"Entrain is back with drums blazing as furious as ever! You'll find it hard to sit still during this tour-de-force of percussive rock music from one of the longest running bands in the HGMN.
Rhythms literally overwhelm you as this ensemble incorporates a worldwide litany of influences into a freight train of sound! Just a Matter of Time is right on time!"
- Lee Crumpton, Homegrown Music Network http://www.homegrownmusic.net/news-and-views/entrain
COTUIT - It's been 15 years, one island, five studio albums, two live albums, close to 2,000 shows, 22 states, three countries (including China), four vans, three recreational vehicles, approximately 750,000 miles, and more than 23 band members.
Through it all, Entrain, arguably the most successful band in the Cape Cod area's music history, has persevered. It plays two shows today, this morning at the 22nd annual WMVY Big Chili Contest in Oak Bluffs, and tonight at the Cotuit Center for the Arts on Route 28.
The darlings of Martha's Vineyard released their fifth studio album in late December, seven years after their previous studio effort and two years after their second live album.
Titled "Entrain 7, Just a Matter of Time," the album features an entirely new lineup from previous recordings.
Now, according to band members, there is more energy and enthusiasm in the group than ever before.
"When someone leaves the band, its always difficult," band drummer and founder Tom Major said by phone this week from Florida. "Sometimes you feel like giving up, but that feeling usually lasts about a day, because this is too much fun. Entrain has become almost like an entity. It's larger than me or Sam (Holmstock, the only other member left from the band's original lineup) or anyone else. It just wants to keep going."
Entrain now features Major and Holmstock (on conga/djembe/trombonist), both from the Vineyard, and newcomers Lenny Bradford from Pottstown, Pa., on bass; Phillip Young from Georgia on saxophone, keys, and percussion; Boston journeyman Johnny Trama on guitar; and Jeff Clark, the new 27-year-old lead vocalist from Key West, Fla.
And with the new blood, Entrain has new songs, new sounds and what is arguably its strongest release to date, maintaining its classic "Entrain sound" of heavy, rolling percussion complemented nicely by deep rhythmic horns and feel-good vibes, which is most evident on the inaugural track "Turn it On."
In addition to pleasing hard-core fans by staying true to its roots, the six-piece band has expanded its musical horizons further into world music on "Rollin' On," jam music on "Just a Matter of Time," reggae on "A Long Time Ago," funk on "All That Good," blues on "Got to Get Through to You," horn-fused country on "Sad Joe Zydeco," and even hip-hop on "Drums for Peace."
"It's working like a charm," Holmstock said. "The band is sounding better than ever. We've got the best voice we've ever had up front, and more energy on stage than we've ever had. I'm incredibly encouraged."
While holding its Cape Cod roots dear, Entrain plans to expand its fan base by doing fewer Cape shows and by hitting the road.
"This is our best batch of tunes, overall vibe, and message," Major said, referring to the band's new album and politics of peace and love. "I really believe that this band is one of the best in the country and should have the recognition and notoriety it deserves."
Clark added, "I'm ready for things to take off."
- Matthew Burke, Cape Cod Times, Cotuit Center for the Arts
“Entrain is a band on the verge of happening big!”
- Bruce Warren, Program Director, WXPN
...upbeat Entrain’s sixth release is, in fact, superbly played and undeniably infectious.
The band was founded in the early 1990s by drummer Tom Major, and each member has a fine musical pedigree — Major himself was a longtime touring percussionist for rock ’n’ roll icon Bo Diddley. It comes as no surprise that this collection of premier players can kick out the jams with the best of ’em. From the undulating funk of album opener “Turn It On” and the slinky blues of the following track, “Got to Get Through to You,” to the island groove of “A Long Time Ago” and the heat-seeking Cajun shuffle of “Sad Joe Zydeco,” Entrain cooks a mean musical stew and shows considerable proficiency with each ingredient.
- Dan Bolles, Seven Days, Burlington, VT
“That noise you hear eminating from New England is probably just the buzz about Entrain. They’ve been selling out shows and selling lots of CDs on their own. Can U Get It sports plenty of jam-happy, booty-shakin’ grooves, sure to keep the good fortune coming. Dancin’ in the Light (Tarbosh) is a party waiting to happen, as are River Run and Anyway.”
- Friday Morning Quarterback (industry trade magazine)
“I can’t sit down when Entrain is on the radio! Every time I play them on WMVY, the chair goes flyin’ back and I’m up dancin’ in the air studio. We’ve been playing Entrain since their first CD in ‘94 and the music always makes the station sound great.”
- Barbara Dacey, Program Director, WMVY, Martha’s Vineyard
“We’ve been seeing Entrain popping up on the WMVY and WXPN playlists for months. It’s been ringing phones where played. Hotcha!”
- Gavin Report (industry trade magazine)
“Entrain plays joyous percussion propelled . . . chock full of invigorating, gyrating rhythms, catchy hooks and general good time groove music . . .”
- Mick Skidmore, Relix Magazine
"Entrain zips along like a lively summit conference between the Dave Matthews Band and Little Feat.”
- Steve Morse, The Boston Globe
“Entrain . . . merges funk, rock, reggae, swamp, and worldbeat rhythm into a sweaty good time . . .”
- The Boston Herald
“On Friday, March 22 I saw perhaps the best live band I have ever seen. Entrain is a criminally unknown band from Martha’s Vinyard, Massachusets. In the past, they have backed Bob Weir and they are Bo Diddley’s backing band when he plays in New England.
The evening started with Portland’s Greg Goodwill Band. Though he is a talented singer-songwriter/guitarist, Goodwill seemed to have a hard time connecting with the audience until the last five songs of his set.
Entrain hit the stage at around 10:00 with all six members playing assorted percussion on a rousing rendition of Mo’ Drums from their second disk, Can U Get It. Before the last beat could fade out, each band member went to his respective instrument and went into the Grateful Dead-like River Run.
The band played for nearly an hour-and-a-half without a break. At one point, saxophone player Klem Klimek went out into the audience and took a solo from the floor.
Musically, the band flowed seamlessley from Funk to Ska to African to Afro-Cuban to Zydeco to Folk Rock—all with a groove so infectous that you had no choice but to dance.
During the intermission, I got to talk to trombonist/percussionist Sam Holmstock. He informed me that guitarist/vocalist Chad Hollister and keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Alex Howland had joined the band two weeks earlier. This is particularly amazing concidering how tight the band was. The band is rounded out by Tom Major on drums and Lenny ‘LB’ Bradford.
An Entrain show is a beautiful, tribal, positive, uplifting experience that shouldn’t be missed.”
- Jayson Cornish, April 2002 edition of Face Magazine
Rise Up: Live, Vol. 1
“From the rich percussive grooves of the short opener Mo’ Drums, this live set from the Martha’s Vineyard-based sextet positively exudes energy and good vibes. The band has a big, joyous sound that reflects its underlying flair as reggae, Latin, and African rhythms find their way into a myriad of textures. Strong hooks are laced with great vocals and crisp guitar work, but it’s the band’s rhythmic power and vocals that are its strong points. They demonstrate this in the 11-minute Mother Street, which begins with an almost Bo Diddley beat before sauntering off into more complex textures. Other standouts on this vibrant album are the fast-paced Dancin’ in the Light and the infectious title cut with its jazz-meets-reggae groove.”
- Mick Skidmore, Relix Magazine
Rise Up: Live, Vol. 1
“Live: Volume 1, Rise Up is the first live release from the eclectic Entrain. Entrain already has five studio recordings to their credit and they continue to build their fan base by touring and via the Internet. Entrain’s live shows are consider events where dance and positive vibes rule. Each of the seven members of the group has rich musical experiences and has worked with variety of accomplished players. Each brings broad musical ideas to the stage and to their songs. Entrain is in sync and unified by their art. This Martha’s Vineyard-based band draws on a wide range of influences such as ska, reggae, calypso, jazz, blues, and world. They beautifully blend African, Latin, and Cajun sounds into their own unique style of music with heavy emphasis on drums. Entrain can be described as a jazz jam band, but their songs are diverse reflecting different moods and modes. Live: Volume 1, Rise Up is an energetic, eleven-track collection that has a party vibe. River Run flows on strong percussions, heavenly horns and positive upbeat vocals. Uncle Jolly has a funky foot tapping beat, proficient horns, wild guitars and catchy vocals. Cohiba opens with intriguing sounds and takes off on steady drums, it has a great world flavor spiced up by expert horns and great guitars. Entrain is a fun band of proficient players and Live: Volume 1, Rise Up captures their energy and diverse sound on one vibrant CD.”
Recommended Tracks: (2, 3, 4)
- Laura Turner Lynch, KWEEVAK.com CD REVIEWS
Rise Up: Live, Vol. 1
“(Dolphin Safe / Rounder Select) — The concept of ‘entrainment’ stems from Mickey Hart’s book, Drumming at the Edge of Magic. In it, Hart spoke of how he and fellow Grateful Dead drummer Billy Kreutzmann would get entirely synched into a groove, seeming to let the music play them, as they strove to bring ‘spirit into sound.’ Entrain sounds nothing like the Grateful Dead, but they do derive their name, and their ‘spirit into sound’ philosophy from this concept. Based in Martha’s Vineyard, Entrain has always been about locking the drummers and percussionists into tight, often Afro-Caribbean, grooves and taking the music forward from there. This live CD documents that, beginning with a solid percussion jam (Mo’ Drums) before exploding into the New Orleans meets the Caribbean groove of River Run. Along the way the sextet hits on the East Bay style funk of Uncle Jolly, the samba-ish grooves of Cohiba, the earthy, jam-band pop of Anyway, the ‘Who Do You Love’ heartbeat of Mother Street, the dancehall ska vocals of Dancin’ in the Light, and the goofy island grooves of Jeannie, which is based on the ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ television theme song. While the band can stretch out (several songs cross the eight-minute mark, and one reaches almost to twelve), the band can also play concisely in four and five minute segments. Add to those well-constructed songs some powerful vocals, dirty guitar, funky bass, punchy horns courtesy of sax and trombone, and thoroughly entrained percussion, and you find many of the reasons Entrain has been creating dance frenzies for the last ten years and will likely be ripping it up for the next ten as well.”
- CDs of the Week, PauseRecord.com
Rise Up: Live, Vol. 1
“How many drums can one band possibly own? We’re not exactly sure, but we do know that you do require the bass turned up quite high for this album. The style is jamming reminiscent of the Grateful Dead and Phish, but the drums and beat are alive—insanely alive. Their drummers must be on some sort of drug to play this many beats, these elaborately.”
- TheCelebrityCafe Top Albums Section: Live, The Celebrity Café
Rise Up: Live, Vol. 1
Author’s Product Rating:
fun and catchy beats
word needs to spread about their talent
The Bottom Line:
Live: Volume 1, Rise Up is a great album from a band that is destined for more great things to come.
When one thinks about Martha’s Vineyard, images of a different style of living often come to mind. A life that is different than most of us is often associated with the island off the coast of Massachusetts and traditionally images of wealth and things associated with being rich are often conjured up.
Although the island is known for its aristocratic appeal, the island is also known for a band that calls it home. The parallel is somewhat remarkable. The musical sounds of Entrain carry a very rich sound and the music is much different than what could be considered traditional or mainstream. Although the music of Entrain is in no way aristocratic, perhaps the music could be classified as being a class above most other music. When one listens to Entrain, you can soon realize that many bourgeoisie sounding musical bands simply pale in comparison to the fine sounds of Entrain.
Focusing largely on smooth percussion sounds, Entrain has a sound that will keep your feet tapping throughout their songs. With a heavy emphasis on both a rock and roll sound mixed with heavy reggae underlying tunes, Entrain’s album Live: Volume 1, Rise Up is a great album by a band that is sure to beat their way into many stereos across the region. This album is a compilation of live tracks from three different venues in Massachusetts: Joker’s in New Bedford, Woods Hole Community Hall in Woods Hole, and Sit ‘n Bull in Maynard. Although the tracks are live recordings, the quality of each track is of the highest quality and I found the live tracks to be remarkably not-grainy, as so many live tracks tend to be.
The musicians within Entrain are Tom Major (drums, percussion, vocals), Brian Alex (guitar, lead vocal, timbales), Sam Holmstock (trombone, djembe, congas, vocals, keyboard, Cajun rub board, percussion, talking drum), Klem Klimek (sax, vocals, keyboard, percussion), Lenny Bradford (bass, vocals, percussion), Francisco Rosado (congas, timbales, percussion), and Ray de Jesus (congas and percussion).
The album starts out right and is a great way to get the proverbial taste for what the album is going to offer by having the song Mo’ Drums start the album off. Based solely on the heavy beating of percussion sounds, Mo’ Drums gives the listener the notion that the rest of the live album is going to rely heavily upon the heavy beating of deep percussion sounds. The track is a deep and inviting track that shows the keen percussion work of Entrain and beautifully highlights the course that the album is bound to take.
One of the most musically impressive songs I have heard on an album in a long time comes on the track Mother Street. This song is eleven minutes thirty-eight seconds long and from the very beginning throughout the end of the track, the song is an amazing work of musical genius.
River Run is a musically interesting song that relies on a deep Calypso sound mixed with a feeling that is reminiscent of a jam band or a band such as Dispatch. This song conjures up imagery of sitting on deck of a cruise ship or sitting on a beach on Martha’s Vineyard, drinking a cool Margarita and tapping your feet to the beats.
Anyway is an interesting song that is somewhat slower in comparison to most of the songs on this album. The chorus lends itself to the possibility of having audience members chime in to the chorus at a live performance.
Mexican Bus is another marvelous track on the CD that relies heavily on the horn section of the band. The Mexican vibe is instantly felt and the tune is so musically diverse that it is a must listen to track.
1. Mo’ Drums
2. River Run
3. Uncle Jolly
6. Mother Street
7. Shine On
8. Dancin’ in the Light
10. Rise Up
11. Mexican Bus
Live: Volume 1, Rise Up is a very well-produced album and falls within a genre of music that could be classified in simply one word, Entrain. The band has found a musical niche that is unique, while being well developed and fantastic sounding.
Live: Volume 1, Rise Up is manufactured by Dolphin-Safe Records out of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts and is produced by Rounder Select.
For more information about the band, please check out their website www.entrain.com.
Great Music to Play While:
Hanging With Friends
- Kevin Bligh, Epinions.com
Here's a list of Radio Stations who play our stuff. Give 'em a call (or an email) and request your favorite Entrain song!