Patty Carpenter & the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band at Jazz Fridays @ The Lounge

BRATTLEBORO, VT: Friday, April 28, 7-10PM: Patty Carpenter & the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band brings its spicy, Americana, jazz musical gumbo to the Jazz Friday Series at The Lounge in Brattleboro. The band, based in Brooklyn, with origins in Brattleboro, consists of family members Patty Carpenter, Melissa Shetler, Scott Shetler, Travis Light along with Paul Sullivan and Claire Arenius. For more information about the band, photos, videos, streaming music and their albums Come Over and Under My Hat go to www.dfjbmusic.com.

For Patty Carpenter, Melissa Shetler, Scotty Shetler, and Travis Light, it really is a family affair. This foursome stretches their biological connections through to their creative tissue as the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band (DFJB), an incomparable collective with a Jazz, America, Soul, Folk sound. The way they work, the way they live, and the way they make music is an expression of family, through and through.
The multi-faceted nature of their almost three generational family is expressed in their music. Patty composes and plays keyboards and sings. Melissa handles vocals, ukelele, accordion and melodica. Scotty is a wind man on tenor sax, clarinet, baritone, penny whistle, flute and even mandolin. The baby of the family at 27, Travis lays down the bass. The wealth of talent in this gene pool is astonishing, and while they will admit that the inherent tension of working with family increases the drama, it also increases the reward.

The musical mélange here puts the funk in dysfunctional. Patty studied Jazz at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with the great Archie Shepp and Max Roach, and was heavily influenced by many great women artists from Joan Baez and Roseanne Cash to Billie Holiday and Carmen McCrae. Scott was nearly born with a mandolin in his hand and is now a fantastic windbag. He has also scored big as a songwriter, co-writing the Jon Bon Jovi hit "Show Me the Way" with Mighty Sam McClain. Melissa danced to Coltrane from the moment she could walk and has a deep love of African and Latin music and harmony. Travis has had a fascinating journey to discovering his love of the bass guitar. The sound is rounded out with Paul Sullivan on guitar and local favorite Claire Arenius on drums. The soulful, grooving result of this heady mix is kind of crazy, and kind of brilliant.