The Congress comes to Mojo’s

And by "Congress," we mean the soulful rock ‘n’ roll Denver trio, of course.

By Tim Nwachukwu | Aug. 14, 2012

Tags: Music


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On Aug. 21, The Congress will visit Mojo's. But this Congress doesn’t want to vote — it just wants to play music.

The Congress was founded in 2010 by singer/bassist Jonathan Meadows and guitarist Scott Lane as a live band duo in Richmond, Va. The band added drummer Mark Levy later that year, according to The Congress' website. The trio, now based in Denver, strives to put on a solid live performance without deviating from its roots.

“There’s not much of a difference,” Meadows says about playing live versus recording music. “We’re a live band primarily, so chances are we’ve played a song a couple times before it’s even recorded.”

Though the group plans on playing tracks from its previous EP, The Congress, much of its set list will promote the band's latest album, Whatever You Want, which was released in May and received critical acclaim.

“Gritty, strong, soulful, and in a nod to the band’s roots in Virginia, just a hint of country twang,“ Colorado Daily’s entertainment contributor Ashley Dean says.

The album itself takes a musical direction to the South, full of thick, soulful vocals and blues-rock inspired guitar riffs. Lyrically, the musicians' goal isn’t to send a specific message, but to tell stories from their everyday lives.

“Sometimes I’ll just write when it comes to mind," Meadows says. "We’re really focused on playing our new music and getting it out to people’s ears."

Getting music to the masses has more than helped the band to gain its growing fan base. Despite playing together for two years, the band's strength lies in constant touring in large and small cities alike, along with playing at music festivals across the country.

“We’re constantly touring in the South and the Northwest,” Meadows says. “We’re just very persistent.”

The group wants to exude persistence and patience wherever it plays. Professing a bit of a curse with faulty equipment, Meadows says what helps make any rough spot on tour is being able to play music for people.

“To me, as long as we’re able to get up and play music, it helps to make a sometimes bad situation better,” Meadows says. “The magic that comes from humans making music, there’s just no explanation for it.”

For Tuesday’s show, the group looks to bring as much energy as possible. The musicians' excitement stems from being able to play on a college campus, which is something they typically don’t get a chance to do. Having never played in Columbia, Meadows says he doesn’t know what to expect, but the goal is to have a mixture of both students and townsfolk alike at Mojo’s.

“In Colorado, there’s not a huge college scene,” Meadows says. “When we play in Boulder, there’s [the University of] Colorado, but there’s still not as much of the college scene. We hope to see a little bit of everyone.”

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