Hot Day at the Zoo

Hot Day at the Zoo, a fiercely progressive 4-piece string band grown in Lowell, Ma are spreading their eclectic roots up and down the eastern seaboard and as far west as Colorado. Celebrating their 5th year together as a band in January '08, David Cleaves (mandolin, vocals), Jon Cumming (banjo, dobro, vocals,), Michael Dion (guitar, harmonica, vocals,) and Jed Rosen (upright bass, vocals) are making final preparations to their sophomore EP, Long Way Home.

Perhaps it's easier to coin a word to describe them than it is to pigeon hole their music. Fans describe the band's pioneering sound as "ZooGrass". Fact, fiction or fable, their tunes are layered with intricacies and depth reminiscent of Robert Hunter and the Grateful Dead. Many great musicians spanning a broad spectrum inspired their grassy, jazzy, old-timey, Americana infused rock and roll. With influences ranging from Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Bob Marley, Sam Bush, Bruce Cockburn, Charles Mingus, Elvis, and bands like the Beatles, Steely Dan, Nirvana and Pink Floyd, it is easy to see and hear what makes them attract a very diverse fan base. Sights and sounds from the everyday to the exotic are infused in their craft. Tight musicianship, skillful songwriting and amazing personalities introduce us to places they have traveled, people they have loved, those they have lost, and those they surround themselves with. Hot Day at the Zoo is skillful at drawing in a crowd, amusing the audience and leaving roots music fans begging for more.

Something happens at a Zoo show that you have to experience in person to fully appreciate. Their onstage camaraderie and self-deprecating humor make every show different. The culinary equivalent would be eating large quantities of pop rocks, soda and whiskey. Yeah, your stomach might explode, but you're going to have an excellent time nonetheless. While their studio sound displays the band's temperate sensibility, the live show is where the raw emotion of this band simmers. Their typical 3 set show works the audience slowly and methodically like a steam engine preparing for its ascent up a mountain. The enthusiasm they exude in their live performances stokes the fires and their followers for the long journey ahead. Mercilessly chugging along, always picking up loose strays along the way, and tirelessly building momentum, they take us to the mountain's peak. Descending into the valley below, it feels as if we've lost the brakes as well as our inhibitions. The energy is infectious as it spreads quickly through the room and through all walks of life. The crowds are getting bigger at every show, and you can bet that before too long you'll be drinking and singing along with the same people you saw at the last show. There's no looking back for this band. Good things are happening quickly and their time is now. It's full steam ahead for Hot Day at the Zoo as they prepare for another busy summer. Gaining considerable momentum in upstate New York since their appearance at the Snoe.down Music Festival in Lake Placid and the solar stage at Mountain Jam IV at Hunter Mountain the band is set to play the String Fling, the Empire State Brew Festival, the Good Omens Music Festival and have been invited back to the Sterling Stage Folk Festival. HDATZ continues their festival tour with stops at Hooka Summer #12 in Ohio and A Bear's Picnic in Pennsylvania. Also this summer, they will be along side. moe. and the Ryan Montbleau Band at Pier Revue in on the Maine State Pier in Portland, ME as well as with Levon Helm at the Lowell Summer Music Series in Lowell, MA. 
Folk & Traditional