Using influences from blues, soul and ‘90s music, Los Angeles-based band Caught A Ghost is looking to capture the spirit of the crowd.
The name Caught A Ghost comes from an old saying from blues musicians, Jesse Nolan, lead singer and songwriter of the band, said.
“They’d say that if you’re feeling the spirit, when you’re playing, you’ve caught a ghost. That’s what music feels like whether that’s live and the fans are lifting you up, or in the studio,” Nolan said. “It describes channeling decades and decades of influence into what you’re playing.”
Caught A Ghost, which is set to open for Wild Belle Tuesday at A&R Music Bar, tends to incorporate “decades and decades” of different influences and genres into its music, which can cause some confusion for listeners.
“A problem we’re having is people on the radio, or Internet, aren’t really sure what to call it. They call it like some kind of throwback type stuff, but it still is contemporary, so I don’t know,” Nolan said.
But given Caught A Ghost’s diverse influences, a little bit of confusion on the critics’ part may be understandable.
“I guess (for inspiration), there’s American soul music, Motown music. There’s been a ton of that music referenced in little guitars ideas and fun lines, and that kind of stuff. But then there’s also the ‘90s rap production style, Dre and Timbaland, and that’s pretty influential to me as well,” Nolan added.
Caught A Ghost is a project that started out in Nolan’s basement. At first, Nolan was the only one involved, but it has since grown to include up to eight members at a time for local shows, and up to four or five at a time while on tour.
The band utilizes horns, percussion, guitar, bass and synthesizer. Members include Nolan, Stephen Edelstein, Tessa Thompson, Erik Hughes, Tim McKay, Michael Czaja, Brandon Smith, Justin Glass and Keith Patterson.
“It’s kind of a rotating cast of characters,” Nolan said. “It’s designed to be scaled up and down and use as many people whenever possible. It’s kind of exciting. You don’t know what’s going to happen with that large number. But when there’s a smaller show, everybody’s role is more important. A full band is like a suit of armor. If someone messes up no one will notice, but fewer people is fun because it can be leaner and tighter.”
The band’s unconventional growth and reduction is all a part of the musical experience though, Nolan said.
“I always keep my eye out for people that I want to play with, or people I want to collaborate in the studio with. You never know where you’re going to find these people,” Nolan said.
Caught A Ghost started touring this fall, promoting their debut album “Human Nature,” which released in April. The group has played at South by Southwest and has tour dates lined up across the country through May and the beginning of June — from Louisville, Ky. to San Diego.
A&R Music Bar is located at 391 Neil Ave. The concert is for all ages, and tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show.
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