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Skull stage set to unite bands with Athenian, jazz history

Friendships developed over years of playing shows together connect the bands playing at the Skull this Thursday. 

Riley, a Dayton band, will be visiting Athens for the first time since last October, and over that time they have switched from a quartet to a trio, made up of drummer Colin Pauley, bassist Kyle Moore and guitarist and vocalist Eric Bluebaum. Hundos, from Columbus, and two Athenian bands will join them: Method Air and Ghost Stories. 

Riley has been on the same bill as Kevin and Sean Hundley of Hundos after first playing in Athens with them years ago, Bluebaum said. At that time, Hundos, made up of the Hundley brothers, was known as Zapaño, a progressive jazz-rock band.

“(After) we played, we became friends and ever since that first show we just have developed a cool bond,” Bluebaum said. “Athens has always been a cool, receptive place for us.” 

Riley and Hundos are visiting as they travel around Ohio, and their Skull date is the first of four shows including Columbus, Cincinnati and Canton.

Bluebaum said Riley’s music is greatly influenced by the three members and training in jazz music; two of the three studied jazz in school. 

“We’ve always been really focused on being a tight performing band, especially now with this line-up,” Bluebaum said. “We’re definitely practicing a more kind of a standard rock band formula where I’ll go in and add a lead (guitar part), but it’s not like we’re Led Zeppelin. … It’s more like we’re making up a song as we go along.” 

Hundos also has their music rooted in jazz, in that they’re creating improvised music that constantly evolves each time they perform. 

“For live shows, the core rhythms that make up our set pretty much stay the same, but our ideas are always changing and growing so each set is different,” said Kevin Hundley, bass player of Hundos.

And as the band continues to develop its sound over the year they’ve been playing under the Hundos name. Hundley said he expects it to evolve even more. 

Although Ghost Stories has not played with Riley or Hundos before, it does a share a member, Sam Stanfield, with the other Athens band, Method Air. And Ghost Stories themselves grew out of jamming around in dorm rooms, said Charlie Walden.

“We started as 3 of us writing songs in a dorm during Eric Bishop and I’s freshmen years and over time it has evolved to what it is today,” Walden said.


If You Go:

What: Riley with Hundos, Method Air and Ghost Stories

When: 9:30 p.m., Thursday

Where: The Smiling Skull Saloon, 108 W. Union St.

Admission: $3


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