Interview With Snarky Puppy Crew Members, Matthew Recchia and Felicity Hall

This week we’ve got four new shows from Snarky Puppy streaming in the nugs.net app. This month’s releases feature 2018 and 2019 performances from The Boulder Theater; The Belly Up; Bitef Art Cafe in Belgrade, Serbia; and O2 Apollo in Manchester, United Kingdom. Alongside the new shows, we talked to Snarky Puppy’s live sound engineer and stage manager, Matthew Recchia, and Assistant Tour Manager, Felicity Hall. Read the full interview below and then check out their favorite tracks from the new shows streaming now in the nugs.net app!

Matthew Recchia

nugs.net: Being a sound engineer for a band as large as Snarky Puppy is no easy task. Was there a big learning curve working with a band of upwards of 19 members, all of whom have varying solos in an improvisational setting?

MR: Absolutely! The first few tours I joined with the band were filled with endless learning experiences. More often than not in the early days, it was deciding how to fit 40+ channels onto 32-channel consoles while keeping the band happy in the process! That, and learning to use whatever equipment and microphones were on hand to the best of my ability. This was before we carried a microphone package and had to rely heavily on the venue’s stock of gear.

nugs.net: Snarky Puppy tours extensively through many varying rooms across the world which of course adds challenges to your job. What venue stands out as a favorite space to mix a live Snarky Puppy show in & why?

MR: I have been fortunate to see some incredible venues through touring with this band. Picking a favorite seems impossible! If I have to pick one- I’m always happy to see the SFJazz Center in San Francisco on our touring schedule. They have a fantastic crew to work with, a well-treated room with excellent acoustics and plenty of PA, and because we usually play multiple nights- only one load in! 

nugs.net: What four words describe life on the road with Snarky Puppy?

MR: Bandwiches, Horns, Espresso, Doors

Felicity Hall

nugs.net: Being involved in the logistics with a 19+ piece band sounds similar to maintaining a circus. How have you been able to maintain organization with such a large team? 

FH: I’ve joined the Snarky crew relatively recently, and I’ve been amazed at how smoothly the whole thing runs. The crew know their individual roles inside out, and the logistics of touring are made much easier when you’ve got such a dedicated and knowledgeable crew. Because the band have been together for so long, everybody is pretty responsible when it comes to being where they need to be and when. Since I’ve started touring I’ve also developed a deeply personal relationship with spreadsheets. Lots of them. Allll the time.

nugs.net: Snarky Puppy tours extensively throughout the world. What challenges do you face while touring through various countries, languages & cultures?  

FH: Every culture has its own unique problems and difficulties, and some things which one person considers completely normal are a totally alien concept to others. Learning how to understand different cultures when you’re only in a country for a day or two is a skill that comes with time, and each show you do in another country you learn a bit more about that country and have slightly more of an idea what to expect the next time. But of course, there’s always something that happens everywhere you go that throws a curveball into the works! 

nugs.net: What four words describe life on the road with Snarky Puppy? 

FH: Challenging, evolving, exciting and unique.

Our Favorite Summer Jams

Over the past year, jam bands have been resilient, finding new and creative ways to reach fans craving the music they love. Now, live music is roaring back and the fans are excitedly returning to their favorite venues for summer concerts. We’re continuing our ‘No Bummer Summer’ series this week with five of our favorite summer concerts that will have you ready to return to the lot and catch your favorite jam bands.

Umphrey’s McGee

Lakefront Green, Chicago, IL – August 8, 2019

A homecoming show makes for a great performance from any band, but it’s not often you get to see a band play a hometown site as scenic as Umphrey’s McGee’s 2019 performance at Chicago’s Lakefront Green. It was a special show, played right next to Lake Michigan during the height of a beautiful Chicago summer. The band took time throughout the show to interact with fans and share memories of living in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. The show kicks off with the band’s debut performance of “Punchable Face”. The ode’s to Chicago are present throughout the show through its end with a Chicago themed performance of “Gulf Stream ” to close out the encore. 

Dead & Company

Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL – June 15, 2019

Speaking of Chicago, nothing says summer quite like an outing to the windy city’s Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. This performance from Dead & Company is among their best. It’s loose, fun, and played to a packed crowd in one of the most beautiful outdoor venues in America. It gets off to a great start early with Bob Weir leading the band through a version of “Sugar Magnolia ” with a mesmerizing guitar solo from John Mayer. The first set continues with hits including “High Time” (first performed by Dead & Company earlier in the summer), “Friend of the Devil,” and “Mama Tried.” The second set features some incredible jams during “Sugar Magnolia” and a remarkable performance of “Franklin’s Tower” led by John Mayer. The hot summer night show ends with fantastic encore versions of “Ripple” and “One More Saturday Night.” 

Goose

The Peach Music Festival, Scranton, PA – July 27, 2019

Goose’s 2019 performance is fast approaching mythical status. A perfect festival concert that propelled the Connecticut jammers to jam-band stardom. There’s a reason the world has Goose fever, and it’s all present in this tight 8-song set. Goose staples like “Madhauvan,” “Time To Flee,” and “Arcadia,” are joined by Grateful Dead’s “Mississippi Half Step” and Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way It Is.” Pay attention during “Wysteria Lane” for some Magic School Bus teases too. The show is closed out with style during the fan-favorite anthem “Hot Tea.” It’s a 90-minute primer to all things Goose and it’s the perfect soundtrack as we get ready for Peach Festival 2021 in just a few short weeks.

Widespread Panic

Trondossa Music Festival, North Charleston, SC – May 6, 2018

This 2018 performance is Widespread Panic at their most Widespread Panic, in the best way possible. Playing at Trondossa, their home music festival in South Carolina, the boys put together the ultimate performance for new fans and old heads alike. From the opening “Porch Song” to the closing “Conrad The Caterpillar,” this one is heaters start to finish. As the first set comes to a close, the band is joined by none other than Sturgill Simpson on guitar for J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” and The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Give this show a listen and get back in that Panic spirit because the band is back together in two weeks for the first time since March 2020! 

The Disco Biscuits

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO – May 30, 2021

Bisco Inferno’s 2021 return was a thrilling experience. The Disco Biscuits’ famous yearly performances at Red Rocks were extra special this year and the band came ready to play to the mystified audience. The weekend’s finale performance was filled with rare tracks that are sure to blow the minds of Biscuits fans. The show includes only the band’s 11th ever cover of Guns N’ Roses “November Rain,” which features a tease of Genesis’ “That’s All.” Adding to the list of rare covers, The Disco Biscuits covered Grateful Dead’s “I Know You Rider” for the first time in over five years to close out the final set. This show was a clear indication, it’s going to be a No Bummer Summer indeed.