Ourstage, By Alyssa Jane Hale
Ameranouche has been a longtime favorite in the OurStage.com family. Their unique Gypsy Jazz sound, undeniable talent and cool, mellow stage presence makes them a crowd favorite at any live show. This north east base trio came onto the grounds of Newport Jazz both excited and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to showcase their talents at this legendary festival. Their set included a myriad of tunes that, for me at least, made me feel like riding a moped down the cobblestone streets of some romantic town in northern Italy. It was fresh, interesting and light in a way that blended perfectly with the vibe on that warm summer morning.
Xar’s eyes closed as her fingers danced almost effortlessly across the strings of her upright bass while Ryan executed his energetic and complex accompaniment with technical perfection and Shep’s incredible finger work showcased an undeniable command over his instrument. These three musicians came together and performed with such a unique harmony that what they created on stage seemed better defined as art than mere music. Which could be why they were met with incredible love from the crowd and a standing ovation as they walked off the stage.
Band of Gypsies
New Hampshire Magazine: By editor Rick Broussard - Arts and Entertainment - Editors Pick for Best of 2008
From the rural Seacoast of New Hampshire comes the percussive and exultant gypsy strains of the Ameranouche Trio. Featuring guitarists Richard Sheppard, Ryan Flaherty and bassist Xar Adelberg, this nationally acclaimed jazz ensemble plays acoustic compositions, both original and unique arrangements by American and Gypsy songwriters. As revealed in the complex and recursive music of guitar legend Django Reinhardt, gypsy music tapped into an ethereal sphere, somewhere between J.S. Bach and M.C. Escher. This may explain why three songs from the first Ameranouche album were selected to appear in this summer's "post-apocalyptic political thriller" Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell, produced by National Lampoon. A second album is under way.
New Hampshire Magazine
Ameranouche Songs featured on Silver Screen
"Gypsy Jazz on The Threshold of Hell" Written by Patrick Law, The Wire Magazine Sept 19th, 2007
Something about the gypsy jazz sound of Ameranouche caught the eye of actor-director Kevin Wheatley. Wheatley was surfing MySpace pages in search of music to feature on the soundtrack of his new National Lampoon film, "Beachparty at the Threshold of Hell," when he came across the local jazz trio. He knew he'd found something special. "He was looking for a certain style of music that reflected American roots—something that was not your standard, typical thing," said Ameranouche guitarist Ryan Flaherty. "Our music is a little different, and I think that turned him on to it." The film is a post-apocalyptic political comedy and sci-fi thriller. Wheatley sent Ameranouche an email telling the band about the film and why he thought its music would be perfect. "The film is considered 'young and hip,' but the soundtrack is an eclectic mix inspired by truly American music from the 1910s through the 1940s," Wheatley wrote in the email. "We have used classic American music sounds stemming from the Appalachian Mountains all the way to Hawaii. My hope is to wet the appetites of young America to take interest in the amazing roots of American music. Obviously, it's extremely important to me that several styles of jazz are represented, and I thought your music is perfect." Wheatley asked band members Richard Sheppard (lead guitar and vocals), Xar Adelberg (upright bass and vocals) and Flaherty (rhythm guitar and vocals) to send him a CD of their music. "We were skeptical, but we sent it anyway," Flaherty said. Through the course of several email exchanges and telephone conversations, Wheatley offered to buy the rights to three Ameranouche songs. The band members' skepticism continued; they didn't want to get their hopes up, in case the deal fell through. That was about three months ago, according to Flaherty. "The fact that we could just put up this MySpace page and, out of the millions of MySpace pages, the fact that he found us and found our music is so much fun and very humbling," Flaherty said. Based in southern New Hampshire, Ameranouche has been together for three years. The band has toured extensively throughout New England and has played shows in the southeastern United States, as well as festivals out west. Flaherty identifies the band as an acoustic gypsy jazz trio with an upbeat style that draws from the innovative music of guitar legend Django Reinhardt. "People really seem to love it," Flaherty said. Ameranouche composes most of its own songs, which include traces of jazz, swing, gypsy and Latin influence. The band is currently at work on its second album. Two Ameranouche songs will be featured in the "Beachparty" trailer, and a total of three will appear in the film, according to Flaherty. Sheppard composed all three songs—"Homage," "L'Encureuil Rouge (M'a Les Noix)" and "Spike's Blues"—all of which are on the band's debut album, "Homage a Manouche." The film was completed two years ago and has made the rounds on the independent film circuit, but Ameranouche was not added to the soundtrack until comedy syndicate National Lampoon, Inc., picked up the film a few months ago. National Lampoon, the network behind such comedy classics as "Animal House," "Vacation," "European Vacation" and "Christmas Vacation," will release "Beachparty at the Threshold of Hell"—complete with its new soundtrack—on Oct. 19. In the film, only a few survivors remain in post-apocalyptic America, one of whom is Tex Kennedy, a direct descendent of JFK. Along with a pair of former Secret Service robots, Kennedy must reach and reclaim the country's last functional radio tower in order to unite fellow survivors and retake America. "From the trailer, it looks really hilarious," Flaherty said. When National Lampoon picked up the film several months ago, the filmmakers decided to scratch some of the previous soundtrack and create some new sounds for the movie. The band members from Ameranouche are excited their music could be included in that new soundtrack, which also includes music by New Orleans group Preservation Hall Jazz Band. "Hopefully this will widen our window to get our music out to more people," Flaherty said. " For more information, visit www.ameranouche.com or www.thresholdofhell.com.