Hot Seats heat it up with comedy, music

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GARDINER — The Hot Seats,  a band with a name that connotes the frenetic frenzy they can whip up, will perform at Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center, 280 Water St., Gardiner at 7:30 p.m., April 2.

This band from Virginia plays old-timey music, ragtime, jugband, bluegrass, and cracks you up with comedy, too. They’ve just returned from a tour overseas, and perform here at their only Maine show. If you don’t have a blast, it we’ll refund your money, it claims in the Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center news release.

The Hot Seats’ intentions are to keep the role of traditional musician as entertainer and commentator alive and kicking. Homer and Jethro, The Skillet Likkers, George Formby, Harry Reser, Woodie Guthrie, Gus Cannon, Phil Ochs, Tommy Jarrell, Arthur Smith, Uncle Dave Macon, Frank Zappa – these are pools from which The Hot Seats draw.

Their original music is simultaneously hard to classify and instantly identifiable, combining the virtuosic solos and tightness of bluegrass, the band-driven rhythm of old- time, the jerky bounce of ragtime, and the swagger of good old rock ‘n’ roll. Add some eastern melodies, a few modernist ideals, and an uncanny feel for comic timing, and you begin to approach this sound.

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While striving to push tradition forward, the band takes great pride in its  ability to play within a tradition’s style as well as without. Ultimately, the Hot Seats are most concerned with making the music that they want to hear and playing in the manner that is most entertaining to themselves; the fact that audiences and critics alike have embraced it is almost a wonderful coincidence.

Ticket prices are: Adult $14; Johnson Hall Member $12; Student with ID $5. Reserve tickets early, as seating is limited. Johnson Hall can be reached at 582-7144, or info@johnsonhall.org .

Listen to them at http://thehotseats.net/ or http://www.myspace.com/thehotseatsrva . The show supporter is Joel Davis & Associates, a private wealth-advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services. At intermission, desserts, coffee and concession items will be offered for sale.

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