The Quixote Project Ushers in Indian Summer at Woodies in Ship Bottom

By Monique M. Demopoulos | Sep 04, 2019
Photo by: Monique M. Demopoulos

Ship Bottom — A chilly, fall-like Monday did not stop patrons on the Woodies patio from shaking their bones to The Quixote Project, which made a return trip after being rained out in a fierce storm a few weeks ago. “This show has been a long time coming!” front man Jeff Selby laughingly declared. They warmed up their listeners with three hours of summer classics, interspersed with their own roots-y originals. The tip jar was overflowing by the end of the evening, which they may or may not have used to purchase sweatshirts.

The Quixote Project was named after the Cervantes epic. Selby explained, “Basically, Quixote was crazy, tilting at wind mills and fighting imaginary armies. That’s kind of like us. What we’re doing is crazy, but it’s our dream and our passion.”

According to Selby, the group started through another project called Jackson Rider, which he described as “more Sublimey, a lot of reggae-hip hop.” When that band began to dissolve, they started funneling their energy into The Quixote Project, which had been simmering on the back burner for a while. “The Quixote Project is my baby,” Selby proclaimed.

This is their sixth year performing together. The band members are all from the Philadelphia area, with the exception of Selby. Though he does live in Philadelphia, he grew up in the “Jersey Pines,” as he lovingly described.

Performing on Monday evening was an abbreviated trio of The Quixote Project. Selby provided lead guitar, vocals, harmonica and even percussion. “I heel a foot drum on my right foot and a tambourine on my left,” he explained. Selby also does the majority of the writing. On bass was Brett Riley, and on keys, Rob Kimmel. Typically, The Quixote Project is a six-piece band, with Ryan Wayne Patterson on drums, Dustin Windish on lead guitar and vocal harmonies, James Pleasant on banjo and Josh Barra on the ukulele. In addition to their full band, guest performers are always jumping in to collaborate, which lends to their organic style of roots fusion.

The Quixote Project is authentic American music: a jam-infused blend of some of our earliest folk and blues ancestry, with heavy notes of bluegrass and a salty scent of reggae folded into the mix. They pull inspiration from such American greats as Bob Dylan and Hank Williams, as well as more contemporary artists such as Langhorne Slim and the Avett Brothers. “We like anything with good lyrics and a good melody,” Selby shared.

“We’re happy to provide the soundtrack to your burger on this chilly, but not too shabby Monday evening,” said Selby, who invited listeners to make requests. They fulfilled a request to play Grateful Dead, and later in the evening, even heard a request to play one of their originals, “Tread Easy.” They have recently begun cultivating country music skills to add some classics to their repertoire, which they shared with the audience.

After hooking their listeners with a few folk favorites and ’60s classics, they segued through some bouncy beach tunes and rhythmic reggae and blues hits, including a Marley medley, before taking the audience on “a trip down to the bayou.” While their Americana originals were a bonus sprinkled throughout the evening performance, even their covers are, as Selby calls them, “Quixote-fied,” taking on their distinctive earthy vibe. However, they do like to keep their audience on their toes. They surprised listeners, throwing in a jam version of “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber, which they learned there, on the spot, just for kicks.

The Quixote Project has released four albums, the first of which they described as their “mystery, album. That album, appropriately named Earn Your Keep, was released only on CD, and with the exception of a few reported lucky finds in obscure music shops, is an enigma, as it cannot be purchased online. The following three albums, Busy Being Born, Bone Shaker and Land of Plenty, are all available on most online streaming platforms. They invite fans to take a road trip out to The Union in Mount Holly, to celebrate the release of their fifth album, Namesake, on Nov.15.

In the meantime, while it’s the end of the season for their performances on LBI, they look forward to returning. They offered huge thanks to those who come out to small businesses like Woodies and support independent artists. “Big ups to (Woodies owner) Pete,” said Selby. “He is all about bringing out independent artists to the Woodies patio every week. As musicians, we really appreciate it.”

The Quixote Project can be found on all social media as well as streaming platforms. Visit www.theqpmusic.com.

— Monique M. Demopoulos

 

 

Set List Snippet

“Stealin’,” Arlo Guthrie

“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” Bob Dylan

“Country Pie,” The Quixote Project

“The Joker,” Steve Miller

“By the Rivers of Babylon,” Boney M.

“Whiskey in the Jar,” Irish folk song

“Goodbye Joe,” Hank Williams

“Iko Iko,” The Dixie Cups

“Slow Down,” The Quixote Project

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