Aquarium Rescue Unit wrapped up a national tour at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl Sunday. The outing marked the first time that classic members Col. Bruce Hampton (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Herring (guitar), Oteil Burbridge (bass) and Jeff Sipe (drums) have toured since 2007 and the band’s most extensive run of shows with Hampton in almost 20 years. Though mandolin player Matt Mundy was absent from the recent reunion shows, he has performed a few times with Hampton in recent months in the Atlanta area. Keyboardist Matt Slocum, who joined the band during its brief reunion shows in 2011 and 2014, fleshed out the group’s lineup.
As expected, a number of special guests sat in with ARU during their recent outing. At Nashville, TN’s Cannery on August 6, former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Jack Pearson and harmonica player Pat Bergeson both sat in while at Atlanta, GA’ Buckhead Theatre on August 8 Tedeschi Trucks Band keyboardist and former ARU member Kofi Burbridge rejoined the group. On August 9, Steep Canyon Rangers fiddler Nicky Sanders made a surprise appearance at Asheville, NC’s Orange Peel and a few days later, at Raleigh, NC’s The Ritz on August 12, Kofi Burbridge returned with none other than legendary saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Hard Working American opened for ARU at Richmond, VA’s The National on August 13 and HWA drummer Duane Trucks, who current plays with his father-in-law Herring in Widespread Panic, emerged during ARU’s set.
Finally, at Port Chester, NY’s The Capitol Theatre this past Saturday, guitarists Oz Noy, Tom Guarna and Brandon “TAZ” Niederaue and drummer Nikki Glaspie all emerged.
For more on ARU, be sure to read our recent interview here.