Uplifting Cincinnati Jamgrass/Americana Band Highly Likely Set to Release Debut Album

The dynamic quintet celebrates the release of 'Sunrise' with a free show Saturday, Feb. 29 at Dead Low Brewing

Feb 27, 2020 at 8:51 am

click to enlarge Highly Likely - Photo: Lisa Sullivan
Photo: Lisa Sullivan
Highly Likely
Formed in 2018, Cincinnati Jamgrass/Americana outfit Highly Likely features some skilled area musicians who decided to combine their talents after knowing each other from their various other projects and bumping into each other on the local circuit. All five members of the band — Char Bowling (guitar/vocals), Andy Tracy (drums/harmonica/vocals), Brian Bowling (banjo), Jeff Roades (bass/vocals) and Mark Miller (mandolin/vocals) — are songwriters, which, combined with their top-notch musicianship, makes them even more of a force to be reckoned with in the Roots scene.

Adding another unique wrinkle are the band members’ varied influences — they cite everyone from Peter Rowan, Bill Monroe and Leftover Salmon to Frank Zappa, Miles Davis and Grateful Dead as key inspirations, which provides good insight into the eclectic sound exhibited on the group's debut album, Sunrise, the release of which Highly Likely celebrates on Saturday, Feb. 29 at Dead Low Brewing. (Check out the music video for the album's first single, "Never Left Here," here.)

Sunrise is an endearingly uplifting listen, with the majority of the songs exuding a sense of optimism and joy. The track "Smile" perhaps best exemplifies that spirit; with its buoyant Reggae rhythms and sunshiney melodies, it is insistently smile-inducing. "Redeem Yourself" is another album highlight with a positive slant in which the band uses strong Psychedelic Pop melodies and a soaring chorus to call on all of humanity to be better — to ourselves, to the planet and to each other. Elsewhere, "How Can I Complain" injects some rootsy, wah-wah funkiness to the proceedings, "Clouds" has a breezy Fleetwood Mac vibe and album closer "Bigger Boat" is a wonderfully written slice of Country.

For the free release party concert, Highly Likely will be joined by special guests Hickory Robot, another local group with an open-minded approach to Bluegrass and Americana.

For more on Highly Likely, visit highlylikelyband.com.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29. Free. Dead Low Brewing, 5959 Kellogg Ave., California, deadlowbrewing.com