What began as a jam session at a rehearsal space in Austin has become a tri-coastal collection of gifted music-makers whose captivating live performances and studio releases have garnered acclaim from fans and publications around the world. Progger is held together by a passion for music that balances sophisticated harmony and melody with visceral beats and riffs. Through four critically-acclaimed releases and live tours supporting acts like Parliament/Funkadelic, Snarky Puppy, Ghost-Note, and the Funky Knuckles, Progger has developed an international following of devoted fans.
During the nearly record-breaking Texas summer heat of 2011, composers Brian Donohoe and Matthew Muehling began playing weekly sessions with bassist Nicholas Clark, drummer Daniel Watson, guitarist Carter Arrington, and trombonist Paul Deemer in Austin. Despite the city’s deep music community, Muehling, a guitarist, and Donohoe, a saxophonist and keyboardist, had found relatively little of the progressive jazz-funk-rock fusion that they loved, so they brought some friends together to make their own. A year-long residency at the legendary One-2-One Bar allowed Progger to develop the music that would become their first two independently-released albums, “Beatmaker” and “Populace.”
Despite huge life changes in the following years— some band members moved across the country, others started families— the band was determined to continue developing the unique sound it had started in Texas. Progger’s core began collaborating with musicians in New York and Los Angeles and caught the attention of Ropeadope Records, who facilitated the release of the band’s third album, “Scattering.” The record was released in early 2016 and features the original Austin squad along with New York musicians including bassist Bryan Ladd, drummer Devin Collins, guitarists Daniel Muniz and Akira Ishiguro, and two members of Snarky Puppy, Justin Stanton and Nate Werth on keyboards and percussion, respectively.
“Dystopia” was released through Ropeadope Records on March 9, 2018, and word of the band's unique sound and talent are starting to spread around the world. Brooklyn’s Crash Chords podcast describes Progger as “gripping… tight as hell… it will lift your heart in a very special way.” The UK’s Soul and Jazz radio show and webcast calls them “amazing,” while Germany’s Daily Prog blog calls them “vibrant and renewing.” The Boulder Weekly summarizes the Progger sound well: “Smooth chords over dirty funk beats with just a hint of the building, swirling psychedelic sounds of prog rock.”
Progger will be touring in support of "Dystopia" throughout the year.
Performing on this album are Daniel Watson (drums), Devin Collins (drums and electronic percussion), Steve Anthony Belvilus (drums on “Morning Star”), Nicholas Clark (electric bass and synth bass), Bryan Ladd (electric bass), Isamu McGregor (keyboards), Carter Arrington (guitar), Daniel Muniz (guitar), Akira Ishiguro (guitar), Matthew Muehling (guitar), Paul Deemer (trombone), and Brian Donohoe (saxophone, keyboard, drum loops, and additional guitar).
Progger’s members gleefully use EarthQuaker Devices pedals, ThreeLeafAudio pedals, Macsax saxophone mouthpieces, Nord keyboards,TRX cymbals, Rath trombones, Warburton brass mouthpieces, Fodera guitars, D’Addario/Evans accessories, Maelo drums, Mogami cables, Colossal cables, Nordstrand pickups, Mono cases, Moody Leather straps, Epifani amplifiers, and Aguilar amplifiers.
All pieces composed by Brian Donohoe (SESAC) except for “Oba-Bow” and “Choom,” composed by Matthew Muehling (SESAC).
All tracks recorded by Diko Shoturma and Nic Hard at Atlantic Sound Studios, Brooklyn, NY.
All tracks mixed by Matt Meli at Orb Studios, Austin, TX, except for “Adrenal Interlude” and “Sinister Postlude” which were mixed by Brian Donohoe.
All tracks mastered by Sam Minaie at Birdfood Studios, Queens, NY.
Produced by Brian Donohoe.
The beautiful album artwork is by Emilia Canas Mendes.
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