The Hip Abduction: Continents collide in a sunny, genre-spanning sound
(All this week, we’re spotlighting tbt*’s 2012 Ultimate Local Artists on Soundcheck. Today: The Hip Abduction.)
Tampa Bay area world-beat band The Hip Abduction takes its name from what occurs when the leg is moved away fro the body, as in a side kick.
Hip abduction can also occur during other activities such as walking or dancing or …
“You can take it wherever you want,” singer-guitarist David New says with a laugh, acknowledging the possibility of a sexual connotation.
In reality, though, the source is more mundane.
“I went to the gym once and saw the hip abduction machine and that’s where I got the idea,” New says.
The band’s music, though, is anything but run-of-the-mill.
Propelled by Chris Powers’ dub-reggae influenced bass and drummer Pat Hernly’s array of percussion instruments, The Hip Abduction unleashes waves of rhythms drawn from Africa and the Caribbean.
Saxophonist Dave Johnson and trumpeter Kevin D. Clark add infectious horn lines and hooks — check the contrast of Johnson’s spry baritone sax and Clark’s plaintive trumpet on the track to the band’s 2010 debut CD, Home Again.
New’s songs weave the exotic rhythms into Western pop, ensuring that The Hip Abduction will appeal to casual listeners as well as world beat fanatics.
Paul Chlapowski (keyboards), Vinny Euliano (vibes, percussion), Pat Klemawesch (kora, percussion, vocals) and Matt Poynter (drums) round out he band’s full-strength lineup. (Hernly, Clark and Euilano are absent when the band plays outside the Tampa Bay region).
New’s infatuation with African and Caribbean music began with his parents Paul Simon records. The Virginia native researched Simon’s influences and a love of world music began.
New spent a couple of years in the Bahamas, teaching sailing and scuba diving while absorbing reggae rhythms from a Jamaican radio station, the only one his radio could pick up.
He returned to the states but discovered he’d contracted a severe case of island fever, making Virginia’s winters unbearable.
“I missed the sun and being close to the water,” he says. He chose Tampa as his next destination and moved south about five years ago.
Playing solo proved unfulfilling. “There were a lot of tourists and lot of request for Jimmy Buffett,” he says. “So I slowly picked up guys who were intrigued by the by these styles of music and put together a band that wanted to play original music.”
Since then The Hip Abduction has built a steady following in the Bay area and beyond. It has released two albums, Home Again and 2011’s One Less Sound.
The band is gearing up to record for its third album. “For the first time we are writing an album as opposed to a collection of songs written within a particular time span,” New says.
New adds that the new material sports more Brazilian sounds and that electronic influences also are more to the fore. Recording should take place this summer.
-- Curtis Ross, tbt*. Photo/video: Leah Mills, tbt*