Be Here Now: Interstate Reunion @ Northern Lights, 6/18/11


Roaring out of Clifton Park, they were big guys with big hats. They were also the mightiest band of southern rockers in all of Nippertown back in their ’80s heyday.

They were Interstate.

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And they’re back together again for one night only at Northern Lights in Clifton Park on Saturday. The reunion line-up will feature Matt Smith, Jim Dignum, Josh Lief, Mike Lomaestro, Jeff Wood and Neal McHugh.

Several of the band’s member have gone on to play with other bands since their Interstate days – for example, drummer Mike Lomaestro landed in the Stony Creek Band, while bassist Jim Dignum now nails down the foundation for the western Mass. band Shut Up and Dance – but guitarslinger Matt Smith made the biggest name for himself.

After playing around town in such bands as the Hot Rods and the award-winning Matt Smith Band, Smith relocated to NYC in 1994. He became a a clinician for Ovation, Takamine and Hamer guitars, authored a number of instructional books and played at guitar festivals all over the world.

Smith relocated to Austin last year, and recently released a fabulous new self-titled CD with his band Matt Smith’s World. A groove-laden blend of soul, rock and more, Smith and his superb band stretch out to embrace hip-hop on “Things to Do (Before I Die),” Django-style swing on “Hot Club of Brooklyn” and the sun-soaked Santana-meets-War groove of “Walk the Talk.” Not only is he a monstrously versatile fretmaster on a wide variety of string instruments, but Smith also wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs, in addition to arranging, recording and producing the album.

Interstate’s last reunion was back in November, 2008 at the Klamsteam Tavern (the band’s birthplace), and it was under sad circumstances – celebrating the life and music of former bandmember Bob Sullivan, who had died just a few months earlier.

This weekend’s Interstate reunion takes the stage at Northern Lights in Clifton Park at 8:30pm on Saturday. Tix are $10 in advance; $12 at the door.

NOTE: Here’s the Interstate Reunion Facebook page.

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