Jelly Bread can play rollicking Americana, churchy gospel, swampy blues or alt-rock, but somehow its "deep-fried funk" always surfaces. As one fan put it, "It sounds like a gospel singer fronting a rock band or a hillbilly chanting at a native drum circle."
The band, which hails from Reno, Nev., owes all its twang to vocalist and lap-steel guitarist Dave Berry and all its groove to drummer Cliff Porter and bass-slappin' Brady Carthen. Behind all that, there's Eric Matlock on keyboards and organ.
Who: Jelly Bread with Michael Quinby
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
Where: Alex's Plaza Restaurant and Bar, 35 N. Main St., Ashland
"We've never learned a whole lot of classic licks and classic chops," Berry says. "We just do what we do, and it just so happens to jive real well."
A sampling of Jelly Bread's sounds can be heard on the band's second album, "No Dress Code," released in May.
The band is on a Northwest run and will play at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant and Bar, 35 N. Main St., Ashland. For this show, Michael Quinby, son of Ashland guitarist Jim Quinby, will sit in with the band.
Jelly Bread plays with Quinby when the band is in Oregon. The Portland-based guitarist made a name for himself in the '90s when he toured with Joe Louis Walker and recorded with The Neville Brothers. About a decade ago, Quinby quit the music biz and took a "real job" as a national sales representative.
However, just for the fun of it, he and his band, The Roseland Hunters — bassist Damian Erskine and drummer Reinhardt Melz — played an occasional gig in the St. John's neighborhood in northern Portland.
In September, Quinby filled in for Curtis Salgado, a show that "went really, really well" and threw him back in the game.
"My mission is very modest," he says. "I don't want to tour. I want to play good music when I want to and maybe make a little bit of money."
Quinby describes his music as New Orleans funk with a Texas blues edge, a style that goes well with Jelly Bread's signature, genre-bending sounds.
At Alex's, the group will play songs from Jelly Bread's and The Roseland Hunters' repertoires. The cover charge is $5. Call 541-482-8818 or see www.jellybread.net.