I grabbed a cup of coffee with two-thirds of the Boulder organ trio, Fleedami. I’d say more, but they said everything for me.
So your website has a pretty crazy origin story on it. Where does the myth come from?
Jeremy Ciamp: So, Ryan and I had been playing together for a really long time and trying to find the right person to play the drums with us, never finding the right person, someone who was great at one thing, but not another. Ryan’s a really patient person and I’m a really impatient person, so I booked a show before we had a drummer. I had a guy in mind, that’s Greg, our drummer now, and we didn’t have anywhere to practice. I was working during the day, doing carpentry stuff.
Ryan Tipton: I was working for this hippie church up in Ned.
JC: So, Ryan had this church we could practice in … We were so poor, so we needed to do this car share at the cheapest possible, latest time.
RT: So we put the organ in the truck — drum set, guitar, amps and piano. — strap it in, pat it and say it’s gonna hold.
JC: Then drive up the canyon. By the time we unloaded all the gear it’d be, like, one in the morning. So that was the first time we’d played as a trio. Greg and I had been playing on the street. We were playing with Hot Club of Pearl Street … Ryan and Greg had never played together. We got up there and we just freaked out for four hours ’til the sun came up in this great mountain church. We went up there a few times a week to get ready for the show. I’m always eager to play a show and Ryan’s always wise enough to know we should work a little harder. We were up at the church nightly, with two hours of sleep, and I was banging nails during the day. The name (Fleedami) came out of the sun coming up, we’re getting back to Ryan’s house, we were throwing around all this garbage — like The Tell. Pretentious stuff.
RT: Looking through novels.
JC: He said, ‘We need something that doesn’t mean anything.’ The name is something that I’ve been saying since I was 12 years old, but didn’t mean anything. It made sense because it didn’t mean anything, so no one could say you’re any one thing.
So the story is mostly true?
JC: Yeah. Well, we didn’t technically steal the truck, so that part isn’t true.
Define “down home rivershack funk” for me.
JC: We played in a lot of shacks and shit. We played at this place in Denver that was a total shack.
RT: I think it was mostly transients in there.
JC: I almost got mugged outside, but I didn’t have any money to give the guy. We played in a lot of shitty places … and me playing music all started with my dad and people I grew up with would hang out by the river and play music around the campfire. So it’s just a bunch of words in a row. I think the ideal for us would be a little shack down in the bayou or the swamps or something that’s sinking into the ground.
RT: People in and out, eating, barbecuing. I think MMW (Medeski Martin & Wood) started in like, Hawaii, and having shack parties and they just crushed and people kept coming back. They’d just get weird all night long.
JC: Just people getting weird with us would be ideal. But the Lazy Dog is cool too.
For those who might be skeptical of the idea of an organ trio: What makes it great?
RT: It’s a little gospel. A little Mississippi black church in there. There’s gonna be… what else?
JC: The organ trio is typically just a jazz-funk sound, but for us — or for me — I was a songwriter, so the organ trio was this way of taking simple rock songs giving them some real soul and some meat to go with the potatoes. Yeah, hopefully they can be skeptical and come anyway.
Are you recording at all?
RT: I think what people will see and hear now is three individual’s music from age one to 25, and going forward, people are going to hear what the band identity is. Right now, you hear the life of three musicians and that’s what makes it cool.
JC: As it gets cold out, we’ll hunker down in the house — we all live together — instead of preparing for shows, just be ourselves and make more music.
Anything you want to add?
RT: If you wanna help move a Hammond organ, please contact the band.