Infinity Music Hall & Bistro
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Adam Ezra Group with Pat McGee



Fri, December 30, 2022
Hartford, CT
Doors: 7 PM
Show: 8 PM

Ticket INFO

Price: $29 - $44

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Adam Ezra Group

Adam Ezra Group

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Artist Bio

Adam Ezra felt alone. It was March of 2020, and as the COVID-19 pandemic began tightening its deadly grip across the United States, the roots rock stalwart found himself forced off the road for the first time in years, stuck at home with a calendar full of cancelled tour dates and no one to perform for. Concerned by the chaos unfolding around him but certain he wasn’t the only one in search of some kind of solace, Ezra decided to pick up his guitar, turn on his phone, and do what he’d always done in times of worry or doubt: play a show.   

“I just started livestreaming from my house,” Ezra recalls. “It was a way to connect with people, to feel a little less lost, a little less scared. I played and talked for about an hour, and then at the end of the stream, I told everybody, ‘I’ll come back tomorrow if you come back tomorrow.’”  

Ezra kept his promise and then some, returning every single night after that for what he and his fans would eventually come to call The Gathering Series. Interactive and improvisatory, the shows took shape on the fly, drawing on daily life and frequently featuring newly written material and never performed songs from Ezra’s extensive back catalog. Through his own harrowing battle with COVID, a move to the Mojave Desert, a socially distanced summer tour, and even his wedding day, Ezra never missed a performance, broadcasting without fail from wherever he found himself each night at 7pm Eastern. Driven by a belief that small grassroots communities have the power to impact the world, Ezra - who has gone live daily since March 13th 2020 - has reached a cumulative audience of well over 15 million viewers worldwide, a staggering feat for any artist that stands as a testament, not only to his artistic endurance, but also his ability to provide an accepting and supportive space for newcomers joining his tight-knit community of fans during a time when it’s needed more than ever.  

“The people who watch every night, they’re tuning in for me, but they’re also tuning in for each other,” says Ezra. “They’re tuning in for comfort and compassion and connection, but maybe also a sense of normalcy and grounding during this time that seems to be shaking the very foundations of who we’ve always thought we were. As special as The Gathering Series is, I don’t think it could have achieved this kind of success if we didn’t have this incredible fan community around us that is inspired by engagement and activism.”  

Working outside the confines of the traditional music industry, Ezra and his band, the Adam Ezra Group, built that foundation through sheer grit and determination, regularly performing hundreds of shows a year for the past two decades without any major label or mainstream radio support. Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the band first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim for their bold, insightful songwriting and interactive, euphoric performances. From hole in the wall bars and house concerts to sold-out headline shows and dates with the likes of Little Big Town, The Wallflowers, Gavin DeGraw, Train, and The Wailers, Ezra and his bandmates treated every single gig like their last, attracting a die-hard following that believed not just in the music, but in their commitment to activism and social change, as well. Charity events and fundraisers were a regular part of the group’s touring schedule, and each year, thousands of Adam Ezra Group fans would gather in Boston for the band’s homegrown festival, The Ramble, which raised money and marshaled resources to help homeless veterans find safe and dignified housing.  

“With the pandemic raging, 2020 was going to be the first time in ten years that we couldn’t host a Ramble,” says Ezra, “so we decided to incorporate it into The Gathering Series and put on a 24-hour, non-stop livestream. It was a crazy idea, but by the end of it, we had tens of thousands of people rambling with us from around the world and we’d broken our previous fundraising record, collecting enough money to help 64 of our veteran heroes off the streets.”  

While that 24-hour livestream was undoubtedly the most taxing installment of The Gathering Series, finding ways to broadcast a new, unscripted hour of live music every night for a year was rarely easy. In April of 2020, Ezra came down with COVID and found himself so weak he could barely get out of bed to perform. In May of 2020, he and his wife traded Massachusetts for the Mojave, setting up a temporary home base in a cabin outside Joshua Tree, where Ezra would continue to stream daily from the desert. In the warmer months, he and the band cooked up a way to bring The Gathering Series to the real world, performing nearly 100 safe, socially distanced shows in parks and backyards around the country while still managing to go live every night at 7pm.  

Apart from the emotional and physical commitment, playing every night hasn’t been without its logistical challenges as well. “I remember one night I was in a hotel, and the WiFi went out,” says Ezra. “I jumped in the van and just started driving until I found service, and then I pulled over and played the show right there on the side of the road from the driver’s seat. Turned out to be one of my favorite memories looking back on the year.”   

As if over 500 shows since the pandemic started isn’t enough to keep them busy, Ezra and his bandmates—fiddler Corinna Smith, drummer Alex Martin, and bassist Poche Ponce—also embarked on an ambitious new recording series in 2020. Dubbed The Album Project, the endeavor will see the band releasing at least 19 new singles over the next few years, trading in the traditional LP format for a steady flow of fresh material designed to keep their ever-expanding community active and engaged even beyond the pandemic. The series opened up, fittingly enough, with “All Right Today,” an effervescent, feel-good ode to putting one foot in front of the other, to living in the moment and leaning on one another to get through our hardest times.  

“I wrote that song years before COVID,” says Ezra, “but that line, ‘We will be all right today,’ kept coming back to me through this whole experience. It felt like a mantra I continue to lean on right now and the right way to kick this whole thing off.”  

In celebration of their 365th Gathering show, Ezra and the band followed that release up with The Album Project’s second installment, “Switching To Whiskey,” which hints at old-school country and Appalachian folk as it meditates on the power of heartbreak and memory. Like much of Ezra’s catalog, the bittersweet track is intimate and organic, fueled by stripped-down, acoustic instrumentation and the kind of raw, honest vocals that cut straight to the heart of things.  “Switching to Whiskey” has well over 225K streams on Spotify, and a new music video on YouTube.  

“As soon as we started playing that one live, it became one of our most-requested,” says Ezra. “And the beauty of The Album Project is that when our fans are really connecting to something, we can just record it and get it right out to them, because they’re truly the engine behind everything we do.”  

The third release from the project “Devil’s Kiss” released in May 2021, and focuses on Ezra’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, and all of the challenges everyone has faced over the past year.  

What comes next for the Adam Ezra Group? They have started another socially distanced tour and have geared up to start a full routed tour again in June 2021. Perhaps another 24-hour livestream will be in the works? Perhaps something even crazier. The future is anyone’s guess right now, and the only thing the Adam Ezra Group knows for sure, is they’ll be out there making music however and whenever they can.

Pat McGee

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“I never expected any of these legends to say yes, but I figured it was worth a shot,” says PAT MCGEE about his star-studded new self-titled album.  “If nothing else, I wanted them to know that I felt they would have been the perfect band for these songs. I have never been a guy that asked for favors or perks in this business, but on this project I definitely swung for the fences and thought to myself, ‘Why not? The worst they can say is ‘no’.”

Fortunately, the iconic players he had hoped to work with gave him a resounding, “Yes!”   The dream team McGee assembled includes musical legends Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, Waddy Wachtel, Danny Kortchmar,and Jeff Pevar (nicknamed “The Section”). Other notable musicians such as Little Feat’s Paul Barrere, Blues Traveler’s John Popper, Train’s Pat Monahan, Punch brothers’ Gabe Witcheras well as Pat McGee’s own band contributed to the album's sound.

Recorded in Los Angeles in 2014, Pat McGee was influenced by the classic albums of the 1970s that were spun in his childhood home.  “I was inspired to write a record that was not based on a ‘single’ but on the wholeness of the complete album,” Pat explains.  “I was at a friend’s house, listening to what I thought was someone’s playlist on an iPod. When I realized they were spinning full albums on vinyl, I was blown away.  The very next day, I decided to buy a record player and picked up the ten records that lit the fire in meto start playing music, including seminal records by James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Crosby, Stills,and Nash.” 

Channeling the vintage warmth of those recordings, he began writing an album that would have the same timeless quality of singer/songwriter rock from the Laurel Canyon scene of the early 70s.
Once McGee had written enough material for an album, he began to wonder what would happen if he reached out to the musicians who helped to shape his ear. An impossible task, he thought, but he decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it. One by one, the pieces started to fit together and each of them accepted his offer. As though the universe had always intended for this record to be made. “You could tell when we got to the studio that all these guys just loved playing with each other,” McGee recalls. “From the moment that we played the opening warm-up casual jam, I knew that this was going to blow away anything that I could have ever dreamed.”

From the guitar intro of opening track “Bad Idea,” the natural connection between the players was obvious, sounding much more like a band who had been playing together for decades instead of being assembled for just one record. In lieu of the modern process of painstakingly tracking each individual instrument, the band jammed. “I would show them my song idea and they would ask to hear the meaning of the lyric, and 10 minutes later, we had a take on tape,” he says, still in awe of that process.  “We never tracked more than two or three takes before moving onto the next song. In all of these moments, I felt like I was witnessing the creation of an iconic classic rock guitar moment, drum part or bass line--it was happening right before my very eyes. And the fact that these guys were making it happen on songs that I wrote is just still so unbelievable to me.” 

The song “Overboard” features a guest vocal from Train's Pat Monahan, and is a perfect example of how things just fell into place for this album, Pat's fourth solo effort and tenth album overall.  “I've known Pat since 1996 when Train toured with my band and we've kept in touch ever since. Pat knew how important this album was to me, so he offered to sing on the record.”  Written for his wife, the song relays the idea of how he tends to go overboard with his feelings for her and his family, at times leading to vulnerable moments. “I was so inspired by listening to those old vinyl records that everything truly just flowed out of me. 

Extremely proud of this record, McGee is hard-pressed to choose a favorite track.  “I'm sure any artist is going to say this but it’s hard to pick a favorite,” he says. “Certainly there are musical moments that really put a smile on my face, like the mood of ‘Caroline’,  the vibe of ‘Four-Door Dynamo’,  the funk chops of ‘Kite String’ and the harmonies throughout the entire album from Patrick McAloon and Jonathan Williams…”

McGee started his professional music career in 1995 as leader of Pat McGee Band, touring relentlessly for over ten years all over the United States, including one stretch doing 98 shows in 103 days. The band, dubbed PMB by legions of adoring fans, sold out venues all over the US and shared stages with The Who, Allman Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Counting Crows, Rat Dog, Levon Helm & more.  Pat McGee Band even performed for President Clinton. 

A big supporter of the US military and all that they do, McGee performed for the USO in Greenland as well as in The Middle East and Africa with Navy Entertainment.  McGee and his band were also granted the opportunity to land on The USS Eisenhower to play for 5000 brave men and women serving on the Arabian Sea, certainly a career highlight.  “My support of the Navy Entertainment and the USO feels, to me, something that every musician or artist or entertainer should be embracing,” McGee says. “I did not grow up in a military family, although my father did serve in Vietnam and to know the years he spent away from my sister while she was young is something I can relate to when meeting the troops overseas. These experiences have really shed some light on how incredibly difficult their jobs are.  The men and women I've met while doing these tours really inspire you to go home and strive to be a better person.”

Reflecting back on this opus he’s created with these iconic performers, Pat McGee is proud of what he’s accomplished. “It sure feels good to have a record out right now that I want to share with everyone, and not just because they are songs that I wrote,” he explains.  “I truly believe that all of the musicians that played on this album need to be credited for what they do.  That seems to be lost in the modern music listening atmosphere.” 

“It's not just that these guys are masters on their instruments, because they certainly are that, it's that their natural instinct is to put the perfect part down to whatever song they're working on. That is why they have lasted over 50 years in this business. It's just remarkable that they're such a cornerstone of the sound of the American songwriter,” McGee says humbly.  These new recordings are an indication that McGee has gained the acceptance and approval of his heros, an enviable feat in modern music.


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