I’ll admit, I have never listened to Avishai Cohen or heard anyone cover any of his songs. However, that didn’t stop me from being interested when I got an invitation via Facebook to see one of Denton’s up-and-coming jazz groups play some great music.
When I first arrived at The Greenhouse, I quickly found that it was a packed house. Granted, I arrived around ten minutes late but I’ve been to The Greenhouse before and it was never this packed. The Ashley Hamer Group played in a nice location, and it was a very in-your-face situation. The set was entirely acoustic with no mikes which had one drawback: I didn’t get to hear the saxophone as well as I wanted to. The name of the band was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t on the invitation, and it was posted nowhere near the bar or anywhere else at The Greenhouse for that matter. It wasn’t until I asked the drummer in the band, Colin Hinton, that I knew they were referred to as The Ashley Hamer Group.
Ashley Hamer – Saxophone
Matt Hornbeck – Guitar
Tim Chernikoff – Keyboard
Julia Adamy – Bass
Colin Hinton – Drums
I noticed right off the bat that Matt Hornbeck has some great chops on the guitar. He was playing some fast runs that require tremendous dexterity with ease. I was rather impressed. The keyboard fit in well with the rest of the band; almost too well. At times, I didn’t even notice what the keyboard was playing until I heard a quick fill or solo. I also noticed that Colin Hinton has a lot of fun playing the drums and seems to be a nice, easy-going kind of person. In fact, the group as a whole seems to be a laid-back group of friends just out having fun loving what they’re doing. Between every song, they could be seen laughing and cutting up with each other. It’s this type of attitude that makes a band great.
The only negative part I can say about the experience is the fact that there wasn’t enough seating to fit the crowd. I had to sit behind a small tree in order to be close enough to the band to hear and see what was going on, but others were less fortunate. I ended up leaving at 11 PM because it became so crowded that people were constantly standing in front of me. I was disappointed, but I had already been impressed by the band and had enough information written down to write this review.
The Ashley Hamer Group is a great 5 piece band. You definitely need to go seem then when you get the chance to. The music they played at The Greenhouse was wonderful, their attitudes are great and they’re good musicians. I regret having to leave early as I’m sure the performance got even better as time went on. I’d love to hear some original tracks and hopefully I’ll be able to hear a few at a performance of theirs in the future.