Oddfellows is a psychedelta stew from Lafayette, Louisiana. Their music is a multi-genre monster that is a combination of R&B, rock/jam rock, blues fusion, and driving rhythms. The band is made up of guitarist/vocalist John Erik Core, bassist Charles Ropp, percussionist Austin Bailey, keyboardist Sammy Graf, and guitarist Matt Leleux.
O Mother of the Muddy Shores,
Why hath thy come?
What news doth thou bring?
"From the ashes a fire shall be woken"
At the beginning of 2011 a Council of Five held court and Oddfellows came into existence. After two years of building a following through performances near and far, the band released a live-recorded EP in February of 2013. Going forward, the group grew in number and versatility with a full-time keyboardist and a secondary percussionist.
In the August month of 2013 the band started recording an album at Smoke Bend Studios in Crowley. Just short of a year in the studio brought the near finish of the album but also a break in the fellowship. The hands of Change are swift and the original vocalist, guitarist, and new percussionist parted from Oddfellows. Thus the Seven became the Four.
Here paths had vanished, and many a rider and wanderer too.
Austin Bailey the Brave with his Sticks of the Unseen Forces returned to the Tall Woods to seek counsel.
Samuel Graf the Strong with his Keys of the Sky Dwellers made preparations to set sail again the Western Seas.
Charles Ropp the Wise with his Bass of the Pyramids stood high upon the mountain peak and cast his gaze to the North, South, West, and lastly East.
And John Core the Elfstone with his Electric Wand and Sorcerer's Slide vanished, and none ever knew for sure where the Night passed him.
But lo! The new risen sun brings a summon from The Mouth Which Speaks No Language. Once again a Council of Five was met one early summer's morn. Here sat John of Core, Austin of Bailey, Samuel of Graf, Charles of Ropp, and old companion Matthew of LeLeux whose eight arms bore many things.
The fate of the fellowship sat on the fence of discussion. Then, all at once the Five spoke as they heard the One Voice, "Should Oddfellows fall to ruin and be but a fleeting memory? Nay," they said. "For the Earth is yet changed and much is there still to do. To the Swamp-Lands you must go. A cabin shall be your shelter and the Great Mother your guide." And so the first ever concert at the Green Theatre in Butte La Rose was held that very day. No man, save only one handful, was in attendance that day yet countless danced and sang for magick was in the air and the Swamp is much alive.
So the Oddfellows dwelled in the Swamp-Lands and much was the fruit of their stay. Under the shade of cypress trees the Alligator King shared knowledge of the ages for he has endured many Earth-year. Daughter-River appeared to each and left misery and happiness in her wake. She waltzed where the sun sails and the moon walks, yet her heart was stored far under the living Earth where time is not counted. Adam of Man was ever-present. Sometimes for days in physical form yet sometimes only in spirit. Always he brought insight for he is born of the Earth but forever seeks the other dimensions. Others were welcomed to the fellowship whether by fate or chance, with peace and new music followed.
And on the last evening the Great Mother opened the Milky Way and the Five gazed into distant galaxies and understood. Morning told of rain to come and there was a breath of air and a noise of wind, but it had a sad sound. "Back to the lands you once did know!"
Leaving the Swamp and returning to Crowley the band had a purpose and vision. A one room house without sun or moon was sacrificed for a jam space and recording studio. Thus the debut album's recording was begun.
O Queen of the Muddy Shores,
What is yet come?
Is mine seat reserved on high?
"Life is a mirror of confusion!! Live in the magic of now! LOVE NOW! This you remember!! LOVE NOW!"
By opening for national acts including The Revivalists and Nothing More, Oddfellows have built a strong local/regional following.
They have performed at venues around Louisiana including Artmosphere, Grant Street Dancehall, Jefferson Street Pub, The Howlin Wolf, and The District. They have also performed in Austin, TX at venues including Hotel Vegas, Gypsy Lounge, Lucky Lounge, and Posse East.
In 2012, Oddfellows made their festival debut at South By Southwest in Austin, TX. As well as returning to SXSW the following year in 2013. They have also performed at festivals within the state including Festival International de Louisiane and The International Rice Festival.
Influences: The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, My Morning Jacket, Radiohead, and different variations of rock music from the early sixties to present-day.