RYAN TENNIS & the CLUBHOUSE BAND Sun Feb 24th 2019 at 7:30pm

$10 in advance
$12 at the door

The Clubhouse Band consists of Ryan Tennis 
and any combination of the following players: 

Nate Graham, keys/vocals
Shawn Hennessey, percussion/vocals
Joseph Keim, drums/vocals
Brahm Gezwinder,, bass/vocals
Patrick Hughs, trumpet
Christopher Farrell, guitar/mandolin/vocals
Johanna Austin, vocals

"[Tennis] gets a lot of different sounds - a reggae vibe, the sweet and mellow singer/songwriter thing, or the groovy cross-country roadtrip thing, or even get really funky with some Bill Withers–[he] can hit all of these things, and each of them could be individually packaged as a band. But the thing that really ties them all together is that they’re rooted somewhere–it’s all got soul."- Rock on Philly

Photo Credit: iradio phillyA longtime Philly resident, Tennis chose the Rittenhouse Soundworks studio in the nearby neighborhood of Germantown to record Two Days on the Fence. The studio’s expansive live room proved to be the perfect environment for Tennis and co-producer Tom Spiker (Calvin Weston, Sun Ra Arkesta, G. Love) to capture the vibrant, telepathic performances of the singer’s well-oiled Clubhouse Band – Joseph Keim (drums), Shaun Hennessey (percussion), Brahm Genzlinger (bass), Maxfield Gast (sax), Nate Graham (keyboards) and Christopher Farrell (guitar). The group’s inventive and virtuosic interplay forms a rich, colorful rhythmic bed for Tennis to embroider the music with soaring melodies and robust vocals.

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Over the years, Tennis has seen his music embraced by audiences in America, Europe and South America. However, he rejects the label of “world music,” because it “misses the American roots to describe what I do. I’m more folk, soul and Afro-Caribbean.” The songs on Two Days on the Fence finds Tennis and his band fleshing out every contour of those rhythms, particularly on the rousing party cut “Down & Up,” which he wrote as an undisguised homage to funk legends the Meters.

Two Days on the Fence is Tennis’ sixth release, and he views the EP as an important step in his development as a bandleader. In the past, he admits he used to impose his ideas on the group, but with the addition of new drummer Keim into the fold, Tennis is embracing the beauty of letting go. “Joseph and Shaun find these pockets in the grooves that are unbelievable,” he explains. “Everything becomes bigger and more expressive when I just let them fly.”

Tennis points to the luminous instrumental track “Strange How It’s Changing” as an example: “We just started jamming and it unfolded. Earlier, I wouldn’t have had the faith to just let go, but now I have the seasoning to allow that kind of magic to happen. These guys are just too good – I’d be crazy to try and stop them.”

Despite his multi-genred approach to music, Tennis admits he was a late bloomer when it came to songwriting. Sports occupied much of his time during his teens and into college. “I didn’t start playing music and writing songs until I was about 23,” he says. “I wasn’t very good at first, but I enjoyed it – I felt a sense of purpose I hadn’t experienced before. Discovering all of these sounds from all over the world seemed to unlock something in me – it was almost spiritual – and I think I bring the athleticism and determination from my past life into my music. If it moves and grooves and makes you feel good, I’m in.”
"...a stomping celebration of returning home...", "...lush arrangements" and "...carefully crafted rootsy ruminations..."
- Indie Monday
With Two Days on the Fence, the singer-songwriter noticed a dramatic change in his compositional approach than on previous albums. “On my last record, The Easier Mile (2015), I spent a lot time crafting the songs, but you can only force things so much,” he notes. “On this record, I’m more about being in the moment.” He cites the soaring title track as an example of this newfound attitude: “It’s a love song I wrote about trying to work out a long-distance relationship. I realized that I couldn’t control everything; all I could do was can stand up tall and own the things I said and did. That came out in the lyrics: Whatever was meant to happen would happen.”

Tennis recently wrapped a triumphant six-week tour of Europe and a knockout homecoming pre-holiday show in his beloved Philadelphia. On the release of Two Days on the Fence, he heads back to South America in mid-January for a month-long tour of Columbia, after which he’ll return to the U.S. in February to launch an East Coast tour that includes an appearance at Folk Alliance International.