Hamilton, Ohio – When CFG & the Family take the Fitton Center stage for their album release party May 19, it will be a celebration of one unbelievable night.
“It was a magical moment,” said Casey (bleeping) Gomez, after whom the band is named. “We went into the studio and just jammed for like eight hours.”
The result: 20 songs - 18 of them originals. The band did some additional recording in three other sessions, but primarily relied on the marathon jam to create its first album.
Makes sense, given their origins. CFG & the Family are all seasoned musicians, including Gomez, the front man and former singer for The Magic Lightnin' Boys; Pete Davidson, former drummer of Uncle Six and a sound engineer at 3rd Street Music; Greg Skinner, bass player extraordinaire, who plays in a handful of local bands; Brandon Saurber - rhythm guitarist/producer powerhouse and Hamilton champion; and Mason Johnson, lead guitar, aka The Future of Cincinnati Music.
They connected at the open jams at Hamilton’s North Second Tap and Bottle. The band has been together about a year and they recently made a living room set to play a show at Pohlman Lanes.
“We like that relaxed atmosphere,” Gomez said. “We want everyone to be included. But for this, we wanted more of an upscale setting. We wanted to do something a little bigger.”
Fans responded. Tickets quietly went on sale at 9 a.m. Monday morning, March 13; more than half the Fitton Center theater sold out in the first 24 hours with only word of mouth to support the show.
What does CFG & the Family sound like?
According to Chris Reese of Dat Band, “It’s like standing knee-deep in a Louisiana swamp in mid-August while drinking a top-shelf bourbon and sharing a slice of pecan pie with Al Green. Hot, sweaty, warming your insides, satisfying that sweet with a little gospel.”
“I thought that was the perfect way to describe us,” Gomez said. “We have a lot of influences, but it all comes together.”
Gomez – who recently turned 50 – has been around music his whole life and comes by his love for it honestly.
His mother was friends with Roger Trautman. In fact, the revered Zapp musician sang “Mary Had a Little Lamb'' to Gomez as a youngster and once brought his band van to help the family move from a troubled situation. Gomez literally picked up – and taught himself to play – the bass guitar, harmonica and other instruments his step-dad Randy Blades had around the house. Now he gets to share the fruits of his long musical education. “Once you have that final reward, when you have that record, the music is in the world,” Gomez said. “It’s not going anywhere. It’s out there. It’s still ours, but it’s everybody else’s, too. It’s part of the conversation.”
The CFG & the Family album release party is 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts (101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton, Ohio 45011). Tickets are available here; cost is $15 each and includes a CD copy of the album.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
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