Dopapod to bring a mix of improvisation and genre bending to Pearl Street

By Stephanie Murray

For those looking to get their Thursday night funk fix, Dopapod will be coming to the Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton this week. The Brooklyn-based quartet will make a Pioneer Valley stop to play its unique blend of funk, jazz and progressive rock as a part of its spring tour.

Dopapod prides itself on being a grassroots band. It got its humble start in college basements and has since shared bills with like-minded bands such as Umphrey’s McGee. Dopapod’s unique blend of sounds has been picked up on by critics like Taraleigh Weathers of Huffington Post, who raved, “Dopapod is a band that can make me dance even when I don’t feel like dancing.”

Dopapod, which formed in Boston and has since settled in Brooklyn, is currently touring the country, and is slated to stop in at the famed Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee this June. It is promoting its newest release, “Never Odd or Even,” which dropped in November. Partnering with producer Jason Randall, the band produced an album that shows how its music has matured.

Later this spring Dopapod will play shows with fellow jam band and UMass favorite Twiddle on its way to the Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois. The quartet has also played at other jam-band friendly festivals across the country, such as the Frendly Gathering in Vermont and Pennsylvania’s Peach Fest.

Dopapod is a group that blends live-sounding genres like funk, jazz, soul and afro-beat, with the influence of electronic genres like trance. The band seamlessly mixes these styles to create an infectious sound all its own. The members of Dopapod each attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, and cite a wide variety of influences on their music, from Phish to Frank Sinatra.

One of the band’s standout tracks is a highlight from “Never Odd or Even” titled “Present Ghosts.” It offers a fresh balance of funk and rock that is upbeat enough to dance to but somehow still feels low key. The catchy hook in the beginning carries throughout the song.

Some of the band’s other strong tracks include “Onionhead,” “Turnin’ Knobs” and “Flipped.” Each of these lengthy tracks transitions fluidly between genres, taking the listener on a tour of Dopapod’s diverse skill set. The band has been growing its fan base since the release of its debut album “Radar” in 2009, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Funk duo Soule Monde will share the stage with Dopapod in Northampton Thursday night. The Vermont-based duo of Ray Paczkowski and Russ Lawton is sure to bring good vibes to Pearl Street as well.

Concert-goers should expect an impressive light show paired with an intimate performance. The band has often been praised for its comfortable interaction with the audience. That factor, coupled with the quartet’s genuine love for the music they are playing, is bound to translate to an electrifying performance.

Thursday’s show starts at 7 p.m. at the Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton. Tickets are available for $13 online or $15 at the door.

Stephanie Murray can be reached at [email protected]