I’ve been thinking about love a lot lately, not the romantic kind, but the everyday kind.
I’ve been thinking about love a lot lately, not the romantic kind, but the everyday kind. The kind of love I’m talking about is truly radical love – love given freely, openly, generously, to everyone, everyday – without conditions or expectations. So when I got to talk to Nikki Glaspie, the completely badass female drummer of The Nth Power, I wasn’t surprised, but was definitely delighted to hear that kind of radical love is what their music is all about.
The funky-jam-Jazzy quartet met up at a late night jam session at Jazzfest in New Orleans four years ago, and according to Glaspie, it immediately felt natural.
“It was love – you know, we just sat down and it felt right, and we’ve just been loving it ever since,” she said.
The lineup has changed a bit since that first jam session, as Nigel Hall (keys) left the band and Courtney “Jay Mel” Smith (Vocals/Keys) and Weedie Brahman (percussion) joined Glaspie. Nate Edgar (bass), and Nick Cassarino (vocals & guitar), came aboard in their second year and they became a quintet – yet again, during a jam session at Jazzfest.
Glaspie said that’s a big part of why playing at Jazzfest is her best memory with the band thus far.
The Nth Power (named for the first initial of the original four members), have been touring almost non-stop, and have climbed their way through the lineups of the festival scene at an exponential rate over the last two years.
All the band members are based across the East Coast, but they maintain New Orleans as their “spiritual home.” The group released their first full-length studio album Abundance in September 2015.
I first caught them at Camp Barefoot 9 last summer. After an amazing set on the Woodland stage from RVA’s own Jackass Flats (featuring members of People’s Blues of Richmond), our Camp Richmond contingent made its way to The Camel stage, all pulled magnetically toward the deepest of grooves.
The band’s energy was electric, with every member completely tuned in to the others. We smiled, watching as the band took us along as they skipped together down a complicated, layered, and infectious yellow brick road.
Together, they wove an expansive tapestry from Cassarino’s funktastic-reggae-infused bass riffs; Glaspie’s compelling drums; Cassarino’s precise – yet emotive, guitar; Smith’s melodic keys; and the generations-deep foundation of Brahman’s percussion.
We all, and I mean hundreds of people, travelled with them to an Emerald City where radical love was the rule.
Here’s the secret to The Nth Power’s epic rise through the festival ranks: Their music sonically inspires the flow of unselfconscious and honest, radical love.
“We’re all people with thoughts and souls and lives – we love each other and the music, and we just want to get that love to as many people as possible,” she said.
And that’s what it’s all about. Fresh from Fool’s Paradise, The Nth Power will be at The Camel tonight. Show starts at 9 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.