For a dimly lit room, the group of guys who now go by Captain Green brightened their practice space up with kind faces, jolly personalities and a candid camaraderie. The original members of the band all grew up in Baton Rouge, often jamming with each other and developing their musical taste buds.
In 2010, they decided to pool their talent and become an official band.
“We were just jamming. It became less like jazz and more like funk. It was like, ‘hey, let’s actually do this thing for a living!’” said Robert Kling, the bassist for Captain Green.
Two years later, the band has built a loyal following around town, with the fondest fans flocking to their shows to experience their weaving of hypnotic harmonies.
Captain Green is comprised of Kling, Darin Jones (tenor/baritone sax), David Melancon (trumpet), Matt Bizot (alto/soprano sax, flute), Ross Hoppe (keyboards), Andrew Davis (guitar) and Dr. Charles Brooks (drums). Davis and Dr. Brooks replaced two original members of the band, bringing their own style to the scene and broadening the band’s spectrum.
The Captain Green band is doing much more than just local shows. They are fresh off of a trip to the Bear Creek Music Festival in Live Oak, Fla., where the band saw a glimpse of their future.
“Going to music festivals, we see all these bands that tour around the country,” Jones said. “They come together for a weekend and really make some powerful music. That’s where we see ourselves in the near future—going to the places where music happens and perform. It’s really neat having people come out and respond to our music. They can’t help but respond outwardly. It’s just part of it. Something moves you, then you move. That’s a powerful experience.”
Captain Green released their first LP, “Everything Is Where It’s At,” last May. Robby Bizot, the band’s agent, clearly recalled Captain Green's first day in the studio.
“It was the day after Christmas,” Bizot said. “We went into the studio to record one song for ‘Relix’ magazine. One song had the fever to turn into thirteen songs.”
“We hadn’t rehearsed anything besides that one song,” Melancon added.
Over time, Captain Green has learned how to make their performance—both in studio and live—flow seamlessly, an impressive feat considering most songs are over seven minutes long and each of the seven members has his own part.
“The show is improvised, but the songs are decided upon and written out,” Jones said, describing the band’s creative process from inception to show time.
“It sounds like we’re all freestyling, but it happens to always line up to be really clean,” Melancon explained.
The band promises to debut new music at the three and a half hour jazz/funk/fusion extravaganza at Chelsea’s on Saturday, Dec. 15. If the music alone doesn’t lure you to the show, Captain Green is throwing out all of the stops to keep the masses entertained.
“We’ll have movies playing in the background to go along with the music—Christmas classics like ‘Home Alone,’” Hoppe said.
“If you’ve been extra naughty this year, come to the front row,” Davis jokingly added.
Captain Green’s Christmas Carnival kicks off at 10:30 p.m. Don’t forget to taste the gumbo, courtesy of Kling’s dad. A free show that comes with free food is rare. The band asks that fans donate five cans of food items in exchange for a poster and even a kiss from any Captain Green member.