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Culture Vulture: Get outside the box with local instrumental trio

  • Photo by Adriana Iris Boatwright


Culture Vulture: Get outside the box with local instrumental trio

03 Mar 2016


Culture Vulture album release

7-10 p.m. March 5. House of Strut, 17 W. 41st St. Join Bomb Shelter Records and Culture Vulture to celebrate the release of their latest album, “Girls’ Night.” The night will also feature performances by Tokalos, Kyle and Crazy Bag Lady, along with visuals by Planetary Projections. Entry is free and CDs will be on sale for $5. Hear the music at

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“Dancey to the brave, complex to the analyst, sexy to the depraved” is an illustration of the music produced by local band Culture Vulture, as they describe it on their website.

“Culture Vulture is a phrase defined as someone who takes bits and pieces from several subcultures to combine them and make a sound with new material and trends,” said guitarist James Webber.

This three-piece instrumental band produces a genuine, jazzy and pop sound that represents their intended math/prog rock genre, combining the trombone, guitar and drums. This is the kind of band that sport “eclectic” styles and tastes.

“Between the instrumentation — harmonic and song structure — and approach to our instruments, we see the music we make as outside of the box,” Webber said.

In 2012, Culture Vulture formed its current three-piece instrumental lineup. Along with Webber, Nick Gilbert adds trombone and Matthew Pelton plays drums. The trio converged from across the nation to join as a band in Savannah after Webber found Pelton’s Craigslist ad online.

Gilbert developed his unique sound from two decades of studying in New England, while Pelton earned two degrees in his hometown of Hot Springs, Ark. And starting in Rochester, New York, then moving through New Hampshire and into Brooklyn, Webber learned all about great pop punk and jazz, bringing some superb skills to the band’s sound.

Culture Vulture produces a phenomenal, upbeat sound that is genuinely different. Gilbert best describes the music as having “as much of a place on the dance floor as if at work or simply sitting on the top of a mountain with headphones on.”

Culture Vulture performs many cross-genre affairs all over the Southeast, including locations as varied as Tampa, Fla., Denton, Texas, and Asheville, N.C.

“One night we played with a nine-piece jazz band and a few nights later, we played with two singer-songwriters and a power-violence band,” Webber said.

“Things will start to get wild with one of Savannah’s most interesting acts, Culture Vulture,” Joshua Peacock wrote in Do’s Stopover previews in 2015. “The instrumental Culture Vulture takes nods from standard jazz, but builds on it with a dose of rock and funk, making for some of the more interesting music you might hear at the fest.”

Culture Vulture will make their appearance at Savannah Stopover at 9 p.m. March 10 at Ampersand. And if you can’t wait till the festival, the band will celebrate the release of their newest album, “Girls’ Night,” with a party from 7-10 p.m. March 5 at House of Strut.