It has become a tradition for Georgia jam band Perpetual Groove to come down to the Culture Room each winter for a two-night run. Fans make a vacation out of it, organizing online, booking adjacent rooms, and hitting the beach in between nights of Southern rock and synth-infused jamming from the band. "We usually make it a pretty ritualistic thing when we come down to the Culture Room," says frontman Brock Butler. "We love it so much."
This year, the band will be bringing an element to South Florida that is both fresh and familiar. Founding keyboardist Matt McDonald is back with the band, replacing John Hruby, whom County Grind spoke with last year ahead of the annual shows.
"[John] just wasn't feeling the life on the road anymore," says Butler. "I would never want anybody to feel like it's an albatross around their neck."
According to Butler, the change has been a loving and peaceful one, and there are no hard feelings. He says he looks forward to having Hruby, who has returned to his teaching job, sit in with the band in the future, as McDonald did from time to time after he left the band. "Everybody is where they should be," he says.
As far as having McDonald back in the group goes, Butler says, it's been easy getting back into the groove with the man with whom he shared the tough beginnings. "When you've been through the trenches with somebody, you develop these bonds that I wouldn't even have the ability to define in words."
And he had this to say about the sound: "Matt brings a little bit more of a tapestry of tone colors, so it is a thicker sound in areas. And I think that affects my playing as well. Having the thicker blanket of tone colors to dance on is nice."
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Fans should expect some experimentation as the group plays around with the renewed formation. That aspect, combined with the built-in enthusiasm that comes along with P Groove Culture Room shows, ought to make for a fun and interesting weekend.
Perpetual Groove. With Consider the Source. 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $15 to $25. Click here.