Turbine revving up for Bullfrog show

Turbine, a New York City-based quartet, will make their return to the Williamsport area at 10 p.m. Friday, at the Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Fourth St.

“We love playing the Bullfrog. It’s a great venue and a lot of fun. The crowd always gets down there,” Jeremy Hilliard, guitarist and songwriter for the band, said in a phone interview with the Sun-Gazette. Their return will feature new music that they’ve been working on, as well as songs from their current album, “Blue Light City,” produced by Grammy Award-winner John Davis.

With the help of Kickstarter (a site where fans can donate money to help the band record, and depending on the donation amount, get a gift return), Turbine is working on getting a new album out.

“Hopefully, fingers crossed, we (will) have the money by mid-summer. And in a crazy ideal world, we’d record in mid-August and get the record out,” Hilliard said.

The band took a little break and had some member change-ups, which in retrospect was refreshing and a learning experience for original members, Hilliard and Ryan Rightmire. The two had started Turbine as a duo, performing for years. Eventually, they decided to expand to a quartet, holding auditions for the positions.

“One good thing about being in New York City is that there’s always tons of musicians. It’s good to know other people,” Hilliard said.

As far as the direction of the band, Hilliard said Turbine is narrowing in with their lyrics, focusing on songwriting abilities and changing the definition of “jam bands.”

“‘Jam band’ is a funny word, actually. We’re in the ‘live music’ genre, and that can mean anything, really. I think bands from back in the day – Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley – they’d be on that circuit too. But it’s feel-good music, it’s groovin’ music,” he said. “People like to dance at the shows. These songs are more built for that. It’s gonna put some constraints on the songwriting. And we’ve always been all over the map, but it’s nice to narrow down.”

The member change-up also led to both Hilliard and Rightmire learning to adapt and teach new members.

“We had some bad luck with scheduling and locations. We had to start over. What’s interesting is that the first time it happened, it took us a long time to recover, to be a band again. I think that maybe me and Ryan didn’t really know how to get new people to click right away. We needed to let it happen organically. We changed drummers again, but this time we knew how to get them caught up to speed. It happened pretty quickly, and we knew what were doing to put on a show,” Hilliard explained. “Any band can tell you, it puts you back to square one. You can go from knowing 60 songs to zero. It’s a hard thing to do.”

Hilliard said so far, audiences have enjoyed the new material. Turbine is ready to take their new songs on tour up and down the east coast, from the New England area down to North Carolina. Hilliard said they might even be performing as far as Colorado. The band also is in the lineup for Libertyfest this summer.

“It’s hard to express how rejuvenated we are. We feel very excited,” Hilliard said. “We’ve got the fire in our bellies to get this new album out there. We think we have something to say to the scene we’re in.”

For more information on Turbine, visit www. tur