It’s difficult to impart the roots-steeped, road-trippin' essence of the Adam Ezra Group into a single word, but frontman Adam Ezra nonetheless keeps one in mind as something of a mantra: community.
To the musicians at the heart of AEG, community is epitomized by a belief they all share, one that has long doubled as a mission statement for the group: namely, that making music together is itself a form of grassroots organizing, capable of nothing less than changing the world.
That Ezra and his bandmates hold sacred such an inclusive approach to their craft helps explain the gathering storm of an album that is “Hurricane Wind,” one of AEG’s most ambitious undertakings to date. Not only fan-funded, but also fan-produced, the project found the broader AEG fan community playing a role in every step of the process from inception to its release on May 21st 2017.
Such a groundbreaking form of collaboration makes all the sense in the world for a musical collective like AEG. After all, as Ezra sees it, the fans are really part of the band, active members of their movement who’ve always exercised a critical role in AEG’s ability to carry out its mission. This inclusive approach to musicianship, centered about respecting and celebrating their listeners above all else, Ezra insists, is what has allowed the group to explode out of their Boston-area origins to emerge as one of the most uniquely powerful, relentlessly entertaining live-music experiences in the country.
AEG’s grassroots efforts recently caught the eye of John Oates, of Hall & Oates fame. For the past year and a half, Ezra and Oates have been regular writing partners, meeting up in Nashville between tours. Three of their co-writes are featured on the upcoming Adam Ezra Group album, and Oates himself joined Ezra in the studio to sing and play on the album. They performed their first co-written song, "All I Am", live in-studio as an acoustic duet, a process also shared with fans, who were invited along for a virtual tour of the studio as well as granted access to unreleased studio performances.
Last December, AEG galvanized their community partnership by releasing 23 studio demos to fans, including multiple collaborations with Oates. Ezra established an innovative framework through which fans could follow the process of song arrangement and studio tracking, help whittle the album down to just 11 polished final cuts, steer artwork creation, and assist in naming the project itself.
The now-released album, “Hurricane Wind,” speaks to an elemental, overpowering force of nature, a quality AEG believes exists in every human being and can be magnified through the unifying power of music.
When the record arrived on May 21, the AEG fanbase turned the full power of its collective hurricane wind outward, and shared the music for free with over 5000 people over the course of two weeks. Such a groundswell of activity wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago; “Hurricane Wind,” to AEG, represents both a celebration and reaffirmation of how remarkably that community has grown.
Even amid ballooning success, Ezra says it’s been not just easy, but natural for AEG to stay dedicated to its mission and true to its humble roots. Perhaps no song sums this up more than a fan favorite, selected to anchor the new album. Called “I Believe,” it’s a gorgeously layered, nakedly emotional ode to the long path they’ve already traveled as a community - and to the wide-open road ahead.
You’ve got a style, that comes on like a hurricane wind,” sings Ezra on the track, backed by a group of musicians all equally engrossed in the material and attuned to its significance.
“You’ve got a spark, that lights the fire that never ends." With his next lines, Ezra speaks not only to the internal maxim that keeps him moving, but also to the enduring force for hope and change that his band has come to symbolize to its ever-swelling fanbase: “And in the times when hope is gone, you give me the strength to carry on - I know the path is long, but I believe.”
"Not since Springsteen and Bono have I seen a lead singer with his talent and charisma."
- Jack Casey, General Manager WERS radio in Boston
"Adam Ezra is one of the most promising songwriters to come along in years... with the craftsmanship and insight to become a major voice in American music."
- Ben Tishler, VH1
“Hands down, the best roots rock band to come out of Boston since the Del Fuegos."
- The Alternate Root
“Ezra's music comes across in a genreblending style. Dave Matthews… Springsteen.... U2... Jackson Browne... But all those comparisons to better known musicians only reinforce the inescapable conclusion: the Adam Ezra Group is one of the most versatile and potent rock units anywhere."
- Patriot Ledger
"As with all AEG events, it wasn't just a concert. It was a celebration between a band and a fan base that have developed personal synergy."
- Bill Copeland, Music News
"They are one of the few bands out right now whose music is deep and real. It was an honor to tour with them."
- Michael Glabicki, Rusted Root
"It’s rare that we come across songwriting that is at one both introspective and personal for both performer and audience. That would be the case for Boston-based roots rock band The Adam Ezra Group. Their knack is telling a story/evoking an emotion without telling the whole story – a talent that goes beyond working a great sound."
- Beat Crave
"Adam Ezra ... made an impact with his muscular voice and his sharp lyrics."
- Rick Massimo, Providence Journal
"Boston's new voice in acoustic rock!"
- Boston Phoenix
"Named Band Of The Year at the 2013 New England Music Awards, The Adam Ezra Group had the fans shouting out song requests before the band even picked up a violin or banjo. Ezra is an extraordinary frontman. They completely rocked the crowd with their Springsteen-esque live show."
- Outside the Box Festival
"I don't know that I have seen a room explode as it did when the Adam Ezra Group came out. Superb!"
- Phil Simon, Simon Says Booking
"Adam Ezra writes with the heart of a troubadour and sings like a rock star. He is truely a fresh voice in singer/songwriter scene."
- Catie Curtis
"If Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, and Jack Johnson had a baby, this would be it. Lyrics are unique. A melding of sounds, all enjoyable. This must be heard!"
- ACE Music Conference
"Adam Ezra has the uncanny ability to attract and hold the attention of concertgoers of all ages. As a songwriter, his words connect with his audience on many levels. As a performer, Adam gives all of his energy, attention, and emotion to every show. It's difficult not to get caught up in what he's doing onstage, a fact proven by his quickly growing audience.
- Scott Hayward, Tupelo Music Hall
"You immediately get two things out of Adam Ezra's music. One, He's a damn good songwriter surrounded by a formidable cast of players. Two, he's thinking about things on a different level...brilliant singer/songwriter"
- Reb Landers, Alternate Root Magazine
"Song of the Year" - Let Your Hair Down - 2016 New England Music Awards
"Band of the Year" - 2013 New England Music Awards
"Best Band in Boston 2013" - Alternate Root Magazine
"Album of the Year" - Ragtop Angel - 2012 New England Music Awards
"Song of the Year" - Takin' Off - 2012 New England Music Awards
"Grassroots Award" - 2012 New England Music Awards
Direct support for:
-Assembly of Dust
-Back Door Slam
-Band of Heathens
-Dirty Dozen Brass Band
-Donna the Buffalo
-Enter the Haggis
-Goo Goo Dolls
-Hammel on Trial
-John Browns Body
-Marshall Tucker Band
-Nate Wilson Group
-Steve Miller Band
-The Band Perry
-The Mountain Goats
-Toad the Wet Sprocket
Music has been used in:
-Country Financial "Grow Your Own Way" commericials
-NBC's "What We Fight For" Notre Dame Institutionals
-VH1 Episode "Nas - Behind the Music"
-VH1 Episode "Lil Wayne - Behind the Music"
-VH1's "Dave Matthews - Driven"
-MTV's "The Real World"
-Food Network's "The Big Cheese"
-Spitfire Studios movie "Folk Hero & Funny Guy"