Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Halfway to Scranton" by Kneebody (2005)

While browsing the Jazz CDs in the library collection, I unexpectedly came across a CD with a song titled "Halfway to Scranton." The song comes from the 2005 debut CD of the critically acclaimed group Kneebody.

Based in both New York and Los Angeles, Kneebody consists of five friends (Adam Benjamin, Shane Endsley, Karah Rastegar, Ben Wendel and Nate Wood) who share a love of music and improvisation, mixing genres such as jazz, hip-hop and rock to create a style and sound all their own.

After signing with the Green Leaf Music label in 2005, Kneebody released their debut self-titled CD to critical acclaim, some comparing their original style to Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. Track 9 on the instrumental CD is titled Halfway To Scranton. For six minutes and thirty-one seconds (the longest track on the CD), the track takes listeners on a musical journey that is sometimes fast, sometimes slow, and very unpredictable in its sound. Halfway to Scranton has a feel of a enjoyable roadtrip.

I emailed the band and asked them what inspired the use of Scranton in the title of the song. Trumpet player Shane Endsley, who wrote Halfway to Scranton, generously sent me the following reply (thanks, Shane, for permitting me to reproduce your response in the blog):

"Hi Bill,

I am the trumpet player in the band and "Halfway to Scranton" is my piece. It's titled after a romantic rendezvous with my then girlfriend, now wife and mother of our daughter. We both went to school at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester NY but I graduated a year earlier than she. I had moved to NYC and Scranton was a 1/2 way point that we chose to meet one weekend.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks for asking,


Kneebody released their follow-up CD, Low Electric Worker, in April of 2007.

To place a hold on Kneebody's 2005 debut CD, which features Halfway to Scranton, click here.

To purchase a copy of Kneebody's 2005 debut CD, click here.

You can also purchase the MP3 track of Halfway to Scranton at, iTunes or Musicstem.

I can't recommend their CD highly enough!!!

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