gentlemanly ensemble? Super-team or new interstellar constant? Musical deities or tellers of universal truths?
Mystery, enchantment, false dilemmas and loads of rock and roll surround the Kyle Gass Band (KGB), which plays at Humbrews this Sunday, Nov. 24. Gass, along with backup musician Jack Black, form the legendary laugh-rock duo Tenacious D. The KGB tends to do its rock during the D’s downtime.
A press release only deepens the KGB enigma: “Men, women, children, domesticated house pets, earth-roaming wild mammals, sea-dwelling creatures of the deep, insects, species yet unknown, gods and leaders, universal truths and earthly lies; all lay wanting in subjugation to the new interstellar constant that is the Kyle Gass Band.”
His last local show was with Trainwreck in 2010, also at Humbrews. “I remember it well,” he claimed, his memory functions having survived a spell in what he calls “a company town.”
Though the ’Wreck was billed as “country prog rock,” the latter genre has increased in dominance with KGB, as has occasional Gassy narrative. “We’re even more rock than before,” he said. “More rock, less talk, though sometimes I get rollin’ on the mic.”
Other upheavals are strictly musical. The KGB original tunes might be interrupted by “a flurry of covers,” Gass said. “But we’ll put that KGB magical spin on it.”
Whatever it plays, Gass says his band is on fire. “This outfit is pretty stellar, musically,” said the musical man-herd’s master. “We raised the musical bar on this one. It’s kind of a supergroup.”
Gass and his longtime guitarist John Konesky host a YouTube series called Guitarings, featuring guitar lessons and lore. As in the videos, Gass will be strictly strapped into an acoustic guitar, leaving the electrical side to Konesky and Mike Bray. “The electric guitar befuddles me,” Gass confesses. “I can’t handle the dials and electricity… it doesn’t work for me.”
KGB has an arrangement with Gibson Guitars, so Gass plays a Gibson Dove acoustic.
With “mythical bass legend” Jason Keene and “international heartthrob” drummer Jamie Douglass rounding out the five-gentlemen ensemble, Gass humbly promises a mind-engulfing experience.
“There might be some theatrics,” Gass said. We stop at nothing to entertain you. It will certainly be the best show you’ve seen this year.”
“The important thing is not to miss it,” Gass concluded. “It’s not like we go up there every month. It’s an event. It can be a historical situation.”
Humbrews, 856 10th St. in Arcata, Sunday, Nov. 24, Doors 9 p.m., 21 and over, $15 kylegassband.com