Time out of mind
Reno’s Jelly Bread logs miles—and milestones
The five-piece Jelly Bread—just like its name connotes—crafts music with a sound that’s altogether sweet and sticky. Over the years, the Reno band’s hybrid of funk, soul, rock and country (and nearly everything in between) has garnered the band a devoted following.
For the last few years, the band has toured the greater United States playing virtually any venue that will host it—festivals, nightclubs, bars, etc.—becoming a veritable headliner in the process. Jelly Bread stops in Sacramento in support of its latest album on Friday night at Harlow’s Nightclub & Restaurant.
Guitarist-singer Dave Berry first started the group with drummer Cliff Porter about seven years ago, slowly adding more members into the mix. Today, the current roster also includes Sacramento native Sean Lehe on guitar, Jeremy Hunt on bass and Eric Matlock on keyboards and organ.
Over the years, Berry said in a recent interview, this ever-growing lineup has shaped its sound.
“When Cliff and I first played together, all the music we played was my stuff. Since Eric joined up, he’s been bringing in his own songs.”
While the band’s enjoyed the success that’s come with longevity and an exhausting road regimen, he adds, it hasn’t been easy. Booking and promotion takes up a big chunk of scheduling.
“It’s tough since we don’t have a publicist like many other acts our size,” said Berry.
At its CD release show in October, the band drew a capacity crowd in Reno at the Nugget Casino showroom, something Berry calls a “huge” moment for Jelly Bread.
“That was a huge hometown show for us since the room holds 700 and they ended up opening the upstairs [room],” Berry said.
Additionally, Jelly Bread’s been prolific on the road—not just when it comes to touring but also creativity.
The band started working on its latest album, 2015’s Here, There, and Everywhere, in December 2014—but so much came before and after that.
“This album was pretty much recorded on the road. Thus, [its] title,” Berry said.
“We’ve played nearly 200 shows over the last two years and did 12,000 miles in six weeks in 2015 before it came out,” he added.
They recorded songs last February at an Iowa studio during a break from shows; some vocals were done in Maryland.
The band is already thinking about its next recording—sort of. The days and nights needed are once again a big consideration.
“We have some ideas but, unfortunately, as much as we have been working, we don’t have much time to rehearse,” Berry said.
“If all goes as planned, we’ll be visiting Sean’s family cabin on the North Coast to start recording again.”
In other words, time to hit the road again.