Indianapolis’ Pushing Daisy’s Band will take to the Riverwalk stage on Saturday, August 28, bringing their mix of psychedelic jam music and ’70s funk to Kokomo.
The band recently released their debut album, “Psychedelic Funk from Outer Space”, and are currently touring the area. Last weekend they performed at the Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois alongside artists like Here Come the Mummies, Ween, Umphrey’s McGee and moe.
The band started in Indianapolis in 2014 with the various members playing talent shows, said guitarist and vocalist Max Heyob. Upon entering college, they became more serious and started creating their own original songs. The current six-man squad have been together for nearly three years.
“Since then, we’ve moved into the improvisational aspect of live music and solidified our sound with the kind of funk rock and psychedelic energy you hear on the album,” Heyob said.
Each of the six members brings a unique musical taste to the group, and although the underlying layer of their sound is solid psychedelic jam music, on top of that listeners can hear influences such as George Clinton or the drumming of the Latin and Caribbean music.
As for recording the album, the band booked the Indianapolis postal tapings in December 2019 and had a selection of songs prepared when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“Once COVID hit, we took a step back and reassessed everything,” Heyob said. “A lot of those songs didn’t even make it onto the album. COVID – in a dramatic and somewhat dark way – became an inspiration to us writing wisely. It allowed us to experiment and develop. exploring in the rehearsal room because we weren’t really going to show those songs to anybody. Or play those songs for a long time.
COVID is a theme that runs throughout the album but is never more inherent than on the first song, “Personal Space.” “I just want to hold your hand every day,” Heyob sings. “But for now, you will stay six feet away.”
COVID has also brought the challenge of keeping their name in the local music world. Getting noticed in a bustling music scene like Indianapolis is hard enough, but being locked away from a live audience doesn’t help. During the lockdown, the group saw a group of Connecticut jam rockers named Goose perform drive-in concerts and record the shows for posting online. This inspired Pushing Daisy’s Band to make their own videos. Bassist Mark Stinnett made several animated shorts, and they also uploaded song breakdowns and acoustic versions and saw their social media increase.
Heyob credits COVID-19 for at least giving them the opportunity to sit down both as a collective and as individuals and focus on mastering the ideas they wanted to bring to life on the album and on stage.
Now Pushing Daisy’s Band is back to gigs and ready to perform for Kokomo. Heyob promises the town some great grooves and interesting covers mixed in with their new original songs, saying the band members’ wide range of tastes often leads to surprise appearances of songs by musician Thundercat or bands like The Police, Hot Chocolate and the Grandfathers of Psychedelic Jams, The Grateful Dead.
The Riverwalk Stage is located behind The Foxes Trail Restaurant at 305 S. Main St. The show is free and open to all ages and runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Food and beer will be available for purchase.