photo credit: Larry Hulst

As the evenings are beginning to cool down in Colorado, Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7 brought the heat Thursday night to the Gothic Theatre in Englewood with a scorching 2 1/2 hour straight set.

Herring is well-known for his years in Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Widespread Panic, Phil Lesh & Friends and many other endeavors. This project came to life after a desire to play with some of the younger generation. Son-in-law Duane Trucks had introduced him to Kevin Scott who ended up playing bass with Herring in The Invisible Whip. Through Kevin he then met and began playing with Rick Lollar (guitar) and Darren Stanley (drums) and the ever-present Matt Slocum on keys.

The enthusiasm they have for creating music together began to glow and then shine brightly as they worked their way through a 17 song set.

For a guitarist, playing with Jimmy must be a daunting task, yet Rick Lollar quickly showed his abilities while trading notes with Herring during the opening number, Miles Davis’ “Black Satin.” The magical musings of “Matt’s Funk” with a second guitar proved to be a work of art in aural form. Darrens skill is exemplary and had many in the audience asking among themselves, “Who is that?”  While his prowess on the guitar was a delight, he really added a new dimension with his vocals. Ranging from powerful to soulful and hints of rhythm and blues.

Kevin Scott brings a joy to the bass that is refreshing and inspiring. His zestful and striking low end sets a solid tempo. He is always beaming behind the beard at the house.

Darren Stanley was equally mesmerizing to watch and to hear.  

As Herring has said, “when it comes to keys, Matt is the guy”. On this night the dynamic pairing affirmed this point. Slocum’s keyboard acrobatics brought the audience to exuberant ovation several times through the night.

In looking at the band Herring had assembled, one couldn’t help but think of Col. Bruce Hampton’s mentoring. The Col.’s presence was in the room on this night, smiling down from above. The Col. was known to say “Everything is alright” and for at least one night in Colorado it most certainly was.

After two more nights in Colorado, Jimmy Herring and the 5 of 7 will be heading east for 31 more dates. Life is enhanced by nights like these…