'Psychedelic dance band' perform for Iowa City


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The Kyle Hollingsworth Band has been known to play funk. But the four-piece group isn't afraid to jump into different styles, always keeping space for jamming.

"What I've been doing is more funk side of stuff, but I dip into some bluegrass and afro-beat," Hollingsworth said. "It's very danceable."

He and his crew will roll into Iowa City with a performance at 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St. Admission is $10.

A group from St. Louis, Messy Jiverson, will also play. Bass player John Carpenter describes the outfit as a "psychedelic dance band."

"There are definitely a lot of people getting down on the dance floor. Getting positive," Carpenter said in describing his band's live shows. "[We're] just thrilled to be part of what [Hollingsworth is] doing."

Hollingsworth and his band are based in Boulder, Colo. — a long way from where he grew up, Baltimore. So far, he said, moving west has been a great fit for his lifestyle.

"[There's] so much sky; it's so sunny all the time," he said. "Coming out here, I was like, 'Man, I don't want to go back to that place.' I do miss the ocean and the water."

When he was a kid, Hollingsworth's parents forced him to take piano lessons, and after learning that instrument for a while, he became fascinated with rock music. His parents supported his passion, which helped him get to where he is today. It wasn't easy, though.

"I just got really lucky," he said. "I got addicted to rehearsing. I sneaked into the piano studios and rehearse for hours before shows."

The piano player used his musical talent in the ever-inventive jam band String Cheese Incident. Formed in the early '90s, the band built a special bond of musicianship that made its novel sounds possible.

"Having played with these guys for so long, you're playing with your best friends — you know how they're going to react," Hollingsworth said. "Having a wide palette of musical taste and abilities, it makes us more creative. The jam doesn't get stale."

Making sure the jams are fresh is one element Hollingsworth has brought to his own music project. There is room for freedom in the rhythms, as well as in his lyrics, which is displayed on his newest album, Then There's Now.

"I was trying to be a little bit funny," he said. "A lot of the songs are about inspired moments."

He has a strong desire to perform on stage. Growing up, he was an actor before he fell in love with music.

"Being in the moment on stage, anything can happen. Living on the edge a little bit," he said. "Live performance gives us a chance to jump off the edge. I probably have an addiction to performing."

The keyboardist said String Cheese Incident is back together, planning shows for next year. For now, though, Hollingsworth enjoys where he is in music.

"I love where my band is right now — we're super tight," he said. "Life on the road is great. Different from with String Cheese. We're old school."

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