Spend Some Time With the Family

The fall season comes in two stages in CU. At first, fall rides in on the coattails of summer, with the occasional day in the high 80s. However, after Thanksgiving break, when the students return to campustown, the arctic breeze cuts like a knife.
Leaves that were once crunchy and fun to step on are now mushy from the frigid November rain (no Guns ‘n Roses reference intended). But, one thing that held true throughout the fall semester this year was a consistent dose of Family Groove Company. Their upcoming show December 7th at Canopy Club marks the third Canopy Club performance by the band – in the fall semester alone!
Headlining a Halloween show with Chicago’s 56 Hope Road and Charleston’s The Fuz, FGC played a one-of-a-kind set, dressed as Elton John, for throngs of costumed concertgoers.
“Our touring schedule is hectic during the school year,” explained Jordan Wilkow, FGC lead singer and keyboard player, in an interview with buzz. “We were usually out of town from Thursday through Sunday, so we only had about three nights a week to get that set down. We had a blast with the material, though it is more poppy than what we typically play.”
Wilkow and guitarist Adam Lewis have been playing together since they were in high school. “We were in a band that had six or seven guys and we called ourselves Family Groove Company,” explained Wilkow. “We met Janis [Wallin, bass] and Mattias [Blanck, drums] at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, and when returned our home base to Chicago, a lot of people remembered the name. These days, the word groove is a bit overused, but it stuck. We weren’t about to make up some nonsense word to call ourselves.”
With local festivals such as Strip Mines Festival and Summer Camp booking Family Groove Company for multiple sets, it is clear that the band energizes crowds with their expressive style and attracts a copious fan following. The thirst for authentic, talented musicians never wavers in the Midwest, which played a large role in deciding to call Chicago home.
“Chicago is a great place to anchor a band. The West Coast is too spread out, and different music scenes are far away,” Wilkow said. From Chicago we can reach the northeast, southeast, and all the way out to Colorado. The midwest has a large number of markets within a few hours drive.”
While Jordan’s lightning-quick fingers titillate the keys of his B3 organ and Fender Rhodes, Adam drives the main riff to Mattias’ never-faltering tempo, and Janis holds down the low end with seemingly effortless precision. Fans of jazz, funk, blues,and rock alike can get down, dirty and funky with FGC’s self-proclaimed “groove informed jazz/rock,” rooted in Chicago’s diverse musical history.

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