music / Columns

Jam Central Station: The Main Squeeze

March 11, 2017 | Posted by Jeff Modzelewski

The Main Squeeze are a band that needs to be seen to truly be appreciated. While they do a great job with their albums, they shine as a live act. By blending rock and funk into an experience that grabs any audience The Main Squeeze has quickly become a band to look out for. It’s been an interesting journey for these guys, and they’ve been enjoying the ride.

The Main Squeeze got their start at the University of Indiana as a party band. Indiana may not be known for their funk scene, but colleges and universities are always a great hotbed for new ideas, and The Main Squeeze rose out of that. They quickly developed a local following and played regular shows at local venues while opening for regional and national acts that came through town. By being able to provide solid local support for bands coming through the area they were given the opportunity to expand their base over their first year and a half. By 2011 they had independently recorded and released their first album. First Drops was a very good start for the band, and was able to capture their soulful sound.

The released Mind Your Head in 2012, and this was the album that really started to capture people’s attention. They quickly went from playing local shows and small regional festivals to having the opportunity to prove their chops at larger events. Festivals like Summer Camp and Electric Forest brought the band on board, and crowds took notice of what they were bringing. Frontman Corey Frye’s energy and intensity throughout their shows would always leave and impression, and the band’s extremely tight musicianship backed him up to perfection. They became known not just for Frye’s excellent showmanship but for ripping guitar solos, awesome keyboard jams, and an extremely tight rhythm section. The band relocated their home base to Chicago while building relationships with other regional bands on the rise including The Werks and Papadosio.

They toured intensively behind their second album for 3 years, playing across the country from bars to festivals. The work paid off, as they developed a nice following and found the ear of plenty of bands that wanted to bring them along In 2015 they signed on to the Madison House family, giving them new opportunities to grow. They released Mind Your Head that year. The album wasn’t a departure from their earlier two albums, but more of a completion of what they were trying to do. The album gave the whole band plenty of opportunities to shine and the songwriting was catchy without being repetitive. Not only that, the band was able to consistently bring a great live show, recreating the songs on the album perfectly.

Being a part of Madison House also gave the band some new opportunities on the road. They joined Umphrey’s McGee at Red Rocks, playing that legendary venue for the first time. They also moved from being a final-tier band on festival lineups to a solid mid-tier act that is a primary draw for many fans. They’re not resting on the success they had with Mind Your Head either, as they’re getting ready to release another new album in April of 2017. They’ve already released a politically charged song and video from the new album, and if the rest of the album is anything like the first song it’s going to be another excellent one.

Catskill Chill takes 2017 off
Catskill Chill will take a break in 2017. The annual event moved to a new location in 2016 but hopefully they’ll return in 2018.

Werk Out Festival announces initial lineup
The Werk Out Festival has grown from a small regional festival to a solid Ohio fest bringing in some of the best up and coming artists. This year’s festival will once again include 3 nights of The Werks along with great acts like Gramatik, The Floozies, Dopapod, Dumpstaphunk, Twerkapod (Twiddle, The Werks, and Dopapod) doing a tribute to the 90’s, and many others. Look for more names coming from this festival, set to take place at Legend Valley in Thornville, OH on August 3-5.

Umphrey’s McGee announces dates
Umphrey’s McGee have set a good part of their summer schedule, including festival dates and a Red Rocks run.

May 18 Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
May 19 Baltimore, MD – Pier Six Pavilion*
May 20 Hampton, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
May 26–28 Chillicothe, IL – Summer Camp Music Festival
June 1 Augusta, GA – Augusta Common^
June 2 Columbia, SC – Music Farm
June 3 Minden, WV – Mountain Music Festival
June 11 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
June 30 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre+
July 1 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre#
July 2 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre@
July 7 New York, NY – Central Park Summerstage
July 8 Marshfield, MA – Levitate Festival
*w/ Aqueous
^w/ Marcus King Band
+w/ Stick Figure #w/ Snarky Puppy and Bokante
@w/ Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers

Winter Wondergrass California
March 31-April 2
Olympic Valley, CA
Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush Band, Hot Buttered Rum, Fruition

Wanee Festival
April 20-22
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, FL
Bob Weir, Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, Leftover Salmon, Blackberry Smoke, Matisyahu, JJ Grey & Mofro

Sweetwater 420 Festival
April 21-23
Centennial Park
Atlanta, GA
Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band, Ween, moe., Lettuce, Slightly Stoopid, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Anders Osborne, Dark Star Orchestra, Twiddle

Summer Camp
May 25-28
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, Primus, Gov’t Mule, The Disco Biscuits, Yonder Mountain String Band, Mike Gordon, EOTO, The Floozies, The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams KWahtro, The Wood Brothers, The Motet, TAUK, Twiddle, The Werks

May 25-28
Cumberland, MD
The Travelin’ McCoury’s featuring Dierks Bentley, Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, Bela Fleck & Chris Thile, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, Fruition, Jeff Austin Band

Dark Star Jubilee
May 26-28
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Dark Star Orchestra (x3), Greensky Bluegrass, Hot Tuna (acoustic and electric), Keller Williams and KWhatro, Rumpke Mountain Boys

Revival Music Festival
May 26-28
Harmony Park
Geneva, MN
Galactic, Yonder Mountain String Band, Turkuaz, Antibalas, Big Something, The Hip Abduction, The Main Squeeze, Aqueous

Nelsonville Music Festival
June 1-4
Nelsonville, OH
Ween, Emmylou Harris, Rodriguez, Son Volt, Sara Watkins, Parquet Courts

Mountain Music Festival
June 1-3
Wonderland Mountain
New River Gorge, WV
Umphrey’s McGee, The Revivalists, Twiddle, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Big Something, Spiritual Rez, The Southern Belles

June 8-11
Manchester, TN
U2, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Big Gigantic, Greensky Bluegrass, Umphrey’s McGee, Turkuaz, Twiddle

Disc Jam
June 8-11
Stephentown, NY
Break Science Live Band, Dopapod, Turkuaz, The Motet, Manic Focus, TAUK, Electric Beethoven, Aqueous, Consider the Source

4 Peaks Music Festival
June 15-18
Bend, OR
Moe., Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Poor Man’s Whiskey, Moonalice

Mountain Jam
June 16-18
Hunter Mountain, NY
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The String Cheese Incident, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Gary Clark Jr., Michael Franti & Spearhead, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Elephant Revival, Shovels & Rope, The Revivalists, The Infamous Stringdusters

Electric Forest I
June 22-25
Rothbury, MI
The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, My Morning Jacket, The Revivalists, Lotus, Big Gigantic, The Infamous Stringdusters, Lettuce, Matisyahu, The Motet

Electric Forest II
June 29-July 2
Rothbury, MI
The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Lotus, Big Gigantic, Nahko & Medicine for the People, The Infamous Stringdusters, Lettuce, Matisyahu, The Motet

Friendly Gathering
June 29-July 1
Waitsfield, VT
Twiddle, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Turkuaz, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Moon Hooch

High Sierra
June 29-July 2
Quincy, CA
Trey Anastasio Band, Ween, Galactic, Mike Gordon, Fruition

June 30-July 2
Turin, NY

Levitate Music & Arts Fest
July 8-9
Marshfield, MA
Dispatch, Umphrey’s McGee, Ziggy Marley, Lake Street Drive, The Revivalists, Twiddle, JJ Grey & Mofro, Rubblebucket

Camp Bisco
July 13-15
Montage Mountain
Scranton, PA
The Disco Biscuits (6 sets), Bassnectar, GRiZ, Pretty Lights, Lotus, Twidle, Turkuaz, Electric Beethoven, Break Science, Beats Antique, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Werks

Northwest String Summit
July 13-16
Horning’s Hideout
North Plains, OR
Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Del McCoury Band, JJ Grey & Mofro, Elephant Revival, Fruition, Turkuaz,

Deep Roots Mountain Revival
July 20-22
Marvins Mountaintop
Masontown, WV
Brandi Carlile, Lettuce, Yonder Mountain String Band, Dr. Dog, The Motet, JJ Grey & Mofro, Moon Taxi, White Denim, TAUK

Floydfest 17: Freedom
July 26-30
Floyd, VA
Michael Franti & Spearhead, St. Paul & Broken Bones, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Shovels & Rope, Turkuaz, TUAK, Fruition

Tumble Down
July 28-29
Waterford Park
Burlington, VT
Twiddle (4 sets), Fruition, Madalea, Aqueous, Holly Bowling

The Werk Out Festival
August 3-5
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
The Werks, Gramatik, The Floozies, Dopapod, Dumpstaphunk, Twerkapod doing a tribute to the 90’s, Emancipator

Peach Festival
August 10-13
Montage Mountain
Scranton, PA
Widespread Panic, My Morning Jacket, Gov’t Mule & Friends, Joe Bonamassa, Umphrey’s McGee, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lettuce

Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival
August 11-13
Alta, WY
The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush Band, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Del McCoury Band, The Travelin’ McCoury’s

August 24-27
Arrington, VA
The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, The String Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee, moe, Greensky Bluegrass, John Butler Trio, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, TAUK

Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!