Vulfpeck the holiday that’s always with you.

Of course, there is no disputing about taste… But it’s hard for me to understand how someone could be indifferent to Vulfpeck since it’s just a ray of light in a dark kingdom!

I don’t remember how I found them on YouTube (I watched Dean Town several hundred times). But I remember my first thoughts from what I heard and saw:

  1. What is that?
  2. Is that 1970s funk?
  3. I want more!
banf vulfpeck

As it turned out, Vulfpeck appeared in recent 2011. But their music is so tightly rooted in the culture of the 1970s and 1980s that it creates the impression of traveling back in time. I don’t want to say this music isn’t original and only relies on the music of the past era – not at all! Vulfpeck is thick with originality, innovation, and experimentation. However, you can always see some cultural foundation of this music. In general, all the ingredients of the Vulfpeck salad are so balanced that we get a band that is completely atypical for our time. I call this style the modern funk of the seventies since the musicians are not just inspired by the music of that era but recreate that same groove, including with the help of authentic keyboards and effects. Besides, Vulfpeck’s videos, stylized as a worn-out VHS tape, have a unique charm.

Joe Dart’s bass solo

What is especially pleasing is that all this funk cabaret didn’t remain somewhere in the underground but turned out to be in demand among the modern young audience. Their recent performance at Madison Square Garden only confirms this.

Vulfpeck Bassist Joe Dart

Let’s not forget the website is still dedicated to bass players and guitars. So, who plays bass in this charming band? That’s the incomparable Joe Dart. He is a bassist with an incredible sense of groove, fast fingers, cool sunglasses, and a very resilient neck.

joe dart vulfpeck bassist

Joe first picked up the bass at 8, when his parents decided to create an ensemble of their children. The band never appeared, but Joe developed a craving for music lessons.

In his early childhood, he took inspiration from funk and soul that used a lot of bass guitar. Among his favorite bassists were Flea and Pino Palladino.

After school, he continued his music studies at Michigan State University, where he met his future colleagues. Together, they made a miraculous chemical reaction and founded Vulfpeck! The band’s first composition, “Beastly,” became publicly available on YouTube. Bass magazine No Treble praises Joe Dart’s part in this song. In 2013, Joe Dart entered the list of top 5 bass guitarists, as stated by that magazine. I also think Vulfpeck bassist Joe Dart is one of the best bass players ever. Well, I admire his technique, artistry, charisma, and optimism. In recent years, I have especially appreciated optimism in music since our world does lack it.

joe dart in concert

What Bass Guitar Does Joe Dart Play?

As for the instrument, Joe Dart originally played Fender basses. Since recently, he’s been using a rebuilt Music Man bass paired with La Bella (flat wounds) strings. One of the band members converted his guitar into a passive bass. It has one pickup and one knob for adjusting volume.

Music man joe dart signature

If you think this bass isn’t versatile in tone, maybe it’s just you who aren’t versatile.

Jack Stratton, Vulfpeck

Today, Music Man releases a copy of this bass guitar – Music Man Joe Dart signature. I watched a few reviews and can say they reproduced the sound of Joe Dart’s original guitar.

Vulfpeck bassist with his Music man bass

Joe Dart is also an endorser of bass guitar amplifiers from Mark Bass.

Funny Story about the Sleepify Album

It’s impossible to talk about Vulfpeck without mentioning the remarkable case of the Spotify service.

If anyone doesn’t know, Spotify is a streaming music service that allows musicians to upload their music and earn money by allowing people to listen to it. These earnings are symbolic. Payment occurs according to a complex and predatory algorithm. As a result, from one listening, provided that it lasted at least 30 seconds, the musician receives approximately $0.0007.

In 2014, the band uploaded the album Sleepify to the Spotify service. The album consisted of ten tracks, which consisted of… silence! Each “song” was only 31 seconds of silence. The musicians encouraged their fans to play the album on a loop throughout the night and thus raised more than $20,000 in less than two months. The service removed the album for violating their vague rules, but they paid the money. The band used those funds to organize a free tour through the United States.

I Continue to Follow Them

Bands like Vulfpeck always restore my faith in music. No, I’m not starting to cover the walls with “Rock is alive.” But I lose the feeling that the music is becoming just a background…

I am convinced there will always be people who can take instruments and do things differently. And most importantly, there will be people who desperately need such music. That’s not a bunch of intellectuals in a tiny club. That’s a class or a type of people who fill the arena of Madison. You may consider me pretentious, but I believe these people create our world. They make it better, more colorful, and kinder. And damn it…! I cannot stop watching Dean Town!!!

Vulfpeck – Dean Town
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