by Jaclyn Killins
During a recent Acorn Rangers show at Hunter’s Ale House the keyboard player of Loudlove, Emile Leitch, who was seriously wounded in a car accident this summer, sat in for a song. Jaws dropped and eyes bugged out around the bar as they laid out a steaming funky jam. In the middle of it all, Leitch started bleeding from the head. They tried to slow down for him but the guy wouldn’t stop. “He was nuts man, he was rad,” Tim said.
The Acorn Rangers are an instrumental funk band with influences of rock and trance. Most of their songs are improvised, lending their music a spontaneity that makes for extremely entertaining live show.
It is the nature of the jam band to feed off the crowd, and if they get a good crowd dancing in front of them the Acorn Rangers can cook just like the woodstove that is their namesake.
The band is made up of two DJs, bass player Gerard MacInnis is GboxJellyfish and guitar player Tim Kelly is Tom Kruz. Matt Harper, the drummer of Island rock band Intoxicado, rounds out the trio on the drums.
Blake Gagnon was the original Acorn Ranger drummer. When Matt, a punk rock drummer replaced him the sound became heavier.
Gerard plays with a funky, slap bass style similar to Flea of the Red Hot Chili peppers.
Tim owes his musical abilities to his Grammy who taught him to play piano as a boy.
After ten years, Acorn Rangers has become somewhat of a side project that just won’t die. They keep it going with a “Let’s party” attitude. A bunch of gigs this summer alongside bands such as The Mystery System and Disco Rockin Llamas put some wood on the fire, so hopefully they’ll be burning on into the fall and winter.
When they all worked together at the same company they set up their gear in an empty office and took every chance to play. “We’d just wait until everyone left and bust out some tunes,” Tim said. Sometimes they would even sneak in after hours to jam.
They’ve played together so long they have developed a sense of timing that makes their jams tight yet carefree. “If it wasn’t fun we wouldn’t do it,” Gerard said.
Look for the Acorn Rangers at local bars and parties and check out GboxJellyfish and Tom Kruz at DJ night on Saturday at the Night Cap.