Maryland-based group Bond & Bentley to headline Schmiggity’s this weekend |

Maryland-based group Bond & Bentley to headline Schmiggity’s this weekend

Audrey Dwyer
Over the years Maryland based group Bond and Bentley has created music that spans across a wide variety of genres from rock

If You Go...

What: Bond & Bentley

When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26

Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.

— Making their own distinct mark on each guitar riff and fleeting jam-solo, members of the Maryland-based group Bond and Bentley continue to transcend music genres.

Since 2006, the group has created music that resembles traditional rock ‘n’ roll but has a foundation in blues, hip-hop, ska and reggae and is garnered with a sonic texture of their driving jam-band funk instrumentation. Lead vocalist Ray Wroten describes Bond and Bentley as, “pop with a dub, jam, blues sound.”

If You Go…

What: Bond & Bentley

When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26

Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.

Performing at over 175 shows a year since 2009, Bond and Bentley have traveled across the nation and have even shared the stage with acts such as Citizen Cope, G. Love, Fitz and the Tantrums, Matt & Kim, Kellar Williams, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Rachel Platten. They’ve also released three full-length studio albums with the most recent EP being “Complicated.”

Known for their live performances, members Alex Watts on drums and vocals, Shaun Riley on bass guitar and vocals, Ben Kolakowski on lead guitar and keys and Wroten will be in Steamboat Springs Saturday, to take the Schmiggity’s stage at 10 p.m.

Earlier this week, Explore Steamboat caught up with Wroten to learn more about the band’s tour and the new music they’ve been creating.

Explore Steamboat: You guys have quite a diverse sound. How would you explain it to someone who has never heard your music before?

Ray Wroten: I would say we are a funky, blues, jam band that has those dancey groves to it. It has that pop influence but with a dub, jam, blues aspect to it. Within the last two years, we’ve gotten into the more jammier stuff but before that, the sound was more rock and roll with the original lineup. When the new bass player Shaun came on board, it turned the sound into something a little different, and I think that’s where the more jammier stuff comes from. We were able to take it to another level.

ES: Where does the name Bond and Bentley come from?

RW: When we first started out, our original practice spot was on Bond Avenue and Bentley Hills Drive in Maryland. And our very first gig was a friend’s birthday party that had over 200 people there. We didn’t really expect that but we needed a name so we were calling it Bond and Bentley. The name didn’t pigeonhole us into any genre, so we could have it be whatever sound we wanted it to be.

ES: What makes Bond and Bentley unique compared to other bands?

RW: I would say our versatility. We can play any genre, style or speed, anywhere. Depending on what people into, we can play any music for them. We can hang in the blues realm all night or go crazy space oddity in jamming bluegrass. There is a lot of talent in the band, and we are at the point now where we can look at each other without saying anything and change a song 180 degrees.

ES: You guys have played alongside some pretty incredible acts, what was that like and what are some of the things you’ve learned from those experiences?

RW: In those situations you may only see them perform for two or three seconds at a time but it shows you the level of professionalism that you have to strive for when you see such a big act and you’re opening for them. There is no formula to get to that point but you have to look up to them and realize there is a certain way to perform and act in order to get to the next level.

ES: What do you think makes a good live show for Bond and Bentley?

RW: What makes it good is if people can dance and groove to it. Whether its music that you can be listening to in the car or at the bar having a good time, we have that versatile sound that we can create based on what people want to hear. We each share a love of the music and really enjoy performing for and talking to people at shows and interacting with the fan base. Our live show is definitely what you want from Bond and Bentley. It’s definitely the selling point because a lot of it is spontaneous and improv. You can expect a mixture of everything from all of our albums, especially “Complicated” and some brand new songs we are trying out on the road.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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