Delhi 2 Dublin, Kyle Dillingham, Sol Driven Train, Lao Tizer Band


Delhi 2 Dublin (l-r): Serena Eades, Sanjay Seran, Ravi Binning, and Tarun Nayar.

By Mike Ritchie

On August 9, the Dayton Levitt Pavilion opened for its inaugural season, bringing a multi-cultured series of free concerts to downtown Dayton. The tunes began with Gina Chavez and will end with Derik Nelson & Family on October 7. During the upcoming weekend, crowds will be entertained by the diverse sounds of Vancouver’s Delhi 2 Dublin, Oklahoma’s Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road, South Carolina’s Sol Driven Train, the Los Angeles-based Lao Tizer Band. Phew!      

Delhi 2 Dublin vocalist Sanjay Seran talks about the band’s history. “Initially when the music started it was very much Indian [influenced] with Irish music and electric and reggae beats.” The music spans Delhi to Dublin and everything in between encompassing the world of electronic dance including Punjabi and dubstep. They started at a Celtic festival in Vancouver as a collaboration. “The night we played was called Delhi to Dublin.” They kept the name. The initial performance had four Irish dancers, two fiddlers, Seran singing Punjabi with electronic DJ’s. 

They’ve put in over 12 years with a lineup strong in percussion with violin, keys, and vocals. Their live show is all about love and energy. “Our energy on stage is a very lively mixture of sound that sounds coherent,” Seran says. “We’re in it, living it every day.” Though the experience may be perceived differently between fan and band, they welcome feedback and live reaction. This month will be their first time playing in Ohio.

They’ve been road-testing new material, playing Canada in the fall leading up to the new album. “We hit some of the smaller markets and we’ll hit the bigger markets next year,” Seran says. Their schedule of touring a few weeks at a time fits their home life. “It’s nice to go on tour then come back instead of taking months and months off then touring hard. It fits well for our schedule.”      

They play positive worldly vibes but have experimented with darker aspects of electronic music while staying lyrically upbeat. Seran says members of De La Soul are fans of their music. “The guy from De La Soul is listening to us on the regular, that’s pretty sick.” They’ve also been on shows with Questlove.

Their music attracts all kinds of fans including winning over a diehard metalhead in Portland. “I feel like a lot of people who listen to metal appreciate good musicianship,” Seran says. “It’s so operatic. He appreciated what he heard.” People don’t expect it, being part dance club, part love-in, with a refreshing mix of unexpected ingredients. “We hit them on the head for an hour-and-a-half, like a DJ set,” Seran says of the live experience. “Levitt shows have a built-in audience, it should be good. It’s a family vibe too, for all ages. We’ve seen everything from kids to 80-year-olds. That’s super interesting and creates an awesome vibe.”   

Kyle Dillingham (center) & Horseshoe Road (Brent Saulsbury, left, and Peter Markes).

Friday the 17th brings Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road’s folky Americana sounds to the Levitt. For over 20 years, Dillingham has been one of the foremost fiddle players in the world, having performed in 36 countries, including playing for royalty and heads of state, earning him the title “Oklahoma’s Musical Ambassador.”  Originally from Enid, he started playing at the age of 9, and by 17 he’d found his way to performing on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Since then he’s toured with his own band, Horseshoe Road, and been a guest soloist with numerous orchestras. Expect a lively show with a surprising  selection of traditional, popular, and original songs.

Sol Driven Train plays on Saturday, August 18. “I understand this is a brand new space in Dayton,” guitarist and vocalist Joel Timmons says. “That’s exciting and totally cool to see.”

Their show is 90% originals and a few covers. “We cover some of our heroes like Paul Simon and David Bowie with a mix across the board.” Their sound includes funk, folk and country like a street band mixed with Lynyrd Skynyrd but they’re all South Carolina proud and yes, they’ve played some Skynyrd, doing “Simple Man” a few years ago.

Sol Driven Train (l-r): Russell Clarke, Matty Thompson, Wes Powers, Joel Timmons, and Ward Buckheister.

The train started in 2000. “The first four or five years, we were a hobby, while in school,” Timmons says. “In 2005, we quit our jobs and went on the road.” They toured for the next decade, scaling back when the road rigors became too much.

Their name came from a lyric from saxophonist Russell Clarke about a soul driven train, dropping the U, in reference to the sun in Spanish.

From reggae to New Orleans funk, their show brings an eclectic mix. “For this next chapter we’re really enjoying playing live and on stage.” The show will be loose and improvisational.

Timmons started playing young with family support, learning at school, progressing through college. He’ll always play music and write songs in some capacity. “I feel Sol Driven Train’s weathered so many different storms already. We’ll be around for a long time. As long as it’s fun we’ll keep
doing it.”

Based in Los Angeles via Boulder, Colorade, The Lao Tizer Band brings their instrumental show with guest vocals to Dayton on Sunday, August 19. Described as instrumental jazz-rock with world dance fusion or progressive jazz rock, it’s a mix of everything.

The Lao Tizer Band (l-r): Cheikh Ndoye, Ric Fierabracci, Munyungo Jackson, Tita Hutchison, Chieli Minucci, Lao Tizer, Gene Coye, Steve Nieves, Karen Briggs, Jeff Marshall, and Eric Marienthal.

Songs from the Swinghouse is their ninth release. Tizer started young, doing self-produced records in high school and releasing his first at 15. “I grew up in a household with a diverse set of musical tastes,” he says. His dad’s record collection was vast with plenty to choose from. “I had a knack for composition before I started piano lessons. I started with classical music, but I always write my own stuff.”

He might try singing someday. “I’m not someone gifted that way,” he says. “It’s something you develop over time. I just play piano. It keeps me very busy.”

The new record is the first time they’ve done covers with a vocalist. “It was time to make a foray into the vocal realm,” Tizer says. They covered Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On”, U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and Cat Stevens’ “Sad Lisa” with Tita Hutchison on vocals. “We made them sound like originals. To work with a vocalist was really cool. I like the balance it brings to the show.” When Hutchison’s on the show, it’s 50% vocals and 50% instrumental. “In Dayton we’ll have the vocals with us.”

Led Zeppelin and U2 were chosen because, “I always believed cover something close to you that means something on a creative level.” Those were tunes he grew up with. “Also jazz groups tend to cover Mo-Town, R&B and soul,” Tizer says. “When’s the last time you heard a jazz group take a swing at Zeppelin or U2? Thinking outside the box can expose you to a variety of other ideas. I believe in breaking down barriers of genres. I’m super pleased with how the tunes go over with audiences, everyone knows Zeppelin. The response has been killer.”

They love what the Levitt Foundation does, bringing quality and diversity to the community. Locally they’ve played the Dayton Jazz Festival and Fraze Pavilion. “Expect a set of high energy, diverse, entertaining music with world class musicians.” They’re proud to be part of the inaugural season of the Levitt in Dayton.   

For more information on artists, schedules, and venue information, go to levittdayton.org. Concerts start at 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and 3p.m. Sunday. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, as are food and drink (no glass bottles), and umbrellas. Food truck availability will vary. The Levitt Dayton is located at 134 S. Main St.   

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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