Daily Spinn: The Groove Merchants Offer Light at the End of the Tunnel

With 2021 comes a new reason for hope and optimism. The Groove Merchants are on board with that sentiment, and it shines through on their latest release.

The Philly-based quartet — comprised of vocalist Tye Vallone, guitarist Luke Ferracone, bassist John Evin Groome, and drummer Peter Snyder — is known for their lively performances, which fuse a scintillating blend of soul, funk, and blues. In this case, however, they’ve slowed things down, offering us some solace with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s 1967 classic, “I Shall Be Released.”

“We love this song and we need it now more than ever, and we hope that we all can see some light coming out of the darkness that we can hopefully leave behind in 2020,” Vallone said. “The greatness of this song is that the message is as poignant today as it was when Bob Dylan wrote it in 1967. Everyone is struggling with something, might feel wrongly imprisoned — literally or figuratively — with no way out, or may just generally be run down, especially in the time of COVID). Hopefully, we can see the sun rising and know that soon, we will be released from whatever is holding us back.”

Recorded inside of a barn at Morgan Creek Farms in Quakertown, PA, the band’s version of “I Shall Be Released” was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Mark Brown of The Groove Merchants’ Philly-based peers, Hambone Relay. The rendition also includes horns from Mike Rili (trombone) and Mike Talento (saxophone), the latter of whom arranged the horn parts on this single, as well as those on the band’s most recent album, The Throne.

As for the video? It was the band’s fellow Kutztown University alums Josh Munson and Mike Gialoretto who filmed this session, as well as videos for the other three tracks on the band’s upcoming live EP, to be released in February.

“This immediately felt like one of those performances where everything just came together in the perfect way, and everyone in the room could feel it as soon as we started playing,” Vallone noted.

Ready to check it out? Enjoy it below!

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