75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 by percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen. They immediately embraced an exhaustive local gigging schedule that found them playing at rock clubs, DIY spaces, weddings and on the street, and quickly gained a reputation in New York for their hypnotic, immersive live shows. Brown’s earthy, elemental rhythms, played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, are both the foundation and foil for Chen’s searchingly abstract guitar playing. Often using a custom quarter tone guitar, Chen’s improvisations are forays into a modal, microtonal sound world. The duo’s electric, richly patterned music can shape shift from ecstatic dance tunes to slowly changing polyrhythmic trance minimalism, an uncategorizable hybrid which draws on early electric blues, the modal traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East, Sun Ra’s space chords and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their home town.
While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, the duo frequently expands into other configurations live, from trio with saxophone to 25-piece marching band. For this performance at Roulette, Brown and Chen will be joined by Sue Garner (electric bass), Cheryl Kingan (baritone & alto saxophones), Steve Maing (guitar), Jim Pugliese (percussion), Karen Waltuch
(viola), and others TBA.
Rick Brown – Percussion, Homemade Horns
Che Chen – Guitars, Violin, Organ, Saxophone
Sue Garner – Electric Bass, Percussion
Cheryl Kingan – Baritone & Alto Saxophones, Percussion
Andrew Lafkas – Contrabass (TBA)
Steve Maing – Guitar
Jim Pugliese – Percussion
Karen Waltuch – Viola