Local brewery expects sold out show

Pat Pearson

Ore Dock Brewing Company will be hosting a band this weekend that clashes funk, soul and party music all in one.

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The Chicago-native band, Bumpus, will be playing at the Ore Dock Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday Feb. 7.

The band are no strangers to the Marquette area, and according to Bumpus frontman, James Johnston, they have played in Marquette nearly 50 times at the Upfront and Company before it shut down. This will be the third time they have played at the Ore Dock.

“We loved playing the Upfront because they had such an amazing sound system in their venue, which is unusual if you look at the other bars in the area at that time, most of them had kind of a crappy sound,” Johnston said. “But the energy and the reaction from the people [at the shows] kept us coming back.”

The Chicago band does not have any other ties to the Upper Peninsula or NMU except the people who go to their shows.

The associate manager at the Ore Dock Brewing Company, Anjila Holland, is responsible for booking Bumpus, though according to Johnston, it is the atmosphere and the people that make Bumpus want to come back for more.

“Marquette reminds me of the west coast,” Johnston said. “Whenever we go to the west coast, people are more open, more appreciative and more enthusiastic. There are plenty of college towns that are cool, sure, but NMU is actually special.”

Bumpus will be playing their original material that blend the funk, soul and rock genres.

They will also play cover songs, with their own, genre-bending Bumpus twist. Brewery liaison at the Ore Dock Brewing Company, Adam Robarge, said what makes Bumpus special is their sound and also their creative renditions to familiar songs.

“They put an interesting spin on the tunes they play, which gives them a fresh appeal or fresh look to the standards of songs that people are really familiar with,” Robarge said. “It almost makes those songs new to hear or listen to, but I mean with the vocals, the horns and the rhythm section, they are just a well put together band.”

The band draws influence from 1960s and 70s funk and soul music.

One group from that era the band particularly draws their influence from is Sly & the Family Stone, according to Johnston.

“They are a band that met at the intersection between rock and soul, their music has a message, it is socially conscious but it is also very positive at the same time,” Johnston said.

“They had people of different races, men and women in the band, all playing prominent roles.”

According to Johnston, Bumpus will deliver a highly energetic show with a couple tricks up their sleeve.

The Ore Dock Brewing Company is expecting not only a sold out crowd for the show this weekend but also a sold out dance party, according to Robarge.

“Each time we’ve had them, we’ve been at capacity,” Robarge said. “There are few times we have to watch our capacity: New Years, Fourth of July and then there’s Bumpus.”

The Ore Dock Brewing Company will not charge for entry at the door but does encourage those going to the show to arrive early as space is limited.

Senior English writing major, Katelyn Durst, said she is excited to see Bumpus play in Marquette again and wants everyone to know they are not your average band.

“I’ve seen them play a number of times,” Durst said. “Between the brass and the vocalists I feel like they have a really full sound, it’s really rich, soul, R&B and even kind of jazzy. I’ve heard them do Michael Jackson and covers from that era and even Motown.”

Bumpus will be playing at the Ore Dock Brewing Company this Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to close.